Members of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, who are aggrieved with the party over its primaries, may be compensated with political appointments if the party wins the 2019 governorship election in the state.
SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that the decision to settle the aggrieved members was sequel to a plea by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode that the state APC should consider compensating the affected members to cover their losses.
This came as aggrieved APC groups in Delta State have presented their position papers to the reconciliation committee, demanding 50 each per cent sharing of positions at the state and federal levels.
Ambode, who spoke at the closing session of the party’s National Peace and Reconciliation Committee for the South-West held in Lagos, noted that the compensation would bring about peace in the party.
It was learnt that the party would embrace the compensation of aggrieved members from the angle of political appointments instead of financial settlement.
The state APC Publicity Secretary, Mr Joe Igbokwe, said on Friday that it was only normal for the party to compensate aggrieved members in order to restore peace ahead of the 2019 general elections.
He said the party would do all within its reach to ensure that the angry members were pacified with promises of political appointments.
Igbokwe stated, “This move is something we would put on the table. If it is proved that there is injustice, what do you do? Compensation will have to come in, and this will be by way of promises. If they have spent money, we would have to do something. It is a give and take thing. Everything that will bring about peace is most acceptable.
“This whole thing will be for peace to reign. If you are asking someone to give up on something, you should give something back in return. If he feels cheated, then there must be compensation. The compensation will come in form of promises for political appointments, such as (to be) commissioner or other positions.”
He noted that the governor’s suggestion was a good way to forge ahead under the present circumstances so as to work as a team for the success of the party in the general elections.
“That is the way to go. Anything you can do to achieve peace is okay. And for us, it is normal. It is only when you have justice that there will be peace; and when there is peace, there will be progress. They are seeking justice; give it to them and you will have peace and there will be progress,” Igbokwe added.
In Delta State, even as the aggrieved groups demanded equal sharing of available positions, the National Reconciliation Committee of the APC appealed to all the party faithful to sheath their sword to enable the party to take over of the state come 2019.
Addressing various interest groups of the party in Asaba, the chairman of the committee (South-South zone), Rauf Aregbesola, said, “If we insist on having our way in all areas, it will scuttle our chances in the 2019 elections.”
The former Osun state governor advised the groups to heed the appeal of the party in resolving the crises in the party in order to unite the various aggrieved groups.
“Do not worry; in the likely event that the party loses in the state, the party at the centre will still reward loyal members,” he said.
But one of the governorship aspirants of the party, Prof. Pat Utomi, said the legal battle he instituted against the conduct of the primary election in the state would continue in spite of the peace move.
Also, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, another aspirant, expressed bitterness that the 14,000 members he moved into the APC were being sidelined.