By Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has refuted allegations that plans are underway to scuttle council polls, insisting that the state would soon conduct free and fair local government elections.
A statement by the party’s spokesperson, Seye Oladejo, indictated that the APC believes in the rule of law, upholds the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the tenets of democracy, and assured Lagosians that local government elections will hold in the state at the appropriate time.
The spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Taofeek Gani, had alleged that despite the fact that the tenure of the council caretaker chairmen would expire in three months, the APC plans to extend their terms and delay local government elections.
‘We are informed that the APC plans not to conduct local elections this year. The tenure of the councils expire in about three months. Interestingly, this information got to us from the APC aspirants themselves. They are interested in contesting and like all other parties wish, election must be conducted. The APC is jittery of any local government elections as majority of the councils have performed very disappointingly and cannot win any fair polls to retain control. We call on the state governor and LAHA to resist any attempt not to conduct local government elections in order to prevent state of lawlessness at that government level,’Gani said.
But Oladejo, refuting the allegations, accused the PDP of ineptitude, while insisting that the council elections would hold at the appropriate time.
‘For the umpteenth time, let me state categorically that the comatose Lagos State PDP only comes alive during the election season only to withdraw to its cocoon after the traditional perennial defeat. Their monumental defeat during the recently held Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe 2 Lagos State House of Assembly by-elections has further exposed the ineptitude of the PDP opposition that’s bereft of winning capability as a result of their constant rejection at the polls.
‘The needless ranting about the local government elections that are not even due and for which we await an official pronouncement shows the idleness and needless rabble rousing of its confused leadership. The baseless allegation or suspicion to entrench undemocratic governance at the local government level in the state is not in tandem with the fact that Lagos State has always had democratically elected leaders at the grassroots since the inception of this dispensation.
‘It’s also noteworthy that activities and preparations towards the local government elections as admitted by the opposition spokesman are only prevalent in the ruling party in the state. We can only sympathize with the fact that the opposition PDP will struggle to field candidates for the elections.
‘As a party that believes in the rule of law, upholds the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the tenets of democracy, we wish to assure Lagosians that local government elections will hold in our state at the appropriate time,’ Oladejo said.