Delegates for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) local government congresses held across the states of the federation, yesterday, generally adopted consensus candidates to lead the party with exception of a few states like Oyo, Enugu and Niger states where parallel exercises were held by aggrieved aspirants
In Osun, members of the National Committee on Local Government Congress of the party expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the exercise in the State.
This is even as the Committee affirmed that there was no parallel congress anywhere in the State except on Facebook and other social media platforms.
The Committee, which monitored the exercise, observed the peaceful conduct of the congress across all local governments. Among the Councils visited as at the time of filing the report were Osogbo Local Government, Boripe Local Government and Boluwaduro Local Government.
Speaking on behalf of the members of the Committee, the Committee’s Chairman, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, lauded the peaceful conduct of the party loyalists, describing it as commendable and worthwhile.
Elegbeleye, who commended the consensus model adopted by the leadership of the party, said there was no parallel congress anywhere as against the insinuations making the rounds.
In his remarks during the visit of the members of the Committee to his Council in Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government, Governor Oyetola applauded the members of the party across the State for allowing peace to reign.
Also in Ebonyi State, the election which took place across the 13 council areas was by consensus arrangement involving all positions.
In Ishielu Local Government Area of the State, the council chairman, Hon. Sunday Eze, described the exercise as credible and commended the chairman of the congress, Hon.Chinedu Awoh for the exercise.
The Council chairman who spoke to journalists noted that the calibre of stakeholders who turned out for the exercise showed that APC had come to stay in the State.
He, therefore, commended the state governor, Chief David Umahi, for his infrastructural strides which, he said, had marketed the Party as the only choice of the people ahead of 2023.
The same consensus arrangement was also adopted in Ogun State where Governor Dapo Abiodun expressed satisfaction with the process in all the 20 local government areas of the state, adding that the approach would further entrench internal democracy in the party.
Abiodun, who gave this commendation while addressing party faithful at the St. Saviour Anglican Primary, Ikenne, venue of the congress in Ikenne Local Government Area, said the peaceful manner in which the party conducted the exercise was a strong indication that APC remained the party to beat not only in Ogun but in Nigeria.
The governor thanked APC members for their patience and discipline which, according to him, had further endeared the party to the people.
He equally thanked Wale Ohu-led Local Government Congress Committee for ensuring a rancour free exercise in the state, saying the party would continue to welcome members from other parties.
Similar trend was also witnessed in the Edo State chapter of the party, where the Chairman, Edo Local Government Congress Committee, Abdulwahab Yahaya, commended members of the party at the various local governments for arriving at a consensus.
“We have seen it’s really consensus. We have seen it and that is going to form party of our major report”, he said.
However, the State Chairman of the party, Col. David Imuse, warned those claiming ownership of the party’s structure to desist from it, saying it belongs to the party and not an individual.
He gave the warning in Benin while congratulating the newly elected local government executive members of the party.
Commendation has also gone to the Plateau State chapter of the party for the peaceful conduct of the local government congresses across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state through consensus arrangement. In Jos North, Jos South, Riyom, Barkin-Ladi, Shendam and Bassa Local Government Areas, among others, party officials emerged through consensus.
Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, commended members of the party in the State for their peaceful conduct during the exercise. He described the maturity of the party members as a great asset for the fortune of the party.
He assured the members that their sacrifices and considerations would be rewarded, saying that the party was ready to win the forthcoming Local Government elections.
In Kebbi State, election of local government officers across all the 21 Local Government Areas of the state was also by consensus arrangement.
The exercise which was monitored by the APC National Congress Committee led by Mr. Osita Okechukwu with the attendance of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) was said to be generally peaceful.
While speaking to journalists on the exercise, Malami explained that all the APC stakeholders generally adopted consensus for the congresses from ward to the state level.
“I want to commend his Excellency, Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, for his purposeful leadership which has brought all the important politicians in Birnin Kebbi to APC. He is now laying a foundation for peace, development and good leadership in the state,” Malami said.
