The leadership of Ikorodu Division All Progressives Congress (APC) have formally reacted to the viral video circulating on social media, where some canvassers accused the party leadership of withholding their payments, after they delivered massive votes to the party in the last Presidential and National Assembly elections in the State.
The group of canvassers also threatened to work against the party in the forthcoming governorship and State assembly elections if their grievances are not addressed.
The Ikorodu Division APC leadership in a strategic meeting with about 232 canvassers across 232 polling units in the Division explained that the bad network of the bank was responsible for the delayed payment.
Addressing the gathering on behalf of the Ikorodu Division APC Apex Leadership, a former Commissioner for Agriculture, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya appealed to the aggrieved canvassers to be calm and rest assured that they would receive their payment this week unfailingly.
He started by expressing apologies on behalf of the APC leadership over the avoidable circumstance occasioned by the delay.
‘What happened last week was unfortunate. It is also created a wrong impression that nearly dented our good images as Ikorodu APC Leaders’, he said.
Kaoli also assured the canvassers that the leadership of APC in Ikorodu, under Prince Abiodun Ogunleye was a credible one.
‘We have an Apex Leader who is respected by the party’s hierarchy on account of his credibility and integrity. When it comes to the management of money and trust, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye is a man who will not misappropriate funds. He also doubles as the Treasurer of the entire Ikorodu Division Apex APC Leadership and has been managing the purse of the Apex Leadership’.
Buttressing his pont, Kaoli also gave a brief insight into Prince Ogunleye’s role in the politics of Lagos State under the leadership of the late Governor of Lagos State, Late Alh Lateef Jakande, in recognition of his qualifications and professionalism.
‘The money involved is so much and there was no cash to give. As a result, the party employed the services of Consultants who can handle mass cash transfer. The current situation was caused by the technical difficulty brought about by the cash redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria’, he stated.
He also cleared the air on whether any cash was given directly to the Ikorodu Division APC leadership.
‘Contrary to what has been circulating on the social media, we were not given any money to pay directly to any canvassers. The payment was strictly handled by the Consultants and the technical hitches experienced is understandable’, he explained.
To confirm this, Asipa asked those canvassers who have received their own payment to indicate with a show of hands and some people indicated, confirming that the explanation was genuine.
He further explained that, so far only 780 canvassers have not been paid out of about 10,000 canvassers, promising that the Ikorodu APC leadership have now requested that the outstanding payment be paid directly to the Ikorodu Division APC leadership for direct disbursement so that the controversy surrounding the payment can be permanently resolved.
Kaoli further appealed to the canvassers to keep faith with the Sanwo-Olu administration despite the hitches, citing that the technical hitches was also being experienced even in individual financial transactions.
‘Don’t let us out of anger and annoyance destroy the government we have built for four years. We hereby appeal to you to exercise a little more patience, you will get your money’, he promised.
Concluding, he noted that government has seen the hitches and they are doing everything possible to address the matter and avoid it in the forthcoming Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
To this end, he announced to the gathering that the distribution pattern for the payment of their stipends for the governorship and State Assembly elections would be paid directly and that they will get the payment before the election, in order to assure them of their payment.
Corroborating Olusanya, Prince Lanre Balogun and Alh R.I Jinadu also pleaded with the canvassers to bear with the party leadership and look at the big picture of what Ikorodu Division has to gain from the continuity of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
In his closing remarks, Ikorodu Division APC Apex Leader, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye expressed gratitude to the canvassers for honouring the invitation of the Ikorodu Division APC leadership.
He also expressed happiness that the controversy and misunderstanding surrounding the payment has been finally laid to rest.
He also pleaded with the Canvassers to sheathe their swords while assuring them that the party leadership has taken note of the hitches and are working round the clock to avert a reoccurrence ahead of Saturday’s election.
A major highpoint of the meeting was the public declaration of allegiance to the APC and re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu by the three main faces in the viral protest video.
They were Mrs Adenubi Mariam from Ward A, Fuja Shola from Ward B and Olanrewaju Muritala.
The meeting was closed with the singing of the popular song, ‘APC yi ti gbogbo wa ni’, while all the canvassers and party leaders joined hands.