APC committee excludes Sanwo-Olu challenger from main venue

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On Thursday, the All Progressives Congress Lagos State Governor’s Primary Elections Committee barred one of the aspirants from the primary venue at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island, The punch report with authority.

Our correspondent learned that the committee had prevented one of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s suitors, Abdul-Ahmed Mustapha, from going to the scene.

Mustapha, a former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Lagos, resigned 14 months ago and had taken over the party’s 50 million naira governorship.

It was collected that the committee chaired by a former Deputy Governor of Borno State, Shettima Yuguda, claimed that Mustapha had not been cleared by the party selection committee.

However, the aspirant said The punch that he was in Abuja two weeks ago for the screening although the outcome has not been announced.

He said primary elections committee secretary Bashir Mohammed fired him on Thursday, saying he had not been cleared and as such could not be allowed access to the site.

Mustapha said, “We were told that we were not authorized by the party leadership and as such they only gave accreditation tags to those who were authorized.

“We went to Abuja for customs clearance two weeks ago. The results of the audit were not communicated to us.

“We went to the APC State Secretariat in Acme Road yesterday (Wednesday), tried to get our accreditation badges but weren’t given them. We were there until 7am that morning before going to the place of the primary.

Efforts to reach Yuguda, Mohammed and another committee member, Tilewa Sijuade, proved futile at press time as calls to their lines rang out.

Moreover, the APC president for Lagos, Cornelius Ojelabi, did not respond to his appeals at press time.

Sanwo-Olu, the anointed aspirant of APC leader Bola Tinubu, is seeking re-election. He is in the race with Mustapha; and Wale Oluwo, former commissioner for energy and mineral resources in Lagos, also an ally of ex-governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

“No one should be forced into a consensual agreement”

Mustapha had, in an interview with The punchsaid Lagosians deserved better than what they are getting under Sanwo-Olu.

“After the riot at the end of SARS, this incident broke something in me; something very personal and there were two ways to proceed: either I went to see the current government and was told that there was nothing to be done, or I said: “Let’s do what can be saved”. How this population over 70% who are alienated, angry, disconnected and have no interest in the economy or the way the country is governed, how can we do something to attract them.

He had insisted on going to the polls and had indicated that he would not agree to any consensual agreement. “Let’s go to the field and test our popularity. Nobody should be forced into a consensual agreement,” he said.

On why he was challenging his former boss, he said, “Because we strongly believe that we have a better model that will help further accelerate the development of the state. There is a master plan set up by Asiwaju (Tinubu), built by BRF (Babatunde Raji Fashola) and built by (Akinwunmi) Ambode. If other states go to 3%, Lagos should go to 9% to account for mirage challenges in health, education, energy and other sectors.

“We passionately believe that we have a better model and it’s that belief that propels us. I have some experience working for New York City and understand how the city was built. Such a model is truly transferable. and we can accelerate the development of Lagos State.

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