RE: ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY ELECTION HELD ON THE 26TH DAY OF MAY, 2022 AT MOBOLAJI JOHNSON ARENA (ONIKAN STADIUM) LAGOS STATE.
DELIBERATE EXCLUSION FROM THE NOMINATION PROCESS
I, AHMED OLORUNFEMI MUSTAPHA (LAGOS STATE GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANT), wish to express my displeasure at the just concluded gubernatorial primary in Lagos State. Let me state the facts of the matter first before my comments.
On 10th May 2022, I purchased the Expression of interest and Nomination forms to contest the Lagos State Gubernatorial seat, which was completed and submitted on 11th May 2022 (Within the time frame allowed to do so). On Saturday, the 14th day of May 2022, at Fraser Suites, Abuja, I was also screened satisfactorily by the Party’s inaugurated Committee. I do not doubt that I met all the screening criteria as contained in the Party’s guidelines, the Party’s Constitution, the Electoral law and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The screening report should have been published no later than Sunday, 15th May 2022. I protested via a letter dated 24th May 2022 on the non-publication of the screening report. The information should have been before the gubernatorial congress on 26th May 2022. I had the impression that all was well and continued with my consultations from ward to ward basis in the State.
My profile during the consultation increased exponentially amongst delegates, party faithful and the good people of Lagos State at large. I made several efforts to get the process details at the National and the State Party headquarters, but all actions met brick walls. Specifically, I submitted a letter to the State Chairman’s Office in Lagos and also the National Chairman’s Office on 25th May 2022 for the following materials;
- GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANT’S TAG.
- LIST OF STATE DELEGATES
- LIST OF LAGOS STATE GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANTS CLEARED TO CONTEST.
- GUIDELINES FOR 2023 ELECTIONS.
- AGENTS TAG FOR ALL WARDS.
None of the details requested nor the materials listed was made available to me. I now believe the silence and elusion were deliberate and calculated to technically shut me out of the race and trample upon my rights with gross impunity.
On getting to the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, through speculations on 26th May 2022, I was turned back at Onikan Stadium’s gate and my Agents despite introducing myself as a Gubernatorial Aspirant to the security men on duty. Efforts to get the State and National Officials were unsuccessful until I finally reached Dr Mohammed Bashir. R (Lagos Committee Secretary). He claimed that I was not CLEARED to participate in the election. This information was news to me as I heard it for the first time.
The arrangement shown on TV gave the impression that there were three gubernatorial aspirants to deceive the public. The announcement of the purported disqualification at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, was published by some News media on the selection rather than election of the sole candidate schemed for by the Party Officials.
I have raised an appeal despite the difficulties encountered along the process. I believe that I, with the other aspirant, were deliberately shut out to allow the Party chieftain’s aspirant to emerge despite being an incumbent Governor.
The process and actions taken by the National and the State Officers violated all relevant laws of the land. They amounted to gross abuse of power and breach of the trust of members of our great Party, which had been vested in the Party Officials at the State and National levels.
I strongly request that the exercise be nullified and a new primary conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner in the State. The All Progressives Congress (APC) is a beacon of truth and hope for us and future generations. Lagosians should not perceive such a high level of impunity as a modus operandi in the Party’s operations. All Progressives Congress (APC) must take the proper steps to protect the image of the Party.
Finally, I wish to implore our teeming supporters and well-wishers to remain calm while exploring necessary party mechanisms to redress these glaring irregularities.
I thank you all.
Abdul-Ahmed Olorunfemi Mustapha