The Lagos State Governorship Primary Election Committee of the All Progressives Congress, on Thursday, barred one of the aspirants from the venue of the primary at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in the Surulere area of the state.
It was learnt that the committee prevented one of the contenders of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Abdul-Ahmed Mustapha, from the venue.
Mustapha, a former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Minerals Resources in Lagos, resigned 14 months ago and had picked up the N50m governorship form of the party.
It was gathered that the committee chaired by a former deputy governor of Borno State, Shettima Yuguda, claimed that Mustapha was not cleared by the screening committee of the party.
However, the aspirant that he was in Abuja two weeks ago for the screening though the result was not announced.
He said the Secretary of the primary election committee, Bashir Mohammed, turned him back on Thursday, saying that he was not cleared and as such cannot be given accreditation access to the venue.
Mustapha said, “We were told that we were not cleared by the leadership of the party and as such, they only gave accreditation tags to those that were cleared.
“We went to Abuja for clearance two weeks ago. The results of the clearance were not communicated to us.
“We went to the APC state secretariat at Acme Road yesterday (Wednesday), we tried to get our accreditation tags but we were not given. We were there till 7am this morning before going to the venue of the primary.”
Efforts to reach Yuguda, Mohammed and another member of the committee, Tilewa Sijuade, proved abortive as of press time as calls to their lines rang out.
Also, APC chairman for Lagos, Cornelius Ojelabi, did not take his calls as of 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, a former Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources in Lagos who is also an ally of ex-governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Mustapha had, in an interview, said Lagosians deserve better than they get under Sanwo-Olu.
“After the End SARS riot, that incident broke something in me; something that was very personal and there were two ways I could go: it is either I go to the present government and told there is nothing that can be done or I say, ‘Let’s do what can be salvaged’. How can this over 70 per cent population that is alienated, angry, disconnected and that doesn’t have any stake in the economy or the way the country is being governed, how can we do something to attract them.”
He had insisted on going to the polls and noted that he won’t agree with any consensus arrangement. “Let’s go to the field and test our popularity. Nobody should be compelled into a consensus arrangement,” he said.
On why he was challenging his former boss, he said, “Because we strongly believe we have a better model that will help further accelerate the development of the state. There is a Master Plan put in place by Asiwaju (Tinubu), built on by BRF (Babatunde Raji Fashola), and built on by (Akinwunmi) Ambode. If other states are going at 3%, Lagos should be going at 9% to account for the mirage challenges in healthcare, education, energy and other sectors.
“We believe passionately that we have a better model and it that belief that is propelling us. I have some experience working for the City of New York, and understanding how the city was put together. Such model is really transmittable and we can accelerate the development of Lagos State.”