The allegation of conducting a Parallel Congress heaved on some APC Chieftains in Ajeromi local government may be a farce, emerging revelation has suggested and the alleged roles claimed to have been played by the ‘LAGFERRY boss lieutenants’ and the former Party Chairman,Moruf Akande Bayewu may actually be an enforcement of a legitimate assignment to them by the party.
According to the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Sam Adeyemi, ‘’every of our party member participated fully at the recent local government election but during the ward congresses, to elect the party officers, divisions emerged. Some aggrieved members defied the party’s orders and went ahead to conduct a separate party congress’’.
‘’I was shocked when Moruf Akande Bayewu called me to say that we should meet at L.A Primary school because he had collected the materials for the congress around 3.30 pm, after we had already done the party congress at 10 am. That was when he told me that he has the materials for the congress. I was surprised because I went to the state headquarter at Acme road, Ikeja, to collect the materials as the party chairman.
He said he was appointed an electoral officer for the congress. I know that we appointed three persons each from each ward as electoral officers and he was not part of the appointed people. These people did their work and it still baffles me who appointed him.
The APC Ajeromi chapter then wrote a petition to the party secretariat through the state chairman at Acme, which they copied the Governor, Babajide Sanwo- Olu, while we await response from his office.
We wrote to notify them that the mentioned names did parallel congress which is against the party directive and whatever the party thinks and advises us, we will do’’.
The APC chieftain said when things like this happen the defaulters should be queried and sanctioned. He revealed that it was only one Moruf Bayewu that brazenly showed up, while Ladi Balogun sent some of his lieutenants.
Explaining why some Councilors could not return for second term, Adeyemi said, APC is a progressive party that always give their officers that did well opportunity to go for a second tenure. In Ifelodun, some of the councilors did not have the luck of coming back for a second term. In Ajeromi, where the party has its principal officer in the person of Prince Rabiu Oluwa, the apex leader wants everything done in order so E.F Babalola’s son couldn’t return for second term because his people complained about, both the father and son had not led by example ,especially with the attitude of his son which has not been encouraging as a councilor.
So when their wards said, the councilor did not perform well, the leadership cannot fault this because they cannot force anybody on the people and it’s not compulsory everyone must go for a second term.
In his reaction, to the allegation, Hon Ladi Balogun, a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and currently the Managing Director of the Lagos State Ferry Services said the purported call for the suspension of alleged ‘parallel congress organizers ‘is as unfounded and absurd as it has more than meets the eyes because,there was no intention to conduct a parallel Congress and there was no member of the party that was assembled or called for the purpose of a parallel Congress.
His words, ‘’why would anyone recommend suspension for sincere party men carrying out an assignment for the party and so these allegations are wrong and dead on arrival’’.
‘’Why did I say all these? The headquarters of our party set up a congress committee, and they came to Lagos state, But our people are acting out of ignorance because they do not know for a fact which can be crosschecked with the party or with the congress committee for each local government.
Two LGA electoral members were appointed, but fortunately for our local government, Alhaji Moruf Bayewu aka Ologbojo was appointed. You know they used the old local government (20 local governments) and for Ajeromi/ Ifelodun, Abayomi Bolarinwa and Moruf Bayewu were appointed.
So, what they came to carry out was the legal business of the party, actually, they are the recognized officers of the party assigned to conduct the primary of our party at a designated venue and when these
People were coming, they gave them a list of the ward electoral committee, three members per ward’’.
According to him, old Ajeromi/ Ifelodun have 11 wards, and 33 names were given to them. Each ward has three persons to conduct the election. On arrival they informed the apex leader Prince Rabiu Oluwa
that they have arrived to conduct the election with the ward congress committee. They also informed the party’s chairman Chief Adeyemi and the Ajeromi Local Govt Chairman Fatai Ayoola about their arrival for the Congress assignment.
The electoral body got across to the 33 names on the list and they were informed on what to do at the ward level. It was then that armed hoodlums came and scattered what they were doing, but we thank God that no life was lost as the people scampered for safety.
He said the body being castigated for holding parallel congress is actually the authentic and recognized body duly accredited and sent by the party to the local government to conduct the congress.
He explains more, ‘’ I do not however know what they meant that my lieutenants were seen there. How my name Ladi Balogun even entered into their story is stunning because I was not even in the country at that period? What do they mean that my lieutenants were seen’’.
‘’Sincerely, I saw the petition, but it is unfortunate that the pull Down syndrome is still thriving in our local government. I am the only appointed Lagos state officer, from this side. Remember we do not have
a commissioner in our local government, so, if I happen to be the one that has gotten the appointment from the state for the local government, I think, they need to do everything possible to support me
to succeed in the assignment and not pull me down’’.
‘’Imagine writing to Mr. Governor to say that I am abusing my office at LAGFERRY, when there is no allegation of stolen funds from there or any claim that we are not achieving the targets set for us by Mr
Governor and the Lagos state public. Or are we not moving the water transportation forward or are we not performing the basic functions of Lagos state Ferry services’’.
Balogun noted that LAGFERRY has about 146 staff and none of them was on the purported list linked to him. The people alleged on the list are party members from both Ajeromi and Ifelodun local government and so there is no truth in the allegation.
He speaks further, ‘’they did it maliciously because they wanted to deny us (myself and my group), the right to have Supervisory Councilors, after we had contested for the councillorship at the nine wards which they took away from us. We contested for the chairmanship and the party leadership asked us to allow the incumbent to return for the second term, but the party leadership gave us the vice chairman
slot, which was also taken away from us.
‘’They did 100 percent clearance of all the elective positions in the last local government election despite the intervention of the leadership of the party that we should share it, he said’’.
Balogun further noted that his group has made sacrifice for the progress of the party and for peace to reign in the community. As far as he is concern, all these allegations are coming up because of the
upcoming appointment of council supervisors and secretary to the local government which some people don’t want his group to benefit from.
This is a progressive party which we have to join hands and build as it’s not one man’s business or a caucus that will be dominant. We just have to do it together. We are Progressives, all of us belong to APC and we have nowhere to go. We are from Ajeromi/ Ifelodun local government and of course, we will continue to contribute our quota to the development of the local government and strengthen our party in our local government.
Balogun explained further that some former Local Government chairmen of the party were invited at the party secretariat and briefed of the development. So, he is still surprised as to how a fellow party man would deny another party member an opportunity to the job he has been given, just because they don’t belong to the same caucus.
As far as Balogun is concerned all those accused in the parallel congress did nothing wrong. He revealed that ‘’It is nothing short of a plan to deny us inclusion in the executive of the new government.
Again, some people see us as a threat to their ambition in 2023 and their thinking is let’s cut him down. It is people who want to contest for House of Representatives and Assembly that are scheming this. We
can only say that we are formidable and also have a strong structure in the local government but we cannot fight anybody or are we in competition with anybody too.
‘’We will continue to do the bidden of our party leadership and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains our leader and Mr. Governor remains the leader of our great party in Lagos state and we will continue to abide with their directives and instructions’’.
On his 2023 political ambition, he says that God will be the one to decide. ‘’’Almighty God will decide. Everything is in the hands of our leaders, anytime our leaders decide, I will not hesitate to make myself available to serve my people and that is still a long way from now. Let’s leave everything for God to decide, but we need ask the Almighty to give us a gracious life beyond 2023’’, he concluded