By NBF News
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Lawmakers deny plan to quit
LEADERSHIP of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) may have begun a subtle move to appease some aspirants and their supporters over the consensus arrangement that displaced some serving political office holders and other budding contenders in the recently concluded primaries of the party nationwide.

Meanwhile, ACN members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly have denied media reports that some of them were planning to defect to other parties over the outcome of the party primaries.

A source at the Lagos State ACN Secretariat told The Guardian that the move is to forestall further violence or refrain party faithful and their supporters from engaging in protest vote against the party over the consensus arrangements.

In Lagos State especially, the party's national leader and former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, was said to have reached out to some of the aspirants and sitting political office holders who lost out in the primaries with various 'political carrots' to sustain their support.

Some of the aspirants have been directed to consult their constituencies and 'buy' their support for the party.

The source said the appeasement option was arrived at owing to strong moves by other political parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to capture Lagos and other states of the South-West won by AC through court verdicts. Some of the party faithful who bought into the appeasement were said to have started talking to their supporters.

Following the directive, a member of the House of Representatives and chieftain of ACN in Lagos State, Joseph Jaiye Ajatta, has appealed to his supporters to eschew violence and refrain from protest vote against the party over the consensus arrangement that displaced him and others at the primaries.

At a meeting of his supporters and stakeholders of the party in Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency II, the lawmaker said he convened the meeting to express his heartfelt appreciation for their efforts and support in the past eight years to serve as representative of Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency II at the Lower Chamber.

Ajatta noted that his tenure has witnessed massive democratic dividend in the constituency.

'Having done so well so far and having so many projects and programmes still uncompleted, we further indicated our willingness to continue our service to the constituency by declaring our intention to contest in the 2011 elections, set everything in motion for the realisation of this desire'. He said, however, that in the wisdom of the party's leadership, the ticket was denied.

The lawmaker said he might not be totally happy with this decision, 'but our overall interest should be the interest of our great party and that of the continued welfare and development of our constituency, which we have nurtured to this great height'.

After much persuasions, he urged them to support the party at all times, advising the people to register massively in the on-going registration of voters so that they can exercise their civic duty in the elections scheduled for April.

An Ekiti ACN lawmaker, Mr. Edward Ashaolu, has described the reported plan to quit the party as false, adding that there was never a time they met with the leadership of the opposition parties to discuss the alleged defection plan.

He explained that though the outcome of the party's primaries may be acrimonious, they remain loyal party members and would continue to support the ACN administration in the state.

He maintained that it is a thing of joy that the leadership of the party has risen to the protest that followed the primaries and were doing everything possible to right the wrongs in the outcome of the primaries.

He called on members of the public to disregard the report, saying the ACN lawmakers were in full support of the state government and would not do anything that could affect the party's fortunes in the state.