Councilor Beats APC Chairman Over Rice Bags
Two heavy punches, followed by an unfriendly slap, let loose in anger by a councilor representing Ward F in Surulere Local Government, Lagos State, all descended simultaneously on face of the ward’s chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), and surprisingly the man was already soaked in a pool of blood as a payback from the councilor who claimed that the party leader denied him share from bags of rice that were sent to their axis recently.
The aggrieved councilor, Ajibola Ajala, launched the attack on the allegation that APC leadership in the ward, Ishola Ali, had often excluded him from list of beneficiaries whenever gifts come from federal and state lawmakers representing the council to the ward, which to him, he was entitled to receive better share than others, considering his status among the party members.
As gathered, trouble started when Ajala, who was said to have been waiting for an avenue to confront the chairman, was granted the opportunity to speak during a leaders’ forum meeting at the ward held at 26 Aralile Street in Surulere.
It was learnt that after the members yielded the floor to him during the emergency meeting last Wednesday, that was conveyed to address salient issues within the party structure, and rather than address some of the issues raised during the meeting, Ajala was said to have demanded to know how the rice and other palliatives allocated to the ward were shared among members.
A source present at the meeting narrated to The Guild that while the elders at the forum wanted to answer his question, the party chairman offered to speak on the issue since he and members of the party executives received the controversial bags of rice from the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for the ward.
While answering the question posed to the party leadership at the meeting that started at about 6pm, another member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent the chairman had not concluded his explanation on why other members received and Ajala’s name was omitted, when the councillor assaulted him.
Before the members could prevent the assault, Ajala was said to have punched Ali and all the members could see, even as they tried to prevent the beating, was the chairman’s face and cloth already filled with his own blood.
Another member stated that after the attack, the meeting could not continue as the premises became disorganized while members tried to intervene and quickly rush Ali to the hospital where he could be treated after the beating he received from Ajala.
According to him, I believe the councilor felt the chairman’s comment further confirmed that he was treated unfairly by the party’s leadership and this resulted in the assault.
It was the councilor who reacted first with a blow when the chairman said that people should always be fair in whatever they do,” he added
Another eyewitness, who condemned the councilor’s action, confirmed that the comment of the chairman was not directed at anyone and that a large percent of the members understand the sharing formula.
“This is not an attitude expected of a leader because there are better ways to discuss and settle such issue than resorting to physical assault.
Ali, who spoke with The Guild after he was discharged from the hospital, said that the disagreement ensued after he had requested to clear the air on the allegations raised by Ajala.
He noted that he hardly received shares of the allocated palliatives due to the number of bags of rice assigned against the party members, adding it will be unfair since the items were not enough.
The chairman said that he was yet to conclude his response when the councillor confronted him and that all he saw after was a punch on his face
Meanwhile, when our correspondent put a call through to the councillor, he promised to call back after concluding the meeting he was attending, and hours after, he never called back nor did he pick calls again.
Another member, who claimed to have listed to Ajala with wrapped attention during the meeting, said: “I have observed that the palliatives distributed to the wards were not fairly distributed among members of the house. I only wanted to point that out because I have noticed it for a long while and it had become a continuous act”.
As part of his claims, he lamented that 100 bags of rice were allocated to the ward byGbajabiamila, whose name was not identified, noting that he didn’t get a share of it either.
However, according to him, some members of the council brought it to his notice that 20 out of the 100 allocated bags of rice were missing which led to the rationalization in distributing the leftover.