Johnson Ayantunji, Olufemi Adediran and Adewumi Ademiju
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress assumed another dimension yesterday as one person was killed in Ekiti State while parallel Ward Congresses were held in Osun and Ogun states.
The deceased, identified as Jide was stabbed to death in Ado (Ekiti) Ward 10 while the congress was rounding off. A source at the venue of the congress at the Pavilion, close to the popular Adekunle Fajuyi area, said, ”
After the congress was concluded, the boys who were on drugs had disagreement among themselves and before you know it, it turned to free for all. “Jide was stabbed and rushed to the General Hospital where he was confirmed dead.
When contacted the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Sunday Abutu, confirmed the report, adding that they got a distress from the area that fight broke out one person was killed. In Rivers State, Magnus Abe asked members to boycott the congress, while the event did not hold in Bayelsa State due to a court injunction.
This was in flagrant disobedience to the warning of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) that no member of the party or group should hold any parallel Congress.
The Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in a two-page notice in Abuja, to all members on Friday, said such an individual or group risks being sanctioned. In Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, the warring political camps of Governor Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun held their congresses at different venues
Sunday Telegraph Correspondent, who monitored the exercise in Abeokuta, observed that, party leaders from both camps stormed their wards with prepared list of executive Committee members and adopted it after the head count of the party members in attendance.
A party member was reportedly injured when loyalists from both camps clashed at ward 11 in Abeokuta South Local Government Area. Also, both Abiodun and Amosun camps used separate venues in some areas, in order to avoid a clash between the warring groups.
In Ward 14 Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Amosun’s loyalists had their congress at St Louis Secondary School, Onikoko, while Abiodun’s camp held theirs at Anglican High School, Ibara.
Our correspondent also observed that the two camps came to the congress venues with a prepared list containing names of the executive committee members, and merely adopted them after head counts of members present.
For Ward 14 of Abeokuta South LG, Amosun’s loyalists elected 27 – man executive committee members with Odesanya Clement as the chairman, while Abiodun’s loyalists equally announced 27 executive Committee members with Lasisi Taofeek as the ward chairman.
The situation was the same in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state. In Ipokia Ward 1, Sunday Telegraph gathered that, the two groups had earlier converged on Ipokia Local Government Primary School, Alaga for the congress. It was gathered that the Dapo Abiodun group later left the school premises for the party Secretariat at Aniwajoye House.
Sunday Telegraph’s findings revealed that, the two groups held parallel congresses at Yewa North, Imeko Afon, Ado-Odo Ota and other parts of Ogun West Senatorial district.
The governor said the Congress in his ward was a consensus arrangement which was ratified through an electoral process, assuring party faithful that he would ensure that the ward is empowered to perform its duties.
However, the Chairman of the State Ward Congress Committee, Wale Ohu, insisted that there was no parallel election of party executives into the 236 wards throughout the state.
Ohu, who made this declaration while briefing newsmen at the State Secretariat of the party, Iyana Mortuary, Abeokuta, equally submitted that the ward congress was conducted throughout the state without any hitch. In Osun State, the situation was not different as Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his predecessor and Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola also held their congresses at different venues.
Voting materials hijacked at Asaba Airport
Dominic Adewole ASABA
Delta North Senatorial District of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State yesterday said a fake State Organizing Secretary, escorted by armed security men at the Asaba Airport, hijacked materials meant for the conduct of the ward congresses in the state.
Senatorial Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Ogbeushi Ben Onwuka, supported by the Senatorial Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, Apostle Victor Sorokwu, yesterday in Asaba lamented that the three-man Ward Congress Committee (WCC) delegation from the party’s headquarters in Abuja to oversee the process were accosted by a certain man, identified as Nick, who claimed to be the State Organizing Secretary. Hundreds of protesting aspirants, who had paid for nomination forms but were not given carried placards with an inscription “We’ll Not Build Our Party Structures on Sinking Sand”, besieged the party Secretariat.
