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    APC Leaders Are Jittery Over Lagos LG Poll – Nwajames


    Lolo Ijeoma Nwajames, is a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Woman Leader of the party in Lagos State. She spoke to EJIKEME OMENAZU on the coming council elections in the state and the chances of her party’s candidates. She also spoke on other crucial issues concerning her party. Excerpts:

    What is the present state of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Lagos?

    APGA is a movement and it is moving forward. We are working very hard to ensure that our people are in the system. APGA is very strong in Lagos State, although we are not yet in power. So, APGA is a formidable political party in the state.

    Is the party fully taking part in the forth-coming July 22 council elections in the state?

    Yes, APGA is fully taking part in the Lagos council elections. We have our candidates. They have been screened by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC). However, LASIEC is disenfranchising candidates of several opposition parties by not clearing them. Even with the difficult electoral guidelines which are contrary with those of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), so many people who met the cumbersome provisions and paid the heavy fees demanded by LASIEC, were denied taking part in the elections. But, the APC and PDP candidates who never had good primaries were cleared. LASIEC is not democratic. Several candidates of parties spent a lot of money for campaigns and to pay LASIEC fees, yet they were screened out. This is unfair.
    During the screening, many parties’ candidates were not even allowed into the hall. Some were sent out after making all the payments. It is not fair that LASIEC put a lot of stumbling blocks for candidates like the demand resident permits and tax clearance certificates after the candidates had made all the payments. By this, several candidates of many opposition parties were prevented to take part in the coming council elections.

    What are your party’s chances and strength of its candidates to hop to defeat their opponents, especially those of the All Progressives Congress (APC)?

    The candidates that came out from APGA are people we are sure of. They also have the support of the people. They have strong backers and they are men and women of integrity who understand the politics of Lagos. There is fear within APC, hence they did everything to frustrate a lot of people. But, our candidates who are cleared are pushing ahead. They are hopeful that if the election is free and fair, they will win. We pray that APC does not hijack our candidates’ mandates as it always does. If LASIEC will be fair to everybody and all parties, we will perform well. We do not believe in buying people over. There is need for a change. Nigerians are tired of APC in the state. On our strength, APGA is very strong in Ojo, Amuwo Odofin, Alimosho, Ajeromi and Iba LCDA. If the election is free and fair, APGA will sweep all these areas.

    How do you see the Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode administration in Lagos?

    Although Governor Ambode is trying, some places are yet to see any form of development in terms of infrastructure. All the roads in these areas are very bad. In almost all the local governments, the inner roads are very bad. He is not fair to all the areas. The masses are suffering. People find it difficult to have three square meals in a day. There is hunger and squalor everywhere in the state. When people try to survive in businesses and petty trading, the state’s agencies frustrate them in so many ways. The government has not been checking what its agents are doing. There is extortion by government agents in markets and along the roads. They extort money even from hawkers.
    Nigerians are hard working. But, the government should help them by stopping anti-people policies. When people strive, they are frustrated. These are some of the things we in APGA observe, which we want to change in Lagos. People should enjoy the dividends of democracy where they reside, not minding their ethnic backgrounds.

    Willie Obiano plans to go for second term in Anambra State. Why do you think he will defeat his opponents from other parties?

    Willie Obiano’s works speak for him. Politics is about challenges. People will surely challenge him, but he has represented APGA well. Anambra people support him because he has excelled. When you talk of industries, agriculture, security and infrastructure, Anambra comes tops. Obiano pays civil servants’ salaries before the end of the month. What else are we expecting from a governor? He is very active. So, we expect him to get his second term. On his wife’s side, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano has been very active, especially with her project, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFI). With this, she has established a home for old people, takes care of the widows and the needy, builds orphanages and offers scholarships to the admiration of the people. So, with all these, Obiano will not have any problem, no matter the opposition. The masses of Anambra people know who to vote for. Obiano is not a selfish leader. When his mother died recently, he ordered that all the gifts he received should be sent to CAFI to take care of the need and the less privileged.

    APGA hopes to take back Imo State after Rochas Okorocha’s two-term rule. Do you think your party can chase out APC and overcome the PDP which boasts of formidable politicians like Emeka Ihedioha, former Speaker of the House of Representatives?

    Yes, APC has collapsed in Imo. I am from the state, from Isiala Mbano to be specific. APC has disappointed Imo people. Okorocha’s initiatives to return APC in 2019 are impossible. People have lost hope in APC and Okorocha. APGA has been on ground in Imo State. It was Okorocha who unilaterally dragged Imo people to APC. But, we are still on ground. We thank God for the APGA chairman in Imo State, Barrister Peter Ezeobi. He is very active and has been exposing all the ills of Okorocha, especially his attempt to force his son-in-law on Imo people as his successor. Imo people are tired of Okorocha and his APC. APGA has stronger chances than any other party. PDP under Ohakim did not do well. They failed us. Why did Emeka Ihedioha lose in the last election if Imo people wanted PDP? PDP and Ihedioha have been there. What have they done for Imo people? If he is the best, he would have won in 2015. APGA has candidates that have the masses at heart. APGA should be given a chance to prove itself in Imo. We have all it takes to give the people the right governance.

    How do you see the leadership of Chief Victor Oye as the APGA National Chairman?

    Our indefatigable leader! We are so proud of him. He is a child of God. I see him as a messiah for APGA. He is the best chairman of APGA so far. If the others had done a quarter of what Ozonkpu Dr. Victor Oye has done so far, APGA would have gone far. He is sincere to a fault, full of wisdom and acts at the right time. Right now, he has the mandate to deliver Obiano for second term, win all the states in South East and more states in the country in the coming elections. Our National Chairman is calculative and thinks before he acts. He is not a weak leader. He has tried to resolve all crises in the state chapters. His main attention now is to deliver Obiano because APGA cannot afford to lose Anambra State.

    The post APC Leaders Are Jittery Over Lagos LG Poll – Nwajames appeared first on Independent Newspapers .

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