Members of the Lagos East Senatorial District of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently met in Epe, to reflect on issues that are germane to the stability and unity of the district and the success of the party. They believe that concerted efforts must be taken to reposition the party ahead of 2019.
The APC chieftains, observed that all is not well with the party as members were up in arms against one another.
The meeting which was summoned at the instance of the leader of the party in the zone, Chief Akani Seriki, explored various options that would enhance the progress of the party. Members assessed the scorecard of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and endorsed him for a second term. They are of the view that, within two years, the home boy governor had assumed the mantle of leadership, Lagos has witness tremendous advancement.
The APC chieftains acknowledged the fact that Ambode had promoted development and deserving of the necessary support to enable him continue.
The senatorial leader, Seriki, urged members to work towards the unity of the party, noting that it was alarming that some members were in courts over a family affair. He reminded them that a house divided against itself would not stand.
He called for caution, if the party must continue to remain a factor in the Lagos and the country as a whole, adding that the party could not afford to disappoint its teeming supporters, who are still hopeful that the change they voted for would become a reality.
Seriki said: “Let me start by calling all our members to observe a minute silence in memory of a leader of the great party from our district, the late Alhaji Abiodun Sunmola. His passage was a great lose to the district having mobilized during his life time for the success of the party in various fora.
“I summon this gathering because I sense some danger around the corner. We must act fast now before it is too late for us to act. It is sad that some people are in court over the recently held primary for the council election in Lagos. It obvious that APC is divided and we must rise to unite it as fast as it is possible, if for this reason alone, you will agree that this meeting is imperative.”
Seriki drew attention to how Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has battled day and night to give the party a direction. He said the platform the APC would have caved in, if not for the doggedness of the former Lagos State governor.
He said: “I must say that our leader Asiwaju Tinubu faced opposition right from Alliance for Democracy days, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo moved against him, to decimate the party, but he was dodged.
“I think we should be praying for our leaders rather than antagonizing him. We stabilized the Southwest and recover it back when Obasanjo make inroad to the region. Today, I am sure we are all aware the role he play to bring APC to national reckoning. I must appeal to our people to unite and be guided by the overall interest of the party.”
APC chieftain Dr. Tola Kasali, who spoke shortly after Seriki, added his voice to the call for unity. He said the meeting was to allay the fear that some have expressed in some quarters.
He said members should go back to their wards, to preach unity and reconcile aggrieved members.
He said: “Tinubu has provided us a direction and template to make this party great. He groomed good leaders who have excelled in administrative positions. Therefore, we need to be united; we cannot run away because there is fight in the camp of APC.
“Anywhere people share different ideas, there is bound to be conflict or quarrel. How, these conflicts are resolved is germane to the survival of the union they have built. We must resolve and move our party forward and for the overall interest of Lagos East Senatorial District, we must work towards a second term for our governor.”
Notwithstanding the internal wrangling, some leaders believe the it was not out of place, if a pressure group exist within the ranks if the party. They were of the opinion that such group stand up to negotiate on behalf of their constituencies of people who they believed were marginalized.
Asipa Kaoli Olusanya said Epe will stand in up for Ambode for a second term, stressing that within the period he controls the apparatus of government, Lagos East has benefitted in quantum.
“The quality of Ambode’s job in the state cannot the estimated. He recognises the senatorial divisions in the state and work assiduously to bring development to the people.
“We are proud of his performance and have not been disappointed. We must recognize that it is only when the party wins the chairmanship in all the councils that the second term of Ambode will be easier.
“Let us drop whatever animosity that arose from the council’s primary and vote the party in the coming election. It is important to know that we are not voting individual but the party, we must stamp our feet.”
One of the leaders, Sikiru Banire, said the outcome of the Osun West Senatorial by-election needed to be pondered upon. He explained that the APC lost the election to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of division.
He said Governor Rauf Aregbesola has made impact on the state to warrant overwhelming support from the people, but APC was divided, which worked against them in the recent election.
Banire said: “What APC suffered in Osun by-election is due to division. We have to be careful and make peace with those who are aggrieved. Some people are here who like causing divisions in our party; we have to unite to get the required results.”
Former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Adeyemi Ikuforiji the opinion canvassed by all those who spoke will work better if the party chieftains close ranks and move to the wards and grassroots to implement the outcome of their discussions.
“Since we started governance in Lagos, the state has not witnessed the kind of development it has recorded under Ambode within two years. His administration has touched virtually everywhere and I think we should support in to go for a second term.
“I still want to refer to what happened in Osun, apart from Chief Bisi Akande who made gave the people direction, Aregbesola is the only one who have also made impact in the state. There is been such a rapid development under him. Today, Osogbo has leap forward, but because of division we lost the Osun East Senatorial by-election.
“We must avoid hatred; bring all aggrieved members back to the fold. There is no gain in expelling anybody, we must reconciled and united to keep the progressives kite flying. No matter what had happened in the APC God used Asiwaju Tinubu to bring the present Federal Government of the party to office.”
Chief Lanre Reazak, the Balogun of Epe, said Ambode penetrated the councils to leave indelible footprints. He said APC could only hold to power, if it provides what the people needed.
“The example of Ambode remain startling, but I must say that as leaders we have some roles to play to enable him succeed in his primary assignment. I am urging those of us here to be up and doing. I am of the view that we cannot sit back to and expect great things to happen.
“This is not the season to fight; it is a period to consolidate on our gains of past election. We must emulate Tinubu whose large heart remains very accommodative without leaders like him we will not be where we are today.”