By Adeyemi Adeleye
Anxiety is building up among aspirants as the All Progressives Congress is expected to start announcing successful candidates in the open secret primaries it conducted in the 245 wards across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of Lagos to select its chairmanship and councillorship flag-bearers for the state’s July 24 council poll.
The results of the primaries would be announced at the APC state secretariat later on Saturday.
Security operatives have already barricaded APC secretariat along ACME Road in Ikeja area of the State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that armed security personnel were also strategically positioned at the entrance and within the premises of the secretariat.
Several patrol vehicles and armoured personnel carrier were also stationed at the access roads leading to the secretariat.
Motorists could not access ACME Road as it was barricaded and manned by the fierce-looking police officers.
A security officer, who spoke to newsmen that sought to gain entrance to the secretariat, said that only returning officers, who conducted the primaries across wards were allowed into the secretariat.
“The instruction we have is that only returning officers should enter the party secretariat.
“That is the order we have for now; you cannot enter,’’ the officer said.
NAN reports that the ruling party on Saturday conducted open secret ballot primaries in the 245 wards across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
The conduct of the primaries was to select its chairmanship and councillorship flag-bearers ahead of the council poll.
The primary election was, therefore, not without some hitches as there were reported cases of disruption, violence and ballot box snatches in some wards.
There was apprehension in Agege and Ifako-Ijaye areas over alleged imposition and membership register as the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries for the July 24 council elections got underway across Lagos State.
The exercise was delayed in taking off in Ifako-Ijaye while anti riot policemen were deployed to quell protests in Agege over alleged imposition of candidates.
There was also massive turn out of party faithful at Amuwo Odofin where the process was peaceful, with heavy security presence within and around the venue.
Mr Valentine Buraimoh, the Council Chairman, commended the voters for turning out en masse to vote for their candidates.
Around Ojokoro LCDA of Ifako-Ijaiye, no fewer than seven aspirants contested for the party’s ticket for the chairmanship seat in the council.
Speaking with NAN, Mr Hammed Tijani, the incumbent chairman of the council, who is seeking re-election, told newmen that issues around the party’s membership lists delayed the commencement of the exercise.
Tijani said:” Today happens to be the day for our primaries,along the line we have some discrepancies in our membership register. So, that is what we tried to resolve through consensus.
“Every one of us brought our ideas on the best way to go about it and we have resolved on how we are going to go about it. Everybody has agreed that the accreditation should be done and people should cast their votes because time is not longer on our side.”
The incumbent chairman, who expressed strong confidence of winning the party’s flag for the second term, apologised to party members for the delay.
Another aspirant, Dr Oladipupo Okeyomi, popularly known as ‘Carry Go’, said that the party’s decision remained the ultimate and supreme to him.
“Whatever the decision of the party is my own decision. By the grace of God, I am the winner of this primary election.
“I know I am going to win this election. I have my people on ground and they are ready to vote for me,” he said.
Another chairmanship aspirant, Chief Olufemi Davies, decried the muddling up of the membership register, saying the development had deflated the spirits of many members that eagerly thronged their wards for the election earlier.
The the primaries held across 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas of the state would be announced at the APC state secretariat later on Saturday.