This came as two factions, one, represented by the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege and the former Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly, Victor Ochei, now on the board of the Nigeria Maritime and Security Agency (NIMASA) and the immediate past director of Projects, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have laid claim to the soul of the party in the state.
Onwuka distanced APC in Delta North Senatorial District from the exercise and insisted that there was no ward Congress in the nine local government areas of the zone.
“The Abuja delegation further revealed that the said the phone number of the said Nick was recorded, told them he was sent by the Delta APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Prophet Jones Erue, to ensure their safety and safekeeping of the Congress materials.
“However, on arriving at the Delta State APC Secretariat, the WCC Officials realised they had been misled and the materials hijacked from them to an unknown destination.”
No congress in Bayelsa due to Court injunction
Pauline Onyibe Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Chapter postponed its ward congress scheduled for yesterday due to the State’s High Court’s injunction. Some aggrieved members of the party in the state, Ompadec Victor, Esuenifen Obi and Seimiegha Ebibofe Agbozu, had filed a suit seeking an Interim injunction from the Court to stop the conduct of the ward Congress in the state.
A Bayelsa State High Court presided over by Justice Enekinimi Uzaka, in a ruling on Friday had put a stop to the proposed congress pending the determination of the motion of notice before it.
The Court however adjourned the matter to Monday, August, 9th for the hearing of the substantive motion. But the Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of the party in the State, Mr Alabo Martins in a statement urged all party faithful to remain calm and united as the party was taking proactive steps to address the court injunction stopping the congresses.
S’ Court verdict won’t affect party -Ganduje
Muhammad Kabir Kano
Governor Umar Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has allayed the fears which the Supreme Court ruling on the Ondo State governorship election had created in the party, saying that it has nothing to do with the consensus arrangement going on in the party. Ganduje said this on Saturday after voting in consensus congress held at his Ganduje Ward, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of the State.
He said: “The Supreme Court judgment is talking about Executive Leaders of the party at National levels. What we have is an Extra Ordinary congresses committee all over the Country, who is in charge of making sure that congresses and elections are held not Executive Leadership of the party, so they are two different things.
“The arrangement is not of the national executive of the party, but APC extra ordinary arrangements, so there is no fear whatsoever.” Also, he said that the party agreed to hold a consensus wards level congresses across the State’s 484 wards after series of meetings.
Ganduje, added that they held a meeting and agreed in earnest that there should be a consensus in the Congresses and out of that they also agreed to create an Appeal Committee to look at possible dissenting voices against the Congresses. On the allegations of underage voters, Governor Ganduje, refuted the reports, saying the issues was nothing but a figment of lies created to tarnish the name and political values of Kano State.
The Governor apparently was responding to allegations of not following due process on the Congress by a National Chairmanship Aspirant of the Party, Mansur Ahmad from Tarauni Local Government Area of the State, said the Congresses in Kano is a product of a majority views.
Abia declares committee members wanted
Emmanuel Ifeanyi Aba
Members of the Committee sent to Abia State for the conduct of the ward congress, on Saturday absconded and refused to show up at the party’s secretariat in Umuahia. Briefing journalists on the development, APC Chairman in Abia State,
Hon. Donatus Nwankpa declared the committee members wanted, stressing that their conduct shows that of people who came to destabilize the party and create confusion. It would be recalled that the APC on Wednesday inaugurated a two-man congress committee for each of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who were urged to conduct proper ward congresses where they were sent.
Sunday Telegraph gathered that the committee came into Abia, but was hijacked by a certain Chieftain of the party to an unknown destination. Nwankpa said: “Some people believe that they have gotten to a system that is not only a garrison command but also an ambush system.
They have taken those people who shamelessly refused to interact with the existing structure in the state. It’s so unfortunate.
“They are a disgrace to the national whom I believe did not give them this mandate of irresponsibility and act of disregard to a constituted authority which is an act of insubordination.
“However, knowing that the party did not in any way cancel the congresses today and the committee that brought the forms from the National secretariat in line with the party policy and direction, brought the forms to the party secretariat here.
