The PDP primaries for State House of Assembly and Federal House of Representatives across Lagos State has been trailed by delays, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
NAN check across various venues in Lagos state such as Surulere Constituency I and II, Eti-Osa Constituency 1, Oshodi-Isolo Constituency 1, Agege, and Alimosho Constituency II among others, revealed that electoral officials were yet to arrive the venues for the primaries as at 1 pm of filing this report.
NAN reports that as at 1: 27 pm at Surulere Constituency I and II, party members, delegates, and security personnel who were on ground as early as 9.a.m at No 21, Agbonyin Avenue, Surulere, venue of the PDP primaries were still waiting.
NAN observed that no party official or committee member from the PDP national headquarters in charge of the primaries could be seen at the venue of in Surulere Constituency I, while few party members were seen around.
The situation around the area was calm, as party members gathered in cluster groups deliberating and strategising.
Sesan Lawrence, Assistant Secretary, PDP in Surulere Local Government Area, told NAN that all was set for the smooth conduct of the primaries, adding that, however, late arrival of the returning officers was responsible for the delay.
Mr Lawrence said that five candidates were contesting for both categories (House of Assembly and House of Representatives), adding that 19 delegates would be voting to elect the candidate that would contest on the party platform in the the 2023 general elections.
He said that five party agents would represent each candidate to ensure transparency.
“There are six wards at the LGA level for Surulere constituency II and we have three delegates each per ward and one national delegate. We have 19 delegates all together,” Mr Lawrence said.
Peters Ibrahim, a PDP national delegate, also told NAN that all was set for the conduct of the primaries.
Mr Ibrahim said that the election would start as soon as the returning officials arrived.
“Everything is set from the party, all we are waiting for is the electoral officials to conduct the primaries.
“As you can see, the hall is set, we have arranged the chairs and ballot boxes.
“We will start accreditation as soon as the electoral officials arrive,” he said.
Babatunde Omokoba, Chairman, PDP Orile ward, Surulere LGA, told NAN that preparations were in top gear.
He said that party officials were already on ground but were expected at the venue to ensure orderliness and peaceful conduct of the election.
NAN reports that at the Lagos Island Constituency II, nothing was happening but an Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, official arrived at exactly 11:30 a.m.
The PDP chairman in the area, Shehu Olawepo, said they expected all the delegates to be available soon, and security officials could be seen patrolling the venue.
One of the aspirants, Lawal Akinsemoyin, was present at the venue.
In Surulere Constituency II, nothing was also happening as at 11:50 a.m., the ward delegates, national delegates and security officials were present waiting for the returning officers.
In Eti-Osa Constituency 1, as at 11.35 a.m. the election was yet to commence, however, the delegates and the six candidates contesting for the state house of assembly were present.
There was also a heavy security presence.
According to the Chairman of the constituency, Yusuf Olatunji, they are awaiting the party electoral officers and the INEC officers before the election can commence.
In Oshodi-Isolo Constituency 1 at St Dominics Hall, Mafoluku, nothing was happening as at 11.43 a.m., and presently the hall was still being used for church service.
NAN correspondent was informed that the primary was meant to start at 12 noon.
At Agege, Olayiwola Otun, the PDP Chairman in Agege Local Government, said that the delegates and party members were waiting for the arrival of the state executives and the returning officers.
Security personnel and party members were on ground at Agege Constituency 1.
At Alimosho Constituency II, nothing is happening at the venue as at 11.51am.
The General Secretary of the party, Oriyomi Ezekiel, said they were awaiting the arrival of the returning officers for the state.
Meanwhile the initial venue designated for the primaries – Sugarland Hotel at Iliasu road, was changed to Samkoll Garden along Ikotun road.
At all the venues statewide, there was significant presence of security officers.
NAN reports that 140 aspirants are contesting for the PDP tickets for the 40 seats in the Lagos State House of Assembly, and 85 for the 24 seats in the House of Representatives.