May 20, 2018
A mammoth crowd of All Progressives Congress’s supporters during the party’s congress at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, on Saturday. INSET: From left, Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; ex-Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala; state party chairman, Chief Akin Oke and Senator Teslim Folarin. PHOTO: ALOLADE GANIYU
The crisis rocking several state chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) reached a head on Saturday, as parallel congresses were held in several states of the federation while notable chieftains of the party boycotted the exercise in many states.
In Oyo, Ondo, Delta, Kogi and Kwara, factions of the party held congresses in different venues, with the battle for the soul of the party in the states now shifting to the Appeal Committee of the party, which will listen to grievances from all sides.
This was just as there were pockets of violence across some states, where feuding interests resorted to violence in the battle to outdo one another.
APC holds parallel state congress
Oyo APC holds parallel congresses, as Ajimobi promises to accommodate aggrieved members
The Oyo State chapter of the APC, on Saturday, held parallel congresses, which produced two sets of party executives, with the faction of the party loyal to Governor Abiola Ajimobi returning the incumbent state chairman, Chief Akin Oke, to office while the APC Unity Forum elected the incumbent deputy state chairman as the new state chairman.
While the faction loyal to the governor held its state congress at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, with members of the state congress committee led by Mr Abdullahi Gwarzo in attendance, the APC Unity Forum held its state congress at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan.
Some of those who attended the Adamasingba congress were former Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala; Senator Fatai Buhari; Oyo gubernatorial aspirant, Chief NiyiAkintola; federal lawmakers, Honourables Dada Awoleye, Saheed Akinade-Fijabi and Akeem Adeyemi; former Oyo Commissioner for Finance, Mr Zaccheaus Adelabu; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Bayo Adelabu; former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin, among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Ajimobi has expressed willingness to accommodate the aggrieved members of the party who held a parallel congress if they are willing to repent.
Noting that politics was usually ridden with agitation, interests, conflict and reconciliation, Ajimobi said he would accommodate those persons who propagate progressive ethos and eschew brigandage and thuggery.
He charged the Oke-led state executive council, which was returned through consensus for another four years term, to continue to work for the unity and peace of the party, and accommodate everybody.
“Politics is about give and take, about reconciliation, interest and whether you like it or not, there will be people that will be angry, greedy, selfish, but the most important is to accommodate others. Even God allows conflict but in the end, he accommodates everybody. The Almighty God has been so gracious to allow the devil to exist. We should allow those who go against us to exist; eventually they will come back.
Addressing journalists, Gwarzo said the committee was unaware of any other congress apart from the one it coordinated. In line with the directive of the National Working Committee of the party, he however said the committee sold forms for the congress to all APC members who had tellers, regardless what faction they belonged to.
In his own remarks on the current state of the party, AlaoAkala said he had offered himself to Ajimobi to lead the cause of reconciling all members of the party.
This was as the Unity Forum elected 33 other state officers at its congress held at the main bowl of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan.
Addressing the gathering, the Senator representing Oyo Central