Thousands of members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Mushin area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly to protest and demand the expulsion of the APC National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire from the party.
The protesters stormed the Assembly with 25 BRT buses and armed with several anti-Banire placards and banners. They marched from the APC Secretariat on Acme Road to the State House of Assembly for the protest.
Some of the placards read: “Banire must go,” “Banire, the enemy within,” “Banire, A serial traitor,” “Banire, the greatest beneficiary of imposition,” among several others.
Despite the early downpour, the protesters defied the rain to storm the Assembly, vowing that they would not rest until Banire was removed as the National Legal Adviser of the party and also be expelled.
Spokesperson of the protesters, Femi Martins, in a letter delivered to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and copied the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa and the APC Lagos Chairman, Chief Henry Ajomale, outlined a list of 17 atrocities which they alleged that Banire committed to warrant his expulsion from the party.
Martins alleged that Banire sponsored cronies to write and cause to be publish advertorials against the party; wrote and caused to be published negative correspondence against the Party in the media; granted interviews to embarrass and have adverse effect on the party to the extent of attracting hatred, contempt, ridicule and disrepute upon the party and intentionally negligent in duties as the National Legal Adviser to defend the party and the its interest.
He further alleged that Banire carried out unauthorized publicity of a party dispute without exhausting all avenues for settlement or redress within the party; caused a legal representative to disavow the party in a law suit; arrogantly admitting that he caused a legal representative to disavow the party; predicted and worked towards the electoral failure of the party and incited the public against the interest of the party.
According to Martins, Banire falsely accused the party of imposition in public whereas knowledgeable of the facts of the provision of the constitution of the party for alternative means of conducting primaries other than direct primaries; sponsored a group called MEF to ridicule the party and bring it into disrepute; perpetrated blatant imposition at the constituency in Mushin against the wish of majority of party members to cause disaffection within the party and disobeyed and caused others to disobey lawful directives of the party.
He also accused Banire of carrying out anti-party activities towards the forthcoming local government elections by encouraging members of his group to pick tickets of other parties; disrupting the peaceful, lawful process of efficient organisation of the party, particularly in respect of the campaigns of candidates of the party in the forthcoming elections by causing fear and apprehension that the party might be disqualified from participating in the elections due to unethical conduct of legal representatives he assigned and still assigned matters to, in respect of litigations bothering on the elections, among others.
Receiving the protest letter from the protesters on behalf of Ambode, Special Adviser to the Governor on Community and Communications, Kehinde Bamigbetan said Banire had greatly embarrassed the party by his utterances, describing him as a career opportunist.
He said the state government would support the protesters to ensure discipline in the party, adding that there was a time Timi Frank, a former Deputy Publicity Secretary of APC, was disciplined by the party for anti-party activities, adding that Banire’s case would go the same way.
“What else can we say of a National Legal Adviser of the party who ought to know, to have gone out of the party system to undermine the party and the fortune of the party at a time election is around the corner? There is no grievance more than this. When given the ticket, he becomes loyal to the party and when not given, he worked against the party,” he said.
Bamigbetan said the government would call on the party to take disciplinary action against Banire, emphasizing that Banire must be shown the way out of the party, adding that a disciplinary committee should be set up to try his case.