Akin Osuntokun, the Director General of the Labour Party’s (LP) Presidential Campaign Council, has provided an inside look at the dramatic events that unfolded at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal on Wednesday.
Lamidi Apapa, the party’s Deputy National Chairman (South), attempted to occupy one of the seats reserved for party representatives during the proceedings in Abuja.
However, following a heated exchange captured in widely shared social media videos, Apapa was escorted out of the courtroom by police officers to the boos of Labour Party supporters outside.
Osuntokun accused the deputy national chairman of being obsessed with recognition during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
As a matter of fact, the incident started with me. Our protocol officer usually reserves a four-seater for myself, [Peter] Obi, and anyone else from the party leadership, Osuntokun explained.
I believe the man is obsessed with recognition because when they arrived, that was the first question he came with. When I was seated, he led his group of people to approach me, insisting that he wanted to sit where I was sitting.
I responded, ‘I don’t know you.’ He replied, ‘Don’t you know me?’ I asked, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘You know me!’ I then asked, ‘Who are you?’ He insisted, ‘Well, I know you, but that should be as a nuisance. If you keep insisting that you know me, it reflects the criminalization of politics in Nigeria today.
When prompted to elaborate on the concept of criminalization, Osuntokun cited various manifestations of the issue.
For example, we have a Senate President, if we are to believe the APC, who attained his position through an unprecedented Supreme Court judgement. He simultaneously contested for the presidency and the Senate. Having succeeded in that, they are now rubbing it in our faces, he added