By Babatunde Kaka
- “Retract your statement within 48 hours” – Barrister Tunde Seriki.
Controversy has continued to trail the recent APC Local Government Primaries conducted in Epe as well as 19 other Local Government Areas of Lagos State, as the incumbent Chairman of Epe Local Government, Hon Adedoyin Adesanya, has declared that he won the Primaries, despite violent infractions and electoral irregularities which marred the planned exercise.
Hon Adesanya, who appreciated residents of the community who threw their weight behind him, blamed Barrister Tunde Seriki, a high ranking official at the Lagos State Civil Service Commission, for the brutality which sullied the election.
As gathered by Eko Hot Blog, the election, which was scuttled by violence and irregularities across wards in the local government, reportedly held and was won by Hon Adedoyin at ward C1 and Ward A4 where voters resisted efforts to truncate the voting process.
This was contained in a statement by Hon Adesanya which reads in part: “Against all odds, voters in ward A4 and C1 we’re able to secure their votes from the mercenaries and the following votes were recorded.”
“(Ward C1) Adedoyin Adesanya- 502, Princess Animashaun- 304, Idris Aloma- 181, Shittu- 09, Adebayo Razak- 42.
“(Ward A4) Adedoyin Adesanya- 301, Princess Animashaun- 0, Idris Alooma- 07.”
“I wish to expressly state that the result has been formally reported and lodged at the State Secretariat in Ikeja. No level of conspiracy and theories will subvert the will of the people as being currently orchestrated by a set of few privileged minorities,” the statement read.
According to the statement, the disruption of the election process was orchestrated by thugs loyal to a Commissioner in the Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Barrister Tunde Seriki and another undisclosed associate. It was alleged that the voting process was smooth in Wards A1, A2, A3, A5, A6 and D1 until the arrival of the thugs whose mission was to foment chaos and hijack the exercise.
“Voting went on well in all wards in Epe until things loyal to Hon Tunde Seriki (Commissioner, Civil Service Commission) and another top Government official resorted to their plan B hatched at Epe Resort disrupted the process in wards A1, A2, A3, A5, A6, and D1 when they couldn’t match the numerical strength of the people who resisted their plane to subvert the will of the masses for personal gains. We have enough pictorial evidence that has been sent to appropriate quarters for action,” the statement read.
The victory, according to the statement, as seen by Eko Hot Blog, was credited to the good people of Epe, stating that it signalled “a clear and distinct lead that affirms the yearning of the people for continuity of good and people-centred governance.”
Reacting to the allegation, Barrister Tunde Seriki, the Commissioner representing Epe Division in the Lagos State Civil Service Commission, while speaking in an interview with EkoHotBlog at his Epe residence, described it as “very untrue,” asserting that the party (APC), belongs to all. He insisted that his candidate, Giwa Aloma, had majority of supporters across Wards.
“What we did was to provide leadership for the masses. The masses are against the incumbent returning to office because he did not do well. We know the IGR over the years, there’s direct allocation to the Local Government from the Federation account. What is there for us to see with all the funds he has collected?
The commissioner further alleged that the incumbent Chairman, whose first tenure in office has been utterly depressing, intentionally incited violence during the polls for fear of being embarrassed out of office.
“The only option available for him in particular was to disrupt the process with thuggery and I have it on good authority that in Ward A2, he, Adedoyin Adesanya, personally and physically carried the ballot box and his boys started shooting, I was not there but that was what I was told,” he stated.
- Violence, Irregularities, Disrupt Local Government Elections In Epe
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Seriki also claimed that neither he or his associate, Omodele Ibrahim, had anything to do with the violence that transpired on the day, stating that Hon Adedoyin, with the backing of the council’s resources, masterminded the thuggery knowing quite well that Giwa Idris would have polled over 75% of the entire votes cast if the election had gone through.
He disclosed that a “barrage of Police men,” headed by the DPO of Epe Division Police Station, denied him and Giwa Aloma entry into the Local Government premises despite identifying himself as a State Official. He said on a later check, some people were found “writing something” which he couldn’t specify. The returning Officer, Mrs Ogbara, he said, was there.
Seriki also denied the notion that his opposition of Hon Adedoyin Adesanya’s candidacy was for pecuniary gratification, describing the insinuation as “absolute balderdash.”
He charged Hon Adedoyin to immediately retract the allegations in his statement, as failure to do so would be met with decisive legal action.
“I want to use this medium to tell him to retract that allegation within 48 hours, failing which, I’ll take legal action against him. Please, this is very important,” he stated.
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