“And the party duly takes custody of it and members who paid to the National account were given forms and by the party regulation, after the sale of forms, the state Chairman will set up the screening committee and appeal on screening because there is no screening without forms.
Exercise successful in Oyo – Folarin …Ajimobi group alleges parallel event
Sola Adeyemo Ibadan
The Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content and lawmaker representing Oyo Central in the Senate, Senator Teslim Folarin, yesterday described the Congress conducted by the party as very successful, saying that it is “no victor, no vanquished”.
The three-term senator told newsmen in Ibadan that the party members displayed high level of political maturity which created peaceful atmosphere in the conduct of the ward congresses, which produced new set of executives across the 351 wards of Oyo State.
Group loyal to the late governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, however alleged that some people conducted a parallel congress somewhere else, asking them to allow for unity.
The elated Folarin had said: “Our teeming faithful members, who turned out en mass to exercise their civic responsibility, confirmed that APC is on the right track to dislodge the misruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State in the 2023 general elections”.
Kwara APC congresses peaceful Consensus arrangements adopted
Stephen Olufen Olufemi Oni Ilo rin
In line with the directive of the national body of the Party, party faithful in Kwara State on Saturday adopted consensus arrangements in picking their leaders at the ward congresses held in the 193 wards across the state.
The exercise which attracted a large turnout of party members in many centres visited by our correspondent saw members participating under a peaceful atmosphere.
It was also gathered that representatives of the national caretaker committee witnessed the exercise in various centres conducted in line with the law, just as party loyalists, INEC officials, lawmakers and government appointees participated gleefully in the exercise.
There was a large presence of security operatives in almost all the venues of the exercise, as men and officers of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Police were seen all over to prevent breakdown of law and order.
APC Congress: Kebbi adopt consensus
Ahmed Idris Birnin Kebbi
Despite the Supreme Court judgment, Kebbi State Chapter of the party conducted Wards Party Congress across the State. Our correspondent who visited some areas said that
the party had concluded on the concensus while the members followed by affirmation.
Delivery his remarked shortly after witness the swore in the new party executive members at the his ward Nassaraw 11 at Kauran Gwandu Model Primary School the Kebbi State Governor Senator Atiku Bagudu Abubakar commended the efforts of the State party executive for uniting the party executive and the members.
He said: I am ready to lead the good people of Kebbi State to the highest level, I promise to be free and fair to the politicians, our Congress was free and fair.”
Enugu chairman to aggrieved members: Withdraw your suits
Kenneth Ofoma ENUGU
The Caretaker Committee Chairman in Enugu state, Dr. Ben Nwoye has pleaded with four aggrieved members of the party in the state, who had dragged the party to court seeking to stop the ward and local government congresses to withdraw the suit and take the path of peace.
Nwoye made the appeal, weekend while responding to a motion on notice obtained by four aggrieved members from Enugu State High Court and served on him Friday evening.
The party chairman said that despite the motion on notice which did not contain any order stopping the party from continuing with the congresses, the exercise would go on as planned while efforts would be made to persuade the plaintiffs to withdraw the suit and explore internal conflict resolution mechanisms of the party.
The suit was instituted by Chinwe Agu, Venatius Ozoemena, Uzoechi George Iyke and Akpagu Jude Obinna.
Exercise peaceful in Ondo, as party adopts consensus
Adewale Momoh Akure
The ward Congress across the 203 wards in Ondo state on Saturday was peaceful as party members voted in their respective wards, despite adopting consensus.
In Akure, Ondo, Idanre and some other communities within the Ondo Central Senatorial District, the exercise was peaceful and there were indications that there was consensus among the leaders in all the wards visited by our correspondent.
A member of the party in Akure North, Mrs Bukola Ademeso, expressed satisfaction over the process and said the exercise went on peacefully through consensus, saying it had demonstrated the unity that exists amongst leaders and party faithful across the wards in the council.