Bickering over Life Members’ voting rights stalls Lagos Country Club election

Members of the Lagos Country Club Ikeja are angry over the cancellation of elections in the Club because of interferences from some life members.

On Friday, members of the Tennis and Table Tennis Sections of the club got a rude shock when they trooped into the club only to discover that the annual elections have been cancelled.

The elections which were scheduled to start by 2pm were halted after the Chairman of the electoral panel of the Tennis Section was served with a court injunction forbidding it. This is coming after months of preparation.

In a protracted battle, some Life Members of the Club have insisted on their right to vote, contrary to the constitution of the club which forbids them. On March 20, the Life Members had got a court order which granted them the right to vote, after a ratification of the annual general meeting of the Club.

Expressing their grievances over the matter, members slammed the life members for bringing chaos to the club.

A member of the Tennis Section, High Chief Jacob Idinye, described the situation as sad because no member was forced to become a life member.

“As a life member, if you take that oath, you must abide by it,” he said.

“Our constitution says that if you’re a life member, you cannot vote. But unfortunately, they (life members) say they want to vote. That is why they went to court. And before we allow them to vote, it has to go through the normal process of an Annual General meeting. And members have said life members cannot vote.”

Another Club member, Mrs Ayo Shelle Odiah, expressed surprise and displeasure at the cancellation of the election.

“Before they give you life membership, you would sign a form and that form says that you would forfeit your voting right,” she said.

“Then, why then is it that all of sudden, you want to start voting? And these are elders.”

However, a life member, Aare Bisi Lawal, agreed with the stoppage of the elections.

“Where there are no elders, the whole thing becomes a mess,” he said.

“The way the young ones are running the club does not please us. How can I be a member of the club without having authority of power or a say in the running of the affairs.”

Another life member, Remi Bello, who is also a patron of the Table Tennis Section, said “until the injunction is vacated, the election would not hold.”

In the constitution of Lagos Country Club Ikeja, life membership is conferred on deserving members upon application. The selected life members then enjoy special privileges but part of the conditions include abstaining from voting and being voted for.

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