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Dust yet to settle after APC convention

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Oshiomhole


• Hundreds decamp in Edo as angry Oyo members seek justice
• Why I stayed away, by Kwankwaso
• PDP asks Oshiomhole to submit self to EFCC

While delegates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were busy choosing their national leaders at the convention in Abuja, hundreds of members in Edo State were defecting to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).The members, said to be about 3000, were received in a ceremony on Saturday at Fugar, the administrative headquarters of Etsako Central Local Council.

“While others are having their convention in Abuja, the real owners of the APC at the grassroots are moving out of the party in Fugar. The way out of our present predicament is to support the PDP to rescue Nigeria,” said Edo State PDP chairman, Chief Dan Orbih.The decamped complained of unfair treatment during their sojourn in the APC, citing also alleged irregularities in the party’s recent primary.

This came as Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu yesterday vowed that aggrieved members in Oyo State would not rest until they have had justice.He made the remark in an interview at the convention venue.The minister, who is eyeing the governorship seat in the state, has been engaged in a running battle with Governor Abiola Ajimobi over who calls the shot in the state’s APC machinery.

“We are already in court. So, to that extent, we will have to await the final outcome. There has been disagreement as to the congresses we held. You remember there were parallel congresses; parallel congresses because those who never bought forms for ward congress eventually were the ones who have been sworn in as the state’s executives of the party. “Obviously, that is injustice by the party. So, we, loyal members, who have made effort to build this party, we have taken this disagreement to court and we believe that justice will be done at the end of the day,” he said.Fighting broke out yesterday as delegates from Imo and Delta States clashed at the Eagles Square venue of the convention.

The development came hours after President Muhammadu Buhari admonished all members with grievances to “keep faith with the party” and “come together to ensure success” in the 2019 elections.“It took the frantic efforts of security agents to bring the situation under control, as chairs, tables and sticks were seen flying in different directions,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, adding it observed “a man who was seriously beaten up and wounded being dragged out of the arena by security agents.”

In the same vein, the senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has explained his absence at the event, saying he had wanted to prevent a crisis.The former governor of Kano State had instead spent time with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, an APC member turned PDP presidential hopeful.On his Twitter handle, @KwankwasoRM, the senator explained that while he would have loved to attend the convention, he thought otherwise because his loyalists were denied recognition by the APC national leadership.

He said his attendance alongside his Kwankwasiyya supporters might have sparked a clash with members loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje; a situation he said could have made the Delta and Imo delegates’ fracas a child’s play.He regretted the party’s rejection of the result of the congresses that produced members of Kwankwasiyya group.“I felt that presenting ourselves at such an important event will not be in the overall interest of the entire convention; that is assuming we are allowed access into the convention ground,” he said.

Kwankwaso, meanwhile, has congratulated the new APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. Others who sent felicitations include: factional National Chairman of the Labour Party, Dr. Mike Omotosho; aspirant for the National Assembly in Edo State, Dennis Idahosa; Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, and members of the National Union of Textiles and Garment Workers Union of Nigeria.The PDP, however, had a different gift for Oshiomhole. Describing the convention as a charade, it asked him to submit himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of corruption.


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