Barely four days to Saturday’s local government election in Lagos state, hundreds of members of the All Progressives Congress have staged a protest to demand the expulsion of the party’s National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire.
The APC members, who converged at the party’s secretariat on ACME Road in Ikeja, on Tuesday also marched to the Governor’s Office, Alausa, Ikeja, and presented to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, a list of 17 alleged anti-party activities carried out by Banire.
The petition was also addressed to the Speaker of the State House Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and the APC Chairman in the state, Chief Dele Ajomale.
Some of the allegations against Banire are sponsoring publication of advertorials against the party, granting media interviews to embarrass, attract hatred, contempt, ridicule and disrepute to the party, and intentional negligence of duties as the national legal adviser.The protesters also alleged that Banire had been working toward the failure of the party.
They called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to prosecute him for alleged involvement in a bribery allegation against a judge of the National Industrial Court.
A constituent from Mushin Local Government Area, Mr Femi Martins, presented the petition on behalf of the protesters.
Addressing the protesters, the Special Adviser to Ambode on Communities and Communications, Mr Kehinde Bamgbetan, said that the party’s leadership would take necessary actions.
Bamgbetan was in company with some other members of the state executive council and the state Assembly members.
He assured the protesters that the local government election scheduled to hold on Saturday in the state would still take place.
The special adviser urged them to come out en masse to vote for the party.
In a statement, however, Banire described the protest as a `rent-a-crowd’ rally organised to intimidate him. He said that no amount of sponsored campaign or threat to his life would deter him from standing for internal democracy.
Banire accused an official of the state government of sponsoring the rally, saying that as the APC national legal adviser and custodian of the party’s constitution, it would be destructive for him to support imposition of candidates.
He urged APC members and the general public not to be misled by those he described as “agents of dictatorship who will level an allegation of anti-democratic stance against others but will savour every bit of dictatorship when in position of power”.