Lagos Democratic Forum Challenges Tinubu's No Election Primary Directive
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
The Lagos Democratic Forum (LDF) has condemned what it described as the ongoing desecration of democratic ethos in the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a press statement signed by Chief Kunle Dada and Comrade Wale Andyright, the group’s Coordinator and General Secretary, respectively, the Forum observed that Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s ‘directive’ given to the party rank-and-file to jettison party primaries for the forthcoming local government elections in the state is undemocratic and contradicts the APC’s constitution and values.
“What Asiwaju Tinubu is doing to the Lagos APC is unfortunate. APC, as a progressive party, is supposed to model the grundnorm of democracy, yet one of the basic requirements of that grundnorm is internal democracy. Candidates of the party must emerge as the popular choices of all registered and qualified members of the party, voting freely,” the LDF wrote in its statement.
At a meeting of local government leaders of the APC summoned by Asiwaju Tinubu at the Acme Road office of the Lagos State chapter of the APC, Tinubu declared that 18 immediate past Local Government Chairmen should be automatically returned as the party’s candidates in their respective Local Government Areas or Local Council Development Areas, while leaders of the party in other LGAs/LCDAs should select chairman and councillorship candidates.
“This is giving free reign to impunity,” the LDF asserted. “The collective yearnings and democratic duties of members in the wards and Local Government Areas have been circumvented and marginalized. It is the right of the party members to score those former Chairmen and decide to return them or not with their votes at the party primary. The same goes for the Councillor cadre.
“This is patently in contradiction to Article 20 of the party’s constitution, which makes primaries compulsory, while Article 21 criminalizes any attempt to compromise internal democracy in the party.
“To make matters worse, some leaders are criminally exploiting the emergency powers illegally conferred on them by Tinubu. We have verified reports on how these leaders have been collecting monies from aspirants so as to be given favorable consideration for selection. Seriously, this is indecent,” the group declared.
The LDF first came to public attention in 2014 in the run-up to the Lagos State Governorship primary election, when it organized various protest marches and public advocacy events to insist on the conduct of a primary election to determine who among the various aspirants canvassing for the party ticket then will emerge. The group now vows to use all possible constitutional and democratic means to seek and redress the injury being inflicted on party members by Tinubu.
“The LDF was conceived from our commitment to a flourishing democracy in our state. We will not, therefore, stand by helplessly to watch the irreverent rape of democracy and the subjugation of the will of the people by an individual and his small circle of acolytes. As we did in 2014 through to 2015, we shall vigorously challenge this current threat to democracy in Lagos State,” the LDF concluded.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu