Tinubu’s Imposition Impunity Made Me Dump Action Congress – Odumakin
The Publicity Secretary of Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin has revealed that he left the defunct Action Congress, AC following the imposition of candidates by the leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Odumakin, a renowned pro-democracy activist stated this in his article titled, ‘Banire And Lagos Orchestrated Charade’ published in today’s edition of Vanguard newspaper.
He commended the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Muiz Banire, SAN who has consistently insisted that the party must abide by the Article 20 of the APC Constitution as amended 2014 mandating primaries for all aspirants into elective offices.
“I can identify with Banire because I was in his shoes over 10 years ago. I headed the mobilisation committee of the Action Congress in the South West at its formation.
“ Hon. Wale Oshun and I drafted the guidelines to conduct primaries for elective offices working with Chief Bisi Akande.
“When it was a week to the primaries, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu called a meeting of party leaders in Lagos to the party headquarters in ACME and warned that candidates who were preparing themselves for the guidelines approved by the party were wasting their time “won a ka Whot mo yin lowo (the game would be won while you are still keeping your Whot cards). Indeed, that was what happened.
“Mr. Babatunde Fashola emerged as governorship candidate of the AC without any primaries conducted. I handed over all the party materials in my care and told Chief Akande and Hon. Oshun that I was gone.
“Asiwaju called me and we spoke for almost an hour but I was emphatic I cannot be part of such a process. I explained to him that if Mr. Jimi Agbaje had in that process lost in a fair primary election, I would gladly work with whosoever emerge but that my being was violently violated with impunity!’, Afenifere spokesman wrote.
He added that the impunity that made him parted ways with Tinubu ten years ago had grown worse in the state.“Ten years after, that impunity has grown so worse’, he said.
Odumakin alluded to the letter Banire wrote to the APC State Chairman, warning the party against the illegality of centralized primaries saying if the party had heeded the warnings and allowed reason to prevail, the party wound not have found itself in trouble it is now.
“He (Banire) had insisted the right thing be done from the time the party leadership in Lagos who occasionally speak of devolution of powers insisted they should go and pick candidates in a central place instead of the Ward and Local Council Headquarters.
“That exercise ended in a fiasco as a big fight erupted at Teslim Balogun Stadium with my friend and brother Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi presiding.
“Interestingly, he was one of the victims of the imposition of 10 years ago I spoke about earlier. The charade continued unabated in spite of the protests that led to deaths in parts of the state of members and high profile thugs of the ruling party” Odumakin stated in his article.
Odumakin described the hurried amendment of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC law by the Lagos State House of Assembly as the sorest point of the shenanigans.
“The sorest point of the shenanigans was the Lagos State House of Assembly had five days to the “elections” amending the electoral law to enable parties substitute or withdraw candidates three days before the election.
“The amendment passed First, Second, and Third readings in the House the same day and was signed into law by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode a few hours later. The legislative process to amend the LASIEC Law came after the decision of the High Court of Lagos State nullifying the imposition of a candidate from Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area.
“The legislative disregard was to legalise the hurried primary election held in Odi-Olowo despite the fact that the time for nomination of candidates had elapsed and no new primary elections can be held by a party already in default.
“Added to this was the decision by the electoral body headed by a retired state chief judge that results would not be counted where people voted but at some designated centres. Even fools should not find it difficult to decode what that means”, Odumakin lamented.
He also slammed the army of Lagos pro-democracy activists who are always quick to speak against lesser impunities in other states for their conspiratorial silence over the undemocratic action of the Lagos Assembly.
“And as if God wants a perfect storm to demolish the so-called civil society groups and “human rights lawyers” mostly domiciled in Lagos, their mouths were sealed by a glue yet to be identified as I write. All I know is that if any of these acts have been from Bukola Saraki’s Senate or Fayose’s Ekiti, they would have been foaming in the mouth!”, he wrote.