If the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babjide Sanwo-Olu and the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State thought that Ikorodu Division has accepted what came its way in terms of appointment into the current cabinet of the state, then they need to have a rethink and observe the reactions from the division closely.
The issue came to the front burner during a meeting of the Justice Forum (JF), one of the main caucus within APC in Lagos State, in Ikorodu on Monday, September 16, 2019, THE IMPACT gathered.
According to sources, leaders of JF in the division, who are equally APC leaders at the State level, were present at the meeting which was held at Solomade in Ikorodu.
About 1000 party leaders and members were presented at the high powered meeting. Among these were the former Deputy Governor, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former Secretary to the State Governor, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, Alhaji Musbau Gafaar, former Vice Chairman, Lagos East Senatorial District of APC, Alhaja Funmi Basorun-Osinowo, a chieftain of APC, Hon. Gbenga Oshin, former member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Alhaji Lamidi Folorun, APC Chieftain, Barr. SOK Shillings, a former Chairman, NBA , Ikorodu branch and former House of Representatives Aspirant, Hon. Benson, Vice Chairman, Imotal LCDA and My Olusegun Iluyombo, former Lagos State House of Assembly aspirant among others.
The meeting did not only afford the leadership and members of the ruling party in the division the opportunity to discuss the issues that aroused from the recently composed cabinet for the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, but also availed them the opportunity to express their disappointment and vent their angers over the way the division was allegedly shortchanged in the new cabinet, describing the situation as a setback for the division in the state’s power game as well as injustice to the massive support giving to APC by the people of the division at the last general elections.
In a speech delivered at the meeting by the former State Vice Chairman of APC, Alhaji Gafaar, a copy of which was given to THE IMPACT, he stated that as leaders, they owed their followers explanation over the aftermath of the general elections, especially on the reason JF and by extension, Ikorodu division, was not adequately compensated in terms of political appointments at the state level by the party for its electoral feat.
“It should be our normal Divisional Meeting. But today’s meeting is not just a meeting, it is a special meeting. Special because there are issues that we must address. Special because as leaders, we need to explain things to you” , he stated.
“The 2019 general elections have come and gone. I must, on behalf of the leadership of this Forum, thank you immensely for your contributions and dedication. You acted as true party men and women, even in the face of provocations.
“ In all the campaign groups that you joined or were assigned, you performed creditably well and you are major factors in the overall victory of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, putting behind group interests.
“I am sure the next question on your lips is: what is our share of the efforts made at the elections? Ikorodu gave the third highest votes in the elections, hence it is entitled to key positions in government. Considering the fact that Ikorodu Justice Forum is a major stakeholder in the politics of APC in Lagos State, Ikorodu deserves good recognition for its effort. But what happened? The appointments made after the elections showed that we lost out” , Alhaji Gafaar stated disappointedly.
He added that the loss was not just for Ikorodu’s Justice Forum but that of the entire division,while stating that the appointments made from Ikorodu were victory for individuals.
“But do not think that it is Justice Forum that lost out, it is all the groups and stakeholders, hence the entire APC Ikorodu lost out while the appointments only reflect the victory of individuals. Ikorodu Division did not record any Commissionership appointment.
“Those who are appointed are not participants in our politics and they are not individuals our members could approach for the dividends of their efforts. It has never been this bad for us, especially at a time we are making tremendous rise in our electoral contribution to our dear party”.
He , therefore, called for collective fight to redress the situation which he described as disappointing.
“It is, therefore, pertinent for all of us to join hands and raise our voices in unison against the injustice done against us collectively rather than engage in petty quarrels and be distracted by the crumbs that are offered. The recent appointments do not commensurate with the status of Ikorodu Division as one that has never deviated from progressive politics.
“We, the Justice Forum, hereby, express our disappointment with the State leadership of our party as they have turned us into laughing stock in our Division”.
Alhaji Gafaar also called on the State leaders of the party to address the perceived imbalances against Ikorodu division by considering the division for more appointments.
“We still call on our leaders at the State level to do the needful by making further appointments from among party members. There are boards, parastatals, civil service and other appointments that are still going to be made. We believe that there will be no oversight in these appointments as the imbalances have to be remedied. Ikorodu Division deserves more and Ikorodu Justice Forum deserves its share”.
While assuring members that the leadership of the group is more committed to getting them dividends of their labour, Alhaji Gafaar also disclosed that the crisis at the local government levels of the party in Ikorodu division has been resolved.
Sources at the meeting also stated that Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former Deputy Governor of the state, who arrived the meeting later with another leader of the party, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, condemned the situation where less than 1million people voted out of the over 6 million registered voters in Lagos State.
While expressing his displeasure over the appointments allocated to Ikorodu division in Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet, he called on the party’s leadership in the division to speak with one voice instead of fighting against one another.
Prince Ogunleye, who also revealed that JF is a registered group with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), also assured its members that the group cannot be intimidated or humiliated.
Also, THE IMPACT gathered that Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, a divisional and state leader of APC,in his submission, stated that the divisional leaders went spiritual for better appointments after the general elections.
Our sources at the meeting revealed that Basorun disclosed that the party leaders gathered for some days after the general elections at Prince Ogunleye’s house in Ikorodu to fast and pray for better appointments for the division.
He was quoted as saying:
“After the (general) elections, all Apex Leaders in Ikorodu Division APC converged for three days, fasting and praying at Prince Abiodun Ogunleye’s House at Solomade, Ikorodu, where Muslim and Christian Clergymen and traditionalists conducted prayers for our Division.
“We also issued string of warnings that none of us or our followers should betray the agreement that we reached concerning demanding for appointments collectively” , Asiwaju Basorun revealed.
He also stated that three leaders in the division agreed and jointly signed the list sent to the state for appointments of Commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and other political positions.
“Three of us, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye , Asipa Kaoli Olusanya and myself were signatories to the list of the names recommended for the Commissionership, Special Adviser ,Special Assistant, Senior Special Assistant positions and Board appointments . Asipa Kaoli Olusanya’s daughter’s name was among the names submitted “ , he stated.
Bashorun, who was the first Secretary to the Lagos State Government ,we gathered , also advised those occupying political positions from the division to work as a team in the interest of the division.
“All Council and LGA Chairmen of APC should go back home and embrace the two groups (Justice Forum and The Mandate Group) and work together as a one-big-family”.
He also stated that the leadership of the Justice Forum is committed to taking Ikorodu division to the Promised land.
Reports were also received from the Justice Forum’s chairmen from the six councils in Ikorodu Division. The Chairmen are Alhaji L. Folorunsho (Ikorodu LG), Mr Adewusi Sulaimon (Ikorodu Norh LCDA), Mr Adetola Adesanya (Ikorodu West LCDA), Deacon E.O. Ricket (Imota LCDA), Mr Adeleke Amokunmosa (Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA) and Hon Alhaji Bello Monsuru (Ijede LCDA).
It was also resolved at the meeting that Justice Forum in Ikorodu Division remain one indivisible and progressive group.