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Parallel APC congresses threaten exercise across states

Chieftain threatens parallel exercise in Edo if…
Anything done in Abia is null and void –Stakeholders

State congresses of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), holding today across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), may be marred by controversies in some states owing to divisions and factions. Checks and investigations revealed that disaffection and complaints from members characterise the process in some states as the leaders have reportedly failed to carry a majority of the members along in the method adopted for electing or selecting leaders for the various offices in the states chapters of the party. Saturday Telegraph gathered that the policy of consensus adopted by the party in the past congresses has polarised the state chapters of the party with many party members accusing the leaders of favouritism, which they alleged was a product of selfish interest and financial inducement. In Abia State, for instance, it was gathered that state congress might bring the party to its lowest level after so many years of hard work as there are fears of parallel congresses in the state.

The same scenario is said to be playing out in Delta State, where the likes of Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo (SAN), Dr. Alex Ideh, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, Victor Ochei, Dr. Mrs Mariam Ali, Chief Monday Igbuya, Sir Richard Odibo, Elvis O. Ayomanor and others, are said to be against the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, and a host of others on the method adopted for the congress.

Fear as parallel state congress looms in Abia

Many members of APC in Abia State have expressed fears that today’s state congress might bring the party to its lowest level after so many years of hard work. The members, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Aba on Friday expressed fears that there could be a parallel congress as the party currently has factions with two different persons assuming the Chairmanship position.

One faction, which has its state office at 38 Azikiwe Road also in Umuahia, has Hon Donatus Nwankpa as the state chairman, while the other faction loyal to a chieftain of the party, Chief Ikechi Emenike, has Mazi Enyinnaya Harbor as state chairman with their own office at Uyo Street/ Uzuakoli Road in Umuahia. The members said that they fear a repeat of what happened during the Local Government (LG) Congress, where LG Congress Committee, led by Hon. Israel Goli, supervised the congress conducted by the faction loyal to Emenike, while the faction loyal to Nwankpa, went ahead to conduct its own congress across the state, creating more confusion.

This is also coming barely a few days after the Deputy Chairman of the Hon. Donatus Nwankpa led faction, Chief Ogunka Adiele, dumped the party for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) giving the factions as a reason. No peace in Delta APC The elders’ council in the state, including their Chairman/Minister of State Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo (SAN), his Co-Chairman, Dr. Alex Ideh, the Secretary, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, Executive Officer of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, Dr. Mrs Mariam Ali, former state assembly speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya, a one-time Commissioner at the National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Sir Richard Odibo, the acting state chairman, Elvis O. Ayomanor and 10 others said that they would not accept the consensus arrangement of the party.

The faction is against that of the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ovie Omo- Agege, Senator Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, and a host of others. Keyamo’s camp took discreet resolutions in a statement and said that ‘agent- provocateur’ badged into the state and conducted charade congresses that stand rejected. ‘’The so-called party functionaries thrown up from that charade are not APC officials but the handpicked agents of one. We call on all committed and faithful party members to reject them. ‘We outright and overwhelmingly rejected the ward and local government congresses.”

Party chieftain threatens parallel congress

if party insists on consensus in Edo Ahead of the APC State Congress in Edo State, the Party Assistant Publicity Secretary, Ofure Osehobo, yesterday said the state chapter of the party has settled for a consensus candidate. He said, the party started with a consensus arrangement in the ward and local government congresses and that the party was ready to go on the same way at the state congress. However, some members of the party, led by Vice-Chairman, Edo Central of the party and a chairmanship aspirant, Chief Francis Inegbeneki, have kicked against the move, insisting that there was a need to change the State Working Committee (SWC). Inegbeneki in press conference in Benin City dissociated himself and his supporters from a meeting purportedly called by the leadership of the party to agree on consensus. He threatened to conduct a parallel Congress if there was an attempt to adopt consensus. According to him, “I am fully ready and still in the race to contest for the position of chairman come Saturday. “The record I want to set straight is that Edo people and Nigerians should know that the state congress of the APC will hold. The majority of our party faithful will conduct a credible congress.”

Two factions may hold parallel congresses

in Bayelsa State Conduct of state congress in Bayelsa State might be dicey as there are presently two factions, one led by Timipre Sylva and the other by Heineken Lokpobiri. Ebierien Fala Itubor, chairman of Heineken Lokpobiri’s faction told one of our correspondents that “there is no way we will do any congress because the matter is still in court, other states can go ahead with theirs. “One thing I want to tell you is all these things are very clear. You can’t do state congress without ward congress. After the ward you get to LGA that will now elect the state. These things are very clear and Bayelsa is a very small place. Even if they go and do anything anywhere, they will still nullify it.” But Alabo Martins, the secretary of Sylva’s faction said “Congress will hold in Bayelsa and we are going to use direct primaries. We have been doing direct primaries, but this time around, it is consensus because we have spoken to everybody and leaders have decided who they want, so it is consensus.

