By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
ALL eyes are on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as it gets down to partaking in its first local government elections in Lagos State after the 2013 merger.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN which is the dominant party in the APC in Lagos had in its time dominated the local government space to almost the total exclusion of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The PDP had before 2011 boycotted the local government elections on the claim that the elections conducted into the 57 local government areas and local development areas were illegal. When the PDP reversed its stance and participated in 2011, it led to upheavals that raised questions about the democratic credentials of the then ACN especially when the results were delayed for more than 48 hours. When the results were eventually released, the ACN was credited with the chairmanship in all 57 local councils and LCDAs and 355 of the 376 councillorship positions.
There were, however, insinuations of rigging as PDP and some independent observers alleged that the results in five local councils did not reflect the voting and results on ground.
The PDP is going into the 2017 election as a much diminished factor. However, the internal crises that shadowed the APC’s internal selection process do not give much room for optimism for the ruling party.
The APC is divided at the grassroots in many areas especially Surulere, Amuwo Odofin and Oshodi-Isolo. Given the tremors happening in the APC the prospects of revulsion turning to rebellion at the polling booths on July 22 is an issue that will bring focus on the democratic credentials of the ruling party.