Ten aggrieved executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government, seeking re-election in today’s (Saturday) Local Government Congress in Lagos State have accused the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, of depriving them of the nomination forms despite paying into the bank account of the national body.
The aggrieved aspirants accused Balogun of handing over the nomination forms to the Council Chairman, Mr Valentine Buraimoh to share to his loyalists only, saying that the duo intentionally conspired to deprive them of their right to seek re-election so as to retain their positions.
Speaking with journalists at a press conference in Festac, while displaying the bank tellers for the purchase of their forms, the incumbent Chairman of Amuwo-Odofin APC and aggrieved aspirant, Mr Ayodele Ogungbiye, said he and the nine aggrieved executives were eligible to be re-elected because they have only served one term.
He noted that it was even Tunde Balogun that gave directive that those that have served two terms or relocated should not be returned.
Ogungbiye said he went with the bank tellers of all aspirants to the state secretariat to obtain the nomination forms and that they were given a form to list all those who paid which he did but that when he was about to collect the nomination forms, he was told that the state chairman wanted to see him which he obliged.
He said the state chairman told him there was complaints from the council chairman that the names he brought to collect nomination forms were not authentic and so it should be disregarded.
“Despite showing all the bank tellers to the state chairman, myself and the executives seeking re-election were not giving nomination forms.
“After a while Valentine Buraimoh and his Chief of Staff, Segun Idris came and went straight to Tunde Balogun’s office. The first thing they did, was to allege that I belongs to Lagos4Lagos Movement led by Olajide Adediran (Jandor) who I have not met in my life.
“It was even the council chairman that gave Lagos4Lagos group an office in the council secretariat to be holding meetings because they are his boys. It was when the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu accused him of accommodating the group that made him to takeover the office from the group.
“Valentine was asked to prove his allegations against me but he could not and I asked them to go and investigate if I belong to the Jandor group.
“The following day, APC Amuwo-Odofin apex leadership was called without my knowledge where they go against the agreed conditions and shared the positions among the leadership of the wards loyal to Valentine Buraimoh and the council Chairman of Ori-Ade LCDA, Alhaja Ramota for LG Executives and took it to state party secretariat on Monday.
“The 27 nomination forms were handed over to Valentine Buraimoh to be shared between him and Alhaja Ramota which he did by giving out 13 forms to her,” Ogungbiye narrated.
He accused the state chairman of not doing the right thing in accordance to the directives of the national body, saying that the nomination forms were supposed to be given to those who paid for them not loyalists of council chairmen.
Also speaking, the incumbent Publicity Secretary, Oyefeso Ayodeji and the Assistant Women Leader, Mrs Funmilayo Oladimeji, separately expressed their dissatisfaction over the alleged manipulation by the state chairman, calling on the national body not to honour the outcome of the local government Congress in the state.
They added that they were qualified to seek re-election since they just spent one term in office, adding that they were surprised hearing that nomination forms had been handed over to the council Chairmen to share to their loyalists.
Other aggrieved executives and aspirants are; Alhaji Wasiu Oladimeji (Legal Adviser), Tomson Mustapha Adio ( Assistant Publicity Secretary), Ayodele Okusaga ( Youth Leader), Peter Okoli (Assistant Youth Leader), Mrs Ogbechi Francisca (Ex-Officio 2), Femi George (Physically Challenged) and Starling Uguike ( Ex-Officio 3).
Reacting, Alhaji Balogun, said the allegations were “unsubstantiated’and that he does not know why people are making accusations that can’t be proven. adding.”
Speaking on the reports that he had been suspended, Balogun said it was ‘untrue’ and that he had sworn in newly elected ward chairmen across the state.
When our correspondent contacted Mr. Valentine Buraimoh, it was his Personal Assistant who called himself Mr Festus who picked the call and said Buraimoh was busy.