Kingsley Nwezeh and Adedayo Akinnwale in Abuja and Nume Ekeghe in Lagos
As the electoral battle for the soul of Lagos State gathers momentum, the Director-general of Labour Party’s Presidential Campaign, Akin Osuntokun, yesterday, accused the All Progressives Party (APC) in Lagos State of playing the ethnic card ahead of the saturday’s governorship and state house of assembly elections.
Osuntokun, who spoke during an interview with Arise News Channel last night, said the rising tension ochestrated by the APC, stemmed from the the defeat suffered by APC during the presidential election which had triggered desperate manouvers ahead of Saturday’s polls
His assertion came against the backdrop of a viral video showing a meeting of Labour Party members at the Bode Thomas Junction Constituency 1 Surulere Lagos, which was disrupted by suspected APC thugs.
Members of the party including women said the thugs unleashed violence at the meeting, injured many people, who were later hospitalised, robbed them of their laptops and handsets and destroyed the facility.
Osuntokun said it was the APC that was playing the ethnic card.
“There are no two parties playing the ethnic card, only one party is playing the ethnic card. It is definitely not the Labour Party. It is certainly the APC”, he said.
He said the tension in the state was precipitated by the reality of the presidential election conducted two weeks ago.
“It has indicated that the Labour Party is ahead of the APC in Lagos not just nearly according the figures released by INEC but the reality of the whole figures which has substantial margins contrary to what was reported
“Of course people resorting to ethnic cleavages is the cheapest resort by desperate politicians at national, sub-national or state levels”, he said.
He said the situation was precipitated by the same faith ticket by some political parties which weaponises religious division.
“We saw that it was emphatic by the ticket of some political parties, the muslim-muslim ticket.
“This is a direct challenge to the plurality and diversity of Nigeria and there is no logical sense that it makes than that it weaponises religious division to seek victory in election”, he said.
He said the ethnic narrative in the state was unreasonable.
“They are using arguments that don’t hold water”, he said.
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