Unbeknownst to many, the Deputy Governor of Lagos state, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, is alleged to be the brain behind the disruption across Epe Local Government, Ikosi-Ejirin, Eredo and some other Local Government and Local Council Development Areas during the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary, to choose candidates for the forthcoming local government election in the state.
Investigation reveals that his political operatives in Epe have been identified as Oluwadahunsi Ogunkelu also known as Sketel. Sketel represents Epe Constituency 11 at the Lagos House of Assembly. Others are Remi Adebowale, Special Adviser On Civic Engagement and Tokunbo Wahab, Special Adviser on Education were his enforcers that ensured that primary elections to elect the candidates that will represent the APC in forthcoming local government election did not hold on Saturday in Epe and some parts of the state.
In fact, several eyewitness confirmed that Sketel was on rampage, leading thugs to scuttle the process. And immediately the deeds were done, he was overheard calling someone suspected to be the deputy governor saying ‘mission accomplished, a ti daru’, meaning, ‘we have scuttled everything.’
So bad was the activities of Hamzat’s men at disrupting the process that the APC had to issue a statement on Sunday apologizing for the skirmishes and untold hardship that was unleashed on the people.
The news of the disruption has continued to trend on both conventional and social media.
It is alleged that Hamzat is said to be behind the campaign of calumny against the three chairmen in Epe, Eredo and Ikosi-Ejinrin who are being accused of being loyalists of former governor Akinwumi Ambode. The blackmail was to get rid of them, preparatory to his rumoured 2023 governorship ambition which has become an open secret in Epe, according to an impeccable source.
Hamzat was said to have argued against the decision of the political leaders in Epe that those serving should be given another term since they are doing their first term. He was alleged to be vehement during the Governors’ Advisory Council, (GAC), that met recently against the decision of the leaders because of his own ambition.
To show his desperation, Hamzat allegedly called the Lagos East Returning Officer for the primary elections, Oyinlomo Damole on Saturday to ensure that all the three incumbent chairmen from Epe were not returned as candidates for the election.
To ensure that his governorship project is a done deal, he’s imposing his Coordinator in Epe during his 2015 governorship bid, one Ismail Monsuru Akinloye on Eredo LCDA, while in Ikosi -Ejirin, his candidate, one Tope Oduntan, was alleged to have forged the B.Sc he presented as his credentials to the party which was still in custody of the DSS.
Security sources said DSS was alleged to have raised a red flag during the security screening, but Hamzat prevailed that they should clear him, irrespective of his alleged questionable certificate.
Apart from Epe, Hamzat’s name has been mentioned in some other local government areas and LCDAs where the primary election was disrupted. In Ifako-Ijaiye, his enforcer, one Saka Fafunmi, a three term lawmaker and former chief of staff to Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, before he was sacked recently. Fafunmi according to reports was on rampage during the primary shooting sporadically to disrupt the process. He’s also imposing his brother, Usman Akanbi Hamzat.
He’s also said to be behind the disruption of elections in Lagos Mainland, Mushin and other council areas where the process was inconclusive because of the ugly trend of the party stalwarts loyal to Hamzat and other leaders in the state.
These incidences of violence now being traced to Hamzat and many of his known supporters, are not unconnected with moves by Hamzat, who has been holding series of meetings across the state, where he has been boasting of being the anointed governorship candidate of the party and it’s Leader, Bola Tinubu, come 2023.
As at the time of filling this report, opinions are divided on how to resolve the logjam. While some party leaders and Wale Edun committee saddled with the conduct of the election are of the opinion that election should be canceled where it was inconclusive and another date fixed for new election in order not to prove those questioning the democratic credibility of its leader, Tinubu wrong, Hamzat is said to have gone to persuade him (Tinubu) with a list of his preferred choice for consideration.