The announcement of 16-man committee for the local government election by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government in Lagos state would have been applause except that the transparency maybe in doubt.
There are serious concerns that the good intentions of the party maybe marred by the appointment of deputy Governor, Dr Hamzat Obafemi as the chairman of the committee. The deputy governor is a near cerebral man with administrative astuteness no doubt but his appointment as the chairman cannot be said will guarantee fairness especially in his local government where his blood brother will be contesting as Chairman.
Except his committee will have nothing to do with the conduct of primary process of the party in that Local Government Area (LGA) his brother’s opponents in Ifako/Ijaiye community may just be engaging in an exercise in futility.
His brother, the current vice chairman of the LGA, is believed to have gotten the position abnitio due to the deputy governor’s influence and the over bearing presence of their late father, a stalwart of the party and leader of the group called Justice forum before his Demised.
Already, some of his co-contestants-because of Dr Hamzat’s position as the deputy governor-are in palpable fear of undue Influence from the hierarchy, now that he has the knife and yam to cut and determine the fate of all aspirants in the election including that of his brother the honest truth is that their fears may not be unfounded.
The electoral act and the constitution which guaranteed sustainable democracy, was of the opinion that for election to be free, fair and credible, the process towards it which includes primary and selection of candidates must be free from any known incumbrance with element of bias. This opinion also has formed part of pre ND post judgement of learned judges to arrive at their various verdicts .
Our concern is that , while the deputy governor remain the chairman of the committee to oversee the success of the process that will lead to the emergence of candidates in his party and the general election, where his blood brother will be one of the contestants in one of the local government, namely Ifako/Ijaye, the process may not be truly adjudged has been fair nor credible going by the Yoruba adage that says, omo eni koni sedi bebere kafileke sidi omo elomi (Your child buttock can’t be overweight and chose to endow another person’s daughter with beads ornaments)
It’s our opinion that Dr Hamzat should either excuse himself from the committee or ask his brother to step down from the contest in Ifako/Ijaiye local government chairmanship election to give other contestants the confidence that they are in contest.
This is how to in fact gain confidence and credibility so that whoever emerges as candidate will be seen as truly the wish of the party members not via the Influence of those in authority.
It’s common knowledge that in the past, emergence of candidates in Lagos election have always been by selection but since the party hierarchy have chose the part of honour this time to engage in real politicking and want to go through the process of enduring democracy via direct primary; all elements of perceived outside and internal influences must be eliminated in any form it rears its ugly head.
We believe wise counsel will prevail so that anyone that emerges from this contest as candidate in the deputy governor’s local government will be candidate of the people not that of establishment.
Concerned Ifako/ijaye residents