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APC: States conduct parallel council congresses

By Lawrence Njoku (Enugu), Odun Edward (Ilorin), Kehinde Olatunji (Lagos), Timothy Agbor (Osogbo) and Obinna Nwaoku (Port Harcourt)
05 September 2021   |   4:14 am
The crises rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the states deepened further yesterday, as parallel congresses were conducted in most of the States where Local Government Congresses were held.

Chairman of Osun State APC Local Council Congress, Gbenga Elegbeleye (left); Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, his wife, Kafayat and Secretary of the committee, Hajia Halima Shehu during the council congress at Boripe Local Council Headquarters, Iragbiji… yesterday.

•Committee Says ‘No Parallel Congress’ In Osun
•Factions Hold Separate Congresses In Lagos
•Enugu APC Splits Into Three Factions
•Congress Peaceful In Kwara, Ogun, Rivers

The crises rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the states deepened further yesterday, as parallel congresses were conducted in most of the States where Local Government Congresses were held.

Though members of the National Committee on the congress expressed satisfaction over the conduct of party members, reports across some of the states suggested the exercises didn’t all go smoothly.

In Osun State, the Osun Progressive (TOP), a caucus that has the backing of Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo and Ife local councils, held a separate congresses.

In Osogbo, members of the APC caucus held their congress at Ola-Oni Centre, Aregbe Area, Osogbo, while those who belonging to the Ileri Oluwa group held theirs at the Osogbo Federal Constituency Office, Ladsol area.

Also in Ife East local council, it was gathered that a consensus agreement could not be reached during the stakeholders’ meeting in the council. Elections were held and winners were subsequently declared.

The Committee, however, said there was no parallel congress anywhere in the state, except on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Speaking on behalf of the members, the Committee’s Chairman, 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 party leadership, said there was no parallel congress anywhere, contrary to insinuations making the rounds.

In Lagos, factions within the State chapter of APC held parallel congresses across the 245 wards of the 20 local government areas.
The two major factions of the party, comprising the Tunde Balogun faction and the Lagos4Lagos group, held their separate congresses where new local government officers emerged through consensus and affirmation without any violence recorded.
In Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area, Agege, Alimosho and Kosofe, both factions recorded huge turnout of faithful at the designated venues.

In Enugu State, the crisis rocking the party took a turn for the worse with the emergence of a third faction of the party. Few weeks back, there was little indication that the warring chieftains of the party had mended fences and were ready to work together. However, the peace pact crumbled during the ward congress, leading to two parallel executives in most of the wards.
Reports from the congress, yesterday, indicated that APC had split further into three factions. The Guardian gathered that, while one faction is loyal to the State Caretaker Committee chairman, Dr. Ben Nwoye, another group is with Senator Ken Nnamani, while the third faction is loyal to Foreign Affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.

However, in Kwara State, the congress was peaceful, as the party adopted consensus approach. The party delegates trooped out in their numbers, but the heavily armed security personnel had little or no security issue to tackle, as the delegates elected the new executives with fanfare. Party delegates peacefully elected new leaders through affirmation of consensus list earlier agreed to by all stakeholders.

The congress was held across the state under peaceful atmosphere and close supervision by the APC team from the national secretariat Abuja and INEC officials deployed for the exercise.

In Ogun State, the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun hailed the peaceful conduct of the exercise, while commending leaders and members for comporting themselves in an orderly manner.

Abiodun, who gave the commendation while addressing party faithful at St. Saviour Anglican Primary, Ikenne, venue of the congress in Ikenne local council, said the peaceful manner which the party conducted the exercise was a strong indication that APC remains the party to beat, not only in Ogun, but in Nigeria.

He expressed satisfaction over the consensus approach in electing a 27-man executive committee in each of the 20 local council areas in the state, noting that the approach would further entrench internal democracy in the party.

In Rivers State, the party produced Local Council executives in 23 LGAs in preparation for the 2023 general elections. The party elected Hon. Frank Eze Aribodor as chairman of the party in Ikwerre Local Government, Hon. Austin Asomeji was re-elected Chairman in Emohua LGA, AkpoBari Celestine was elected Chairman of Khana LGA while George Nwanjoku was elected as the new chairman of the party in Etche.

However, the spokesman of the caretaker committee of the party in the state, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, said the party was now positioned to take over power in the state.

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.”