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Protests Mar PDP Ajeromi/Ifelodun Constituency Primary Rerun Over Alleged Doctored Delegates List

Protests Mar PDP Ajeromi/Ifelodun Constituency Primary Rerun Over Alleged Doctored Delegates List

 

The rescheduled Peoples  Democratic Party  (PDP) primary election for Ajeromi/Ifelodun federal constituency of Lagos  State has been marred by protests over doctored delegates list.
The election which was to hold on Monday  was disrupted when placard carrying supporters of Honourable Francis Chima, popularly called Omobarca alleged that the delegates list presented by the returning officer was fake and didn’t agree with the list that was submitted from the constituency to the national office of the party in Abuja.
The commotion that ensued as a result of the protest forced the returning officer to leave the venue of the election, and efforts made by journalists to speak with him failed as he was whisked away by police officers out of the premises.
Four aspirants for the office of House of Representatives, in Ajeromi/Ifelodun constituency are Honourable Rita Orji, lawmaker who represented the constituency  at the 8th Assembly, Honourable Francis Chima, Honourable Emilia Ezeude and Honourable Wilson Deriwari, although Deriwari did not turn up for the botched primary election.
Speaking about the event, Kasimu Ebozogi, a member of the local organizing committee of the PDP primary election in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government  Area (LGA) said that the party members raised alarm when they discovered change in the list that was generated from the local government.
 He said, “We intend to follow the directive of the National Working Committee  (NWC) to rerun the primary election in the constituency, unfortunately during accreditation we discovered that the list of delegates generated among us has been altered. We discovered that the names that were called were not those names generated by us. We also discovered that the paper from which the names were read was not PDP document because it was not carrying the party’s logo. The logo is different from the new logo of our party.
“The members protested and thank God for the timely intervention of the police officers who  discussed with the returning officer and the primary was called off.
On the way forward, he said that the primary electon has been conducted before and since there was no concrete reason as to why that electon was cancelled, they would like to appeal to the NWC and the party to present to the Independent National Electoral Committee  (INEC) the name of the candidate that emerged from the previous primary election that was conducted in the constituency few weeks ago, who according to him is Omobarca.
Honourable Rita Orji, lawmaker who is also one of the aspirants expressed dissatisfaction with the activities of the people who she referred to as political  thugs, stressing that their action and that  of their principal Omobarca was against the rules of conduct of any election.
She said that the list which they alleged was doctored was the same list that was used in the conduct of the Senatorial and governorship elections and wondered if the list changed after those elections were conducted.
“Everyone saw what happened. They saw how political thugs disrupted the election. The returning officer was verbally assaulted and there was no how that election would have held under that condition.
“The matter has been reported to the party leadership and they are going to take the necessary action. There is a judgement that pronounced  me as a winner of the previous election that we had. We must have a candidate for this election and that is why the national office should act urgently considering the time constraint that we have.
“I am a law abiding citizen and so I will obey any position that is taken by the party. I didnt expect what happened today and I hope that very soon the national office will take an action because we should have a candidate to fly the party’s flag in the general elections,” she said.
Yusuf Olatunde Ajere the LGA secretary of Ajeromi/Ifelodun stated that four aspirants are contesting the electon and that 34 delegates are expected to vote at the election but expressed concern that the delegates list was altered which according to him triggered reaction from supporters of Omobarca.
“The returning officer came with a doctored list which is different from the list that was generated from this constitiency.
“As the LGA Secretary I am privy of the authentic list that was sent, unfortunately that list was altered  and that is the grievance of the teeming supporters of Omobarca.
“We suspect that the list was altered by Honourable Rita Orji and that is the reason the protesters expressed their displeasure.
When asked why he suspected Honourable Orji changed the list, he said that it was because she was operating with the national office rather than with the LGA and did not honour their invitation to a meeting when other  three aspirants  invited for a meeting honoured the invitation.
“The people carried placards to declare their support for Omobarca and they insisted that the candidate who won in the election  held on the 22nd of May should be presented to INEC, since he is the choice of the people and according to him Omobarca was the winner of that electon.
Christopher Chimezie, a member of the party and an agent to Hon. Rita Orji, who sustained injury at the event while narrating his ordeal in the hands of his assailants said that when the accreditation was going on the aspirants  were instructed not to go in with their phones and bags and so he collected the bag and phone of his principal, but surprisingly the thugs according to him targetted the bag, came after the bag and in the process injured him.
“When the  agitation over the delegates list was ongoing and the announcement was made that aspirants shouldn’t go into the hall with their phones and bag. I collected my principal’s bag but yo my surprise they the thugs came after my principal’s bag. The struggled with me not to collect the bag.
“In the confusion that ensued they injured me in the process. The matter has been reported to the police and I was able to identify two of those that attacked me. I have already gone to the hospital to receive treatment and I hope that the party leadership can take action and address this issue urgently,” Chimezie said.

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