Niger youths reject consensus, demand elections

In Niger State, there is likely to be parallel congresses as some aggrieved members have kicked against the consensus arrangement of the state’s chapter of the APC. The members, who called for a level playing ground for all candidates, claimed to have uncovered plots by some party stalwarts in the state to prevent them from contesting to pave way for imposition of candidates despite the fact that they had purchased forms. A stalwart and former publicity secretary of the APC, Jonathan Vatsa confirmed to Saturday Telegraph that the party was pushing seriously to adopt consensus arrangement but that if it did not work out, then they would settle for elections. He however allayed fears saying that “the idea of having a consensus is to keep the party intact. But I am worried because the kind of consensus we have here is to indirectly impose candidates. While kicking against the party’s mode for the Congress, a Zonal chairmanship contestant in Niger South, Muhammad Saba insisted on a level playing ground for all contestants. He advised the National Working Committee of the party not to allow selfish leaders “to hijack the congress in the state,” saying “we have been waiting for the screening committee. We bought our forms to contest and we have done everything regarding the forms. With the way things are going, we will likely have a parallel congress and then the party’s future chances to retain power come 2023 will be in disarray.”

Kwara: We’ll conduct free, fair congress, says committee chair

The Chairman of the Committee for the state congress of the APC in Kwara State, Prof. Emmanuel Dan-Daura, has admonished all delegates to the congress to conduct themselves peacefully, adding that they were in the state to ensure a free and fair congress. Dan- Daura gave the charge during an APC stakeholders meeting in Ilorin, the state capital on Friday. He said, in all, 36 executives would be elected during the congress to run the affairs of the party in the state. The Chairman added that the constitution of the party would be strictly followed and adhered to by his committee during the congress. The Secretary of the Committee, Dr. Isiaku Bako, said those qualified to be delegates at the congress include members of the party’s board of trustees, chairman and other members of the state executive, the state governor and his deputy, former and current national assembly members from the state.

Kano adopts consensus arrangement in spite of protest

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state has stated that the state is using consensus mode in the APC state congresses with all former party leaders returning. Governor Ganduje who reeled out the names of the candidates, who include Chairman, Abdullahi Abbas, Secretary, Zakari Sarina and others, said “these are our candidates, but where there are more than one persons, elections should be conducted.” He said the congress would hold as scheduled despite protest by the Joint Stakeholders Forum led by Senators Ibrahim Shekarau and Barau Jibril, along with four other members of House of Representatives from the state. The governor, who addressed the APC stakeholders meeting at the Government House in in Kano on Thursday, dispelled the claims by the forum, which petitioned the national headquarters accusing the state body of isolating them. Ganduje further said that the aggrieved group didn’t believe in the party structure since they rejected the party leadership from ward to state level.

Enugu APC to adopt indirect method

The Enugu State chapter of the APC yesterday resolved the issue of zoning of the state working committee ahead of the state congress holding today. This is even as the Acting Caretaker Committee chairman of the party, Chikwado Chukwunta, announced that the party would elect the state officials through indirect method of delegates from the 17 local government areas of the state. Stakeholders of the party in the state during a meeting convened by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, zoned the state offices among the three senatorial districts of the state. As announced by the secretary of the zoning committee, Hon. Ikechukwu Ugwuegede, the party zoned governorship ticket of the party, state secretary, youth leader, legal adviser, assistant organising secretary among others to Enugu East. Enugu West got Speaker, state chairman, state organising secretary, auditor and assistant state secretary, among others. Enugu North senatorial district got, deputy governorship ticket, deputy state chairman, woman leader, state publicity secretary among others.

Consensus mode adopted in Lagos

The re-zoning of the chairmanship from Apapa Local Government to Ojo is one of the highlights of a recent Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) meeting held at the old State House, Marina. Aside the perceived dis-satisfaction with the performance of the outgoing Chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, who is from Apapa in the Lagos Central Senatorial District, the APC leaders also canvassed that the senatorial district has also produced the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt (Hon) Femi Gbajabiamila, who is from Surulere Local Government. All these influenced the decision of the GAC to settle for a former Commissioner for Rural Development, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, who is from Ojo Local Government in the Lagos West Senatorial District as the consensus candidate for the position. As it is now, Ojelabi may emerge as next chairman of Lagos APC. With the consensus arrangement adopted in Lagos, it was gathered that there would be no election and that all the available posts have been shared among the candidates preferred by the members of the GAC and the leaders of the party

Borno adopts consensus for state congress

Borno State chapter of APC is set for the Saturday’s state congress through consensus. Speaking on the state congress, the immediate past secretary of the Party, Hon. Bello Ayuba said “during our last stakeholders meeting, the Borno APC agreed on consensus because we believe this is the only way we can keep the unity of our party.” “Yes, we agreed on consensus, but we are in a democracy and anything can happen. If the committee members who are expected from Abuja come and in case anybody says that he wants to vie for any position, we will go into direct or indirect election. As far as Borno State APC is concerned, we have agreed to consensus,” he said.

Plateau to use consensus candidacy

There are indications that the Plateau State chapter of the APC will adopt consensus method for its congress. A former speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Ajang Azi, Hon. Isa Chungwom Song and others have withdrawn from the Chairmanship race to pave way for a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon. Rufus Bature from Barki Ladi LGA. It will be recalled that APC zoned the party chairmanship position to Plateau North Senatorial zone of State District.




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