He appealed to all the delegates to continue to maintain their peaceful conduct in the forthcoming state congress just as they did during the ward and LG congresses.
In his remark, Okechukwu applauded Kebbi State chapter of APC for the peaceful conduct of the ward and local government congresses, noting that only Kebbi State congresses were the most peaceful devoid of crisis.
However, in Enugu State, two parallel congresses were held at different locations due to the leadership crisis rocking the party.
While the faction loyal to Nwoye conducted its congress at Nsukka, the group belonging to Chukwunta held its own at Sam Onyishi civic town hall, Nsukka, where Okey Benedict-led four-man electoral committee announced Ezema Clifford, Ugwu Celestine and Sunday Ugwuoke as elected chairman, vice chairman and secretary respectively, among others.
The congresses came barely three week after the party’s’ State Working Committee (SWC) announced the alleged impeachment of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, Dr Ben Nwoye, which pave the way for his assistant Mr. Chikwado Chukwunta to take over the leadership of the party excos in the state.
A chieftain of the party, Ikechukwu Ugwuegede, said the congress held at the Sam Onyishi hall was the one recognised by the constitution of the party as it had Independent National Electoral Commission electoral officer present during the congress.
On his own part, the embattled caretaker chairman of the party, Ben Nwoye, alleged that the present crisis rocking the party in the state was caused by those working for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In Oyo State, though the exercise witnessed a large turnout of the party supporters from across the 33 local government areas of the state, there were reports of parallel congresses in some Councils, notably Ibadan North-East and Ibadan South-East Local Government areas of the state.
The exercise held under peaceful atmosphere was conducted in each of the council areas by a three-man ad-hoc congress committee sent by the leadership of the party in the state.
The congress was also monitored by the representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Department of State Security Service (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies.
Briefing journalists at the state secretariat of APC, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, at the end of the congress, yesterday, Chairman of the congress committee, Chief Hilary Amodu, described the exercise as peaceful. He said: “What I saw was a good turnout and peaceful congress; the delegates were there and exercised their franchise. I must commend the party and its members for a job well done. I also commend the security agencies for also standing by the party.”
Intrigues and manipulations marred the conduct of the local government congresses in Niger State, as aspirants disagreed on consensus arrangement adopted by the party in the state.
Areas where there opposition was raised against consensus arrangement by the aggrieved candidates included Paikoro, Bida, Chanchaga, Lapai and six other local government areas.
In Paikoro local government, for instance, two out of the three Chairmanship candidates disagreed with the consensus arrangements, accusing a top politician in the area of hijacking the entire process with the intention of imposing his preferred candidate as the local government party chairman.
One of the aggrieved Chairmanship candidates, Mallam Nakoji Busai Paigo, told Sunday Sun that he and his other contestants opted out of consensus arrangement because “there was no any discussion or agreement among us for consensus arrangements.”
Mallam Nakoji threatened to challenge the action in court.
Also in Chanchaga local government, the consensus arrangements was strongly resisted by the people who insisted that there must be election for peace to reign in the local government.
Contrary to the past experience, the exercise in Rivers State was generally adjudged to peaceful in the entire local government areas of the state.
The Spokesman of the Caretaker Committee of the party, Ogbonna Nwuke, said: “The congress held in the 23 local government areas of the state and we are happy that the party members were in a good mood and the process was peaceful.
“The delegates voted and the bottom line is that officials of the party at the local government level have been elected.
“Party members came out en masse and voted peaceful. There is no report of violence or misunderstanding anywhere.”
The party elected Frank Eze Aribodor as chairman of the party in Ikwerre Local Government, the LGA of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, while Austin Asomeji was re-elected Chairman of the party in Emohua LGA. For Khana and Etche Local Government Areas, Celestine Akpobari and George Nwanjoku were respectively elected.
Delta State equally recorded peaceful congresses as witnessed by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security operatives. – The Sun..