The body language of most members of Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), before and after a stakeholders meeting at the party’s secretariat yesterday, showed that they were not satisfied with the weak level of security and how lives of hundreds of people were exposed to danger during the gathering.
From the moment date of the party’s primary election was made known publicly, members of the APC had continue raising concerns and drawing attention of their leaders to relationship between the state’s incumbent Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, and how the latter could manipulate and influence security process in favor of the governor, after leaders of the party turned their backs at his second term moves.
The claims were that the if the incumbent governor would not be getting favored on his second term request, his school mate, who is a CP in Lagos, would not deny him of assistance at expense of the party and members of the public.
On that ground was their raised concerns that the state was not in safe hands and that Edgal would cause unrecoverable damage if he is not transfered before state the APC’s governorship primaries.
On that insinuation, bulk of calls between the leaders over the night, after the tensed stakeholders’ meeting, centered on the need for immediate transfer or swapping of the CP, on ground of allegation that Edgal had been compromised and that he should no longer be trusted with security of the state.
Undoubtedly, crisis has continued rocking the state chapter of APC over who becomes flag bearer of the party, the fight of which is between Ambode and leaders’ anointed candidate, Babajide Sanwo-olu, in governorship race, ahead of pronounced direct primary slated 1st of October, the process of which was twice shifted due to undisclosed reasons.
Continuous pressure over the matter was said to had forced the party’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu, to reach out to the right quarters at the presidency, on need to have the CP transferred from the state within 24 hours and that Edgal could exist Lagos before the primary election on Monday.
An insider who put call through to The Guild confided in us that Tinubu was aware of how the CP has been frustrating the security system to favor his friend (Ambode) and the state police head’s transfer signal could possibly arrive before Monday.
He disclosed that after the stakeholder meeting yesterday, leaders of the party expressed various displeasure during phone conversations with the national leader, particularly on weak level of security witnessed at the APC’s secretariat.
The source hinted that the CP’s transfer was certain and that signal to that effect was already in transit, while military intervention may also be sought to put away unknown faces of thugs seen during the party’s stakeholders’ meeting.
Outside the national leader’s residence, members of the party, who pleaded not to be mentioned, due to sensitivity of the issue, established that the CP was not yet qualified to head the state’s command but that Ambode ensured he got him the seat, six months away from qualification.
One of them, a leader from Ikeja, lamented that on how the party should not had allowed Edgal to still remain in control of the state’s security when it was aware of implication of such action.
His argument was that the CP has love for money and that Edgal could compromise system to have his way, claiming that the weak security control, witnessed during the meeting in the state, was an evidence to the allegation.
According to the leader, members of the party have been phoning Tinubu on the matter and there is certainty that the CP would be leaving the state anytime soon.
Meanwhile, a source from office of Chairman, Lagos state chapter of APC, Tunde Balogun, stated that the party was not satisfied, particularly the chairman, over level of security witnessed yesterday and that unknown faces and thugs were allowed to take over the party’s secretariat due to inadequate level of police presence.
He claimed that members of the party were of strong conviction that the action of police commissioner was deliberate and that APC do no longer feel safe since Edgal has take side with Ambode, who is his school mate.
He explained that APC’s would be conducting governorship primary in the state on Monday but that members, who would be coming out to exercise their franchise do not feel safe, having witnessed yesterday poor level of security.
“The position of every member of the party are that APC must avoid anything that would lead to bloodshed and with the CP, no one knows what the police command is up to.
“Information reaching the party was that Edgal, Commissioner for Information, Kehinde Bamigbetan and Special Adviser on Community and Communication Affairs to the governor, Hakeem Sulaiman, were at a closed door meeting last night and the members do not know what the plans were”.
“The Party would not allow the police put the state under chaos or in bad light since the security agent job is to protect lives and property”, he added.
From Police Headquarters in Abuja, our source discreetly told us that report on Edgal had reached office of Inspector General of Police and that he was sure the CP would be moved out of the state.
Prior this exclusive, the CP had assured that he would ensure provision of adequate security during the primary election of the party.
Edgal also warned officers under his authority to stay away from partisan, the assurance of which was made after The Guild publication in which Edgal was indicted of possible comprise of security system, while he was stylishly called to order by members of the APC, who perceived that the police boss could dance to Ambode’s request, even when he does not place any.