The leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State have expressed concerns over the level of security in the state, and therefore demanded that Commissioner of Police in the state, Imohimi Edgal, be removed ahead of the APC primaries.
APC leaders in Lagos State were of the believe that since CP Edgal was once a classmate to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode he would be largely compromised as he may skew security apparatus in the state in favour of his friend.
The APC leaders before and after a stakeholders meeting at the party’s secretariat on Sunday 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.
It was gathered that from the moment date of the party’s primary election was made known publicly, members of the APC had been raising concerns and drawing attention of their leaders to relationship between the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, and how the latter could manipulate and influence security process in favour of the governor.
The claims were that if Governor Ambode would not be getting favored on his second term request, his school mate, a CP in Lagos, would not deny him assistance at the expense of the party and members of the public.
The leaders premised their concerns on the ground that the state was not in safe hands and that Edgal would cause irreparable damage if not transferred before the APC’s governorship primaries.
Based on the above, ThePledge gathered that calls were placed by the leaders over the night after the tensed stakeholders’ meeting demanding for immediate transfer or swapping of the CP on ground of alleged compromise of Edgal.
Crisis has continued to rock the state chapter of the APC over who becomes the flag bearer of the party. The fight is now between Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and the leaders’ anointed candidate, Babajide Sanwo-olu, in the governorship race, ahead of the pronounced direct primary slated October 1. The process, which was twice shifted due to undisclosed reasons, has been shifted again to Tuesday, October 2.
Continuous pressure over the matter was said to have forced the party’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu, to reach out to the right quarters at the Presidency, on the need to have the CP transferred from the state within 24 hours so that Edgal could exit Lagos before the primary election.
An insider said that Tinubu was aware of how the CP has been frustrating the security system to favour his friend, Ambode, and the state police head’s transfer signal could possibly arrive on Monday.
The insider further disclosed that after the stakeholders’ meeting yesterday, leaders of the party expressed various displeasure during phone conversations with the national leader, particularly on the 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.
Meanwhile, a source from office of the APC Chairman in Lagos State, Tunde Balogun, stated that the party was not satisfied, particularly the chairman, over the 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 the Police Commissioner was deliberate and that APC do not feel safe any longer since Edgal has taken side with Ambode, his school mate.
Balogun 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 is 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.
Sources from the Police Headquarters, Abuja, discreetly said that the report on Edgal had reached the office of the Inspector General of Police and that he was sure the CP would be moved out of the state.
Before this development Edgal had assured residents of the state particularly political stakeholders 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 politics.