The ward Congress of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Lagos State on Saturday was married by pocket of violence in some centres and the heavy downpour recorded in some parts of the State.
Daily Trust correspondent who observed the Congress at the Ward F4 in Ishaga Area of Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) was told by multiple eyewitnesses on how many party members who have turned up to participate in the election of ward leaders were still waiting for the voting process to begin when some political thugs emerged from nowhere and caused chaos.
Though the basis of the fracas that followed was not known immediately, another eyewitness who was also at the Congress narrated how many of the party members had to scamper to safety when the situation got worse.
Also, at Alagbeji ward, in Oshodi/Isolo LCDA pandemonium broke out when a faction of the party felt shortchanged in the scheme of things and had to mobilise it’s supporters to disrupt the exercise being organised by the other faction.
A political leader in the area who simply identified himself as Elder Jaiyeosinmi said the chaos that followed led many of the party members in disarray. He said although security operatives were drafted in to save the day.
"What we were initially told was that the materials to be used were still on the way, not knowing that some people Ihave started organising themselves elsewhere. This cannot stand and we will tell other leaders to make this known to the leaders," he said.
In other places where the exercise ran smoothly but was started late, the heavy down pour recorded disrupted the process. Although in many centres especially in Ifako/Ijaiye, Agege, Alimosho, Surulere, Shomolu, Mainland, among others, where the the process began late, the collation of result stage exprienced temporary delays and disorganisations.
Similarly, at Ward C, Badagry, a fight was reported to have ensued when some party members noticed that the list to be used for accreditation has been tampered with.
However, in many other places, the process went on smoothly especially where contending parties were able to reach consensus.
The State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, who participated in the exercise at Ward A6, Luyepo Primary School, Papa-Epe in Epe Local Government Area, lauded the party members for displaying high level of maturity in the conduct of the party activities.
Ambode, in a statement by his Press Secretary, Habib Aruna said members of the party who turned out in enmasse to exercise their civil responsibility confirmed the fact that the APC is a cohesive party.
"All our great party members in Ward A6, you have done well for turning out in this number to be part of the APC ward congresses. I want to use this medium to thank you all for the orderliness and peaceful way you conducted yourself.
"We are members of the same family and that is why we are doing it in line with our constitution. The party agreed that it is either we do election or we vote by way of consensus and that what we have done peacefully today.
"I want to use this opportunity to say a big thank you to all our members across the state that performed this electoral process across the 337 wards in the State.
“We know that the APC can get stronger if there is always peace and consensus among all our members. Like in Epe division, elections have been conducted peacefully in all other divisions. This is the most beautiful ward in Lagos State presently.
“I commend all our newly elected officials. We are very lucky to have observers from INEC who have just witnessed the process of the ward congress here,” Governor Ambode said.