Thousands of protesters from Kosofe federal constituency on Thursday, June 2, staged a peaceful protest at the Lagos state secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Acme, over the alleged imposition of candidate in just concluded primary election in the area.
Telescope.ng reports that the protesters hinged their grievances on the imposition of ‘unknown candidate’ on them by some leaders of the party over their preferred candidate and the incumbent representative of the constituency, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye.
The protesters marched to the secretariat holding placards with different inscription such as: ‘We say no to fake delegates, Give us our mandate in Kosofe, No primary election in Kosofe, and Accept duly elected delegates among others.’
Speaking with the press, one of the leaders of Kosofe and chairman LCA Kosofe local government, Hon. Sunday Jedege, maintained that there was no primary election in area as being portrayed by some ‘disgruntled elements’ of the party.
He said that the delegate list that was approved was jettisoned when some leaders were doing their so-called selection of the candidate, adding that till now no election was held in the constituency.
Jegede said that the resolution of the elders and leaders in the constituency was that there should be a rerun where the original delegate list would be used to elect the people’s choice.
He said: “As I speak now, no election was conducted in Kosofe federal constituency. We want a rerun and the leader should make available the list of delegates submitted to the party secretariat. We have good case for appeal. This brazen injustice can’t be allowed to go unchallenged. Nobody saw the purported delegate list they used for the selection.”
A former secretary to the local government, Agboyi-Ketu, Gbenga Osobu, said the chairman that was supposed to conduct the election noted that he was not allowed access to the original delegate list.
He stated that there was no time the aspirants agreed to choose a consensus candidate contrary to the lies being spread by some people.
Osobu further stated that they would use every lawful means within their power to reclaim their mandate back.
He noted: “Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye (ROT) has done well for the people of Kosofe and I don’t think this is what some people should use to repay his kind gesture.
“We are party men. I am sure Asiwaju Bola Tinubu believes in justice and we know that the right thing would be done. We are very sure of justice.”
Another leader of the constituency, Comrade Olawale Michael, stated that what was done to Agunsoye was an injustice to the masses, adding that the lawmaker has brought joy to many people Kosofe through his massive empowerment.
Michael said: “This is injustice to the masses, especially the people of Kosofe federal constituency. This man has empowered so many people and no man has done that before him. He did 48 borehole water projects, over 240 mini buses, over 200 tricycles. The youths of Kosofe say no to injustice and imposition. Agunsoye ROT is our mandate.”
A representative of Arewa women in Kosofe, Asabi Muhammad, warned the leadership that failure to return Agunsoye may spell doom for the APC in the area in the forthcoming general election.
Also speaking, one of the women in Kosofe, Alhaja Jolaosho, said that people were crying when they learnt that a woman was selected in place of their preferred candidate, ROT.
She said: “Hon. Agunsoye came to my rescue when I was ill. Without him, maybe I would have been dead by now. We need him, he is our mandate.”
Another representative of APC Kosofe who spoke during the protest, Bishop Gbenga Ajani, alleged that some unnamed leaders of the party hijacked the process and did selection rather than the primary where the candidate was supposed to have emerged.
He further stated: “Democracy means the government of the people for the people and by the people. On May 18, we voted for our delegates but some people upturned the process and did selection. We can’t allow imposition or selection.
ROT has done what his predecessors never did while in office. “We are telling them that we want Agunsoye back. We want our mandate back. Our mandate is our mandate. The masses in Kosofe have rejected this. This is our mandate and that is why we are here today.”