Crisis Hits Lagos APC Over House Of Representatives, State Cabinet Slots

There seems to be an uneasy calm in the Surulere chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the struggle about who gets the Local Government slots in respect of two major appointments is creating a major crisis in the party.

This medium exclusively learnt that some party bigwigs are not happy with the way the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and now Chief of Staff to the President, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila is single handedly running the party in the area.

Some who spoke with this medium equally accused the Speaker’s Aide, Mr Wasiu Olanrewaju Smart as being the brain behind the lopsided, undemocratic and autocratic selection of persons for positions – an aberration that has now become the ‘normal’ in the party.

When Gbajabiamila was appointed the Chief of Staff by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he had to resign his membership of the House of Representatives where he was representing the Surulere Federal Constituency I and where he was the Speaker in the 9th Assembly.

Gbajabiamila’s resignation meant that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had to conduct a bye-election to fill the vacancy created by his action.

Back to his Constituency in Surulere, Gbajabiamila was accused of single-handedly picking the Chairman of the party in the Local Government, Mr Fuad Kayode Laguda to fly the flag of APC in the coming bye-election.

“He never consulted with the leaders and elders of the party here. He just used a kind of military fiat to say that Laguda is the candidate of the party,” a member of the party in Surulere who preferred anonymity hinted.

According to our source, Laguda does not possess the needed grassroots support for the office.

“Of all those who indicated interest in the ticket, Laguda was the least supported despite being the party Chairman. The most popular and the natural choice for that position was sidelined. This is a man who is popular with the people especially the Youths. It is odd that a man with such popularity, years of service and loyalty to the party is being sacrificed as cheaply as this,” our source added.

According to the source the party elders and leaders may have resigned to fate and accepted the imposition of Laguda on them by Gbajabiamila because of the fear of being tagged as enemies.

However, it seems that the Chief of Staff to the President seemed to have delivered another ‘sucker punch’ to the battered psyche of the elders.

“We learnt that the State Chapter of the party requested each Local Government to submit three names each for the constitution of the state cabinet,” Adedunmola Adeife, another party member said.

According to him, there are speculations that the Chief of Staff to the President may have picked a female member of his caucus, a serving councillor and leader of the Legislative Arm of Surulere Local Government.

“It’s still in the realm of speculation but the rumours is spreading and there are certainly no smoke without fire. But if this is true, we will fight this one. The man just want to create crisis that is not needed at this time in the life of our great party.” Adeife told this medium.

When our correspondent visited Surulere on Monday, 3 July, 2023, the issue was the major topics among youths of the party and there were mixed reactions on the matter.”For me, I don’t believe in rumour, so I still take it as a speculation,” one of them told our correspondent.

Another said that the former Speaker will have done so much to rubbish his good works if he goes ahead with the plan of placing the lady above other well qualified Leaders.

“He won’t dare do it. We will resist it. We all accepted the imposition of Fuad Laguda but we won’t just allow this one. The lady whose name is being promoted by the former Speaker is too new in the party. Aside from strolling in to get a Councillorship ticket, and becoming the Leader of the Legislative Arm, what could she point at as her contribution to the development of the party or the society?. Why are others who have laboured for years without ceasing not being considered?”

Many of those who spoke under the condition of anonymity pointed accusing fingers at the Chief of Staff to Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila – Mr Wasiu Olanrewaju Smart.

They accused him of feeding Gbajabiamila with falsehood and creating enemies for him on all fronts.

“He’s the one giving false narratives to Gbajabiamila. He sees him all the time and he’s his closest aide. Gbajabiamila trusts Smart a lot and takes his suggestions hook, line and sinker. His recommendations play very critical role in the sense of judgement of the former Speaker, and most times, those suggestions does not have the wholesome support of the people.” our source.

For now, discovered that the mood in Surulere is tense. The youths are really agitated.

The elders and Leaders, though keeping their cool, are heavily pregnant with disappointment on the conduct of the Chief of Staff to the President and his ‘Super Aide’. If adequate care is not taken, the fireworks that would be triggered in the coming weeks by various camps of Combatants could be too catastrophic for the party to bear.