Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has placed a ban on members who had spent a minimum of eight years as the ward, council and state executive members from seeking re-election in its May congresses.
The incumbent chairman of the APC in the state, Otunba Henry Ajomale, and several others would be affected should the ban stand.
Ajomale had since when the party was Alliance Democracy (AD) 20 years ago till now that is APC had been in the saddle.
The party’s national leadership had recently fixed May 2,5, 9 and 14 for the ward, local government, state and national congresses respectively.
APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, announced the ban on Tuesday while addressing party leaders and party faithful at the state secretariat of the party on ACME Road, Ikeja.
Tinubu said the decision was to allow fresh people to occupy party offices at the ward, local government and state levels with a view to taking the APC to the next level in the state.
Tinubu, who against the background of tenure elongation of the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, which has since been quashed, said at the meeting “We fought hard against tenure elongation and now we are going to have our congresses.”
He said it was time for some of them who had spent two, three, four terms as the ward, local government and state executive level to go.
“Some of you who have spent two, three, four terms as the ward, local government and state executive members, it is time to go.
“We thank you, we appreciate you. But we want you to step aside. It is time for those who have been crawling for years to walk. It is time for the youth to take over.
“I mean if you have spent eight years, twelve years, you have tried. You should give us chance, let us now have other people,” Tinubu said, clarifying, however, those party executive members who had only spent one term were free to seek re-election provided they did not have records of misconduct in office.
He commended the affected long-serving officers of the party, saying they contributed immensely to the successes of the party in the state.
This was just as he said that arrangements were in top gear to conduct congresses at all levels in the state and expressed the optimism that the exercises would be successful, warning party members to abstain from violence before, during and after the congresses as any act of irregularities would be sanctioned by the party.
Tinubu sued for peace on the divisions among party members in Alimosho and Surulere areas over some issues, urging aggrieved members to channel their complaints to the secretariat of the party on the state for appropriate actions.
According to him, it was wrong and premature for any member or group to disagree over the choice of candidates for the next election.
“We shouldn’t be talking about who and who should be the candidate for a particular position for the general election.
“We are at the Congress stage, we have not even done the primary, so disagreements over candidates’ choice for the election should not arise,” Tinubu said.
Ajomale, in his reaction, described the decision to ban long-serving party officers as a welcome development, saying that the decision would allow young blood to take over the party leadership at all levels in the state.
The party boss said he was fulfilled having piloted the affairs of the party to several electoral victories in the state.
“It is a good decision that people who have been in the executive for more than eight years should quit.
“I mean, if you have spent more than eight years as party executive, you should have done whatever you need to do.
“People like us have been around since the AD days to now that we are APC, so it is time to move on. I am fulfilled as I have done my best for the party,” he said.
He, however, said he had no fear about who would take over from him as there were many competent people in the party who could take it to greater heights.