In what looked like a major shock, the chairmanship aspirant for Mainland Local Government, Dayo Israel, under the All Progressives Congress (APC) has publicly condemned the actions of the leaders of his party saying the decision to adopt consensus candidacy across the 20 LGs and 37 LCDAs in the forthcoming council polls may spell doom for the party.
Dayo, who didn’t emerge the party’s candidate to represent Mainland LG in the July 22 election fired that the process “threatens our democracy”.
In a lengthy note titled ‘Before it is too late: APC and Lagos Mainland Local Government Election’, Dayo said that “this kind of hegemony is unhealthy for our democracy and its only a matter of time for CHANGE to happen. Change begins with us, and must begin from inside our party.”
He added that “this winner takes all attitude stinks and is bad for our progressive ideals. The interest of the people must also be considered. Otherwise, our annual celebration of June 12 will be mere lip service.”
Read his full note below.
Since my last letter to you, I have been besieged with hundreds of calls, texts and Whatsapp messages; most of them from angry supporters, expressing their displeasure at my decision to hold my peace on the Lagos Mainland LG election.
Some accused me of cowardice while some believe maybe I am not pushing further because I have been given money or promised a position.
First I want to use this opportunity to say none of this happened. As a matter of fact, I risked it all in this election. A few days to the primaries, I had been threatened to withdraw or lose a chance at getting anything after the election; to which I replied that I am running for a generation and for my people, not because I want a position. I am running to fix our community.
If I was running because I wanted a position I will not have kept the fight till the stage I did. I will not even have bought form, because they didn’t want me to buy the nomination form as well, but I am glad we did.
I have held my peace not because I have been promised anything; but because nature abhors vacuum so I decided to also channel my energy to many other great things including the publishing of my book “The Audacity to RUN” which is already available for pre order on www.dayoisrael.com; as well as series of other projects and countless speaking engagements and media appearance globally scheduled especially as we begin preparation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 in London.
I have been responsible for Africa’s Engagement at the annual Commonwealth event in London every March, for which I have enjoyed the participation of General Gowon, Chief Obasanjo, Speaker Baleka Mbethe of South Africa and more recently the Ooni of Ife, whom I had another privilege of presenting to Prince Andrew the Duke of York in March.
The joy of our generation’s engagement in politics is that we have a career to go back to. This is what our politics must become.
We must discourage professional politicians who have no other career than jumping from one public office to another. Public service must not be about livelihood but about service itself.
I want to assure you my friend and supporter that I am not a coward. I didn’t step back because I couldn’t push anymore but because we live to fight another day; and for my strong respect to my Leader and Daddy, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Politics must never be a matter of do or die. If I can’t serve as chairman today, I believe either through philanthropy or some other means, I will continue to be able to serve my community.
I must also address this. A lot of people have asked my views about consensus candidate. I know it is not alien to our politics, irrespective of the party. I am aware that in 1999, the governors of Lagos and Ogun were chosen by consensus.
In a situation like Lagos Mainland where 90% of the delegates and party voters are in the hand of a single individual/group, who have produced all chairmen since 1999, consensus candidate may not be a bad solution to ensure fair play for others.
But when the consensus candidacy has no human face, it threatens our democracy. How do I mean?
The same group which produced all past Chairmen since 1999, produced the current House of Reps and House of Assembly Members in the same local government. This same group has allegedly produced the Chairmanship and Vice Chairmanship candidates in Lagos Mainland, as well as majority of councilors. All by consensus. All other groups sidelined.
What in itself is consensus, when none of the other aspirants including myself was called together by the party leaders in out LGA, either before or after the botched primaries, except those who belong to the same group I earlier referred to.
Since the election, not for once has the party leadership in Mainland called aspirants together to mediate and negotiate; and for rapprochement. Not once. Unlike in other Local Governments like Apapa where they have continued to plead with other aspirants.
Why ? Because of the arrogance of power? Because they think there is nothing anyone can do? Not a single phone call or meeting of aspirants to mediate was called by the party as a party; except the meeting of the primus caucus group.
This kind of hegemony is unhealthy for our democracy and its only a matter of time for CHANGE to happen. Change begins with us, and must begin from inside our party.
I am calling on our leaders in Mainland to look into this matter and ensure equitable distribution of positions amongst all stakeholders considering the yearnings of the people.
This winner takes all attitude stinks and is bad for our progressive ideals. The interest of the people must also be considered. Otherwise, our annual celebration of June 12 will be mere lip service.
I am happy that our party has not released official names of aspirant, so as my followers keep telling me everyday, the names being bounced around are just rumours. No official word yet.
If that is the case, we still have a chance as a party to tow the path of honour and ensure inclusive governance in Lagos Mainland.
Even if the leadership do not respect the millions we spent on behalf of the party to cushion the effect of the financial austerity on the people of Lagos mainland LG, and the investment we made in the party itself on ward and LGA excos, renovation of the party secretariat, support to party members; they should respect the N550,000 nomination form fee we paid and take a step of rapprochement.
Otherwise, our victory at the coming poll may be in peril.
For many well wishers who have called me to quit our party and move to another party; and those from the Youth parties who have offered me tickets – arguing that PUBLIC INTEREST (PEOPLE SUPREMACY) MUST TRIUMPH PARTY SUPREMACY; Please understand that this election will not push me away from the All Progressives Congress.
I believe that our party may not have gotten it right yet (as we also saw in Ondo) because our democracy itself is still growing but some of us must stay here to contribute our quota to ensure this party becomes a true reflection of the democracy we desire.
Things will change. It is already changing. I have no doubt that that change is coming to the APC.
I also have great hope that on this particular election in Lagos Mainland, our party will tow the path of honour.
You don’t have to be old to be wise. Owo omode o to pepe, tí agbalagba o Wo keregbe.
Lagos Mainland Local Govt