Crisis is brewing in the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as some state executive committee members have accused the state chairman, Cornelius Ojelabi, of dictatorship.
They alleged that Ojelabi took decisions unilaterally and running the affairs of the party as a personal business.
Other APC members also accused the chairman of disrespecting stakeholders, adding that every effort to get Adamu to respect party leaders was proving difficult.
They added that the crisis may have effect on the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“The efforts of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to harvest the highest votes ever casted in the history of the state may not come to pass as underlying factional frictions may likely impact negatively on his electoral fortunes.
“It is not in doubt that Governor Sanwo-Olu has performed creditable and has delivered massively on his electoral promises to the people of Lagos state, more than any Governor in Nigeria in recent history,” a source told SaharaReporters.
Another source said, “What more? Factional disagreements that have continued to be fuelled by an obviously biased and partisan Chairman of the Party, Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi, instead of being managed by him to be seen to be just and to accommodate all interests within the Party. That Mr. Ojelabi is being regarded as too much of a hater by many successful interests that have built the Party over time is not far-fetched. He has lost touch with many leaders and elders to such an extent they freely shun his invites. He cannot call or invite them to any programme of the party.
“The flag-off of the governorship campaign of the APC at the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium, Onikan, may look successful on the surface. But, a closer look will reveal dangerous gaping cracks begging for attention. The party chairman who is aggressively pursuing a vendetta and revenge against perceived enemies within the same Party on flimsy or perceived offences has created an unhealthy situation where the party no longer commands respect and loyalty of its members across the State. A critical look at the Flag off rally at Onikan and the subsequent rallies reveal the following:
“More than 80% of the GAC members boycotted the rallies as they are disenfranchised by the mishandling of the Party by a never smiling Chairman whose stock-in-trade is to always usurp their relevance in their domains and force his unpopular will on them.
“More than 80% of the serving House of Assembly members who command the Party loyalists were also not in attendance. Many of them have been schemed out by Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi during the Party primaries who concocted false allegations against many of them, a situation that brought him into confrontation with the Speaker of the House of Assembly at different times. The speaker is not happy with the victimisation of some of the best brains of Lagos state serving in the House of Assembly.
“Strong groups like The Mandate Group, Justice Forum are equally unhappy with their being deactivated of participation in the political activities of the Party, even within their domains. With the exception of a splinter group led by Alhaji Ayinde Enilolobo who came out to boost the Alimosho rally, to prove their loyalty following several allegations within The Mandate family, many elders and leaders have practically stayed away.
“80% of the serving members of the State Excos of the Party are equally maligned and disoriented. They attended the campaign as ordinary party members and onlookers. They don’t know what is going on and are not being carried along. Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi handles everything by himself from the rentage of chairs to booking of vehicles for campaigns, to organising stage to virtually everything by direct link proxies. His eyes are on every money. He runs recklessly with red eyes, to corner every money meant for everything and for everyone.”
Ojelabi was also accused by the aggrieved party members of diverting party funds.
“Funds allocated for mobilisation and for transportation and logistics don’t reach the targeted groups. They are diverted to different people arranged to return them for their own cut, Entertainment performers that usually entertain the people are completely sidelined and their moneys diverted,” another source said.
“Hon. Ojelabi, the Party Chairman is said to be envious of any successful official in the Sanwoolu Cabinet, the House of Assemby and the House of REPS except if such an official is paying him money. He is reported to have been making slanderous statements against Governor Sanwoolu himself, his Chief of Staff, many other members of the Sanwoolu Cabinet, the Speaker and some Principal officers of the House of Assembly. Even the Speaker of the House of REPS, Hon. Gbajabiamila is not spared of Ojelabi’s cynicism.
“Party leaders and elders who have close affinity to the Governor or to the Speaker like Cardinal Odunmbaku Baba Eto, Hon. Kola Peregrino, Hon. Kaoli Olusanya, and eve the Deputy Governor’s people are never consulted and have been jettisoned.
“Several trade associations, artisans, groups have all been sidelined into idle mode. Many have had their groups usurped by proxies of the Chairman. In many Local Governments, Mr. Ojelabi is busy setting up new structures, appointing new people and chasing away those who built the party, who know the terrain and who know the addresses of their voters, How could every right thinking person tamper with successful electoral structures when election is already on? Even the Igbo leaders and the Hausa and Nupe leaders and the South South are all being undermined. These groups have traditionally been active in filling the vote gaps in some Local Governments.
“Former Party Chairmen and Exco members are never consulted or reckoned with. They dare not talk to or even advise this Mr. Know-all know-nothing Party Chairman. APC activities have been at its lowest ebb with several interests being disenfranchised. By this time APC is supposed to be bubbling. But silence is everywhere. Mr. Ojelabi’s promise to change the way things are done is a practical corruption ploy to corner every available money. On a close look, he has left the vital organs of the Party without funding.”
Another source continued, “In the Ojo Local Government Area, where Mr Ojelabi hails from, Ojelabi is working assiduously to fail the Lagos West Senatorial candidate, Mrs Adegbule. He never wanted her to get the Senatorial Ticket against his preferred candidate. Everywhere across the State, the APC is comatose; almost no activities going on except for some candidates trying solo efforts.
“Pastor Ojelabi being a covetous and greedy man, the two men sent from APC National Secretariat in November to train Lagos State Party members on the usage of BVAS and electoral materials were not paid for their trips but pocketed by the political-religious man. Indeed, the APC in Lagos State is at its lowest ebb, ever. By now, Everywhere would have been bubbling with activities as against the present comatose situation. Now is the time that our party should be more vibrant especially with Asiwaju contesting for President.
“Perhaps, both Asiwaju and Sanwo-Olu need to wade in to save APC from disastrous consequences. Unless something drastic is done, APC may be heading for a victory with slim margin due to poor turnout of its supporters, even as the PDP is not well composed to cash in on the ready-made recruits created by Ojelabi’s politics of vendetta and treachery. That the APC was able to withstand the onslaught of the PDP in previous elections was because of the strong loyalty of the members towards the party which, no doubt have now been disenfranchised. Our situation report assessment is to help the party to rejuvenate and get reasonable hands to take charge of the party destiny, involve all stakeholders and prepare for the elections in earnest.”