There were renewed hostilities in most states as the All Progressives Congress (APC) held its state congresses nationwide on Saturday.
Although some states adopted consensus in electing their new State Working Committees (SWC), paralleled congresses still held sway in many other states.
The renewed rivalry exhibited by contending power brokers was despite recent reconciliatory efforts of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) chaired by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni.
The governor had on Friday urged members of the party to approach tomorrow’s state congress with a united front, saying the party had made adequate preparations for a hitch-free congress.
He reminded them that the party had also raised appeal committees for ward, local government and state congresses to address differences and disagreements.
Daily Trust reports that the party on Monday inaugurated the National Reconciliation Committee chaired by a former Nasarawa State governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to reconcile all differences among stakeholders and party members.
But, despite assurances of a peaceful conduct and warning against sabotage, there were pockets of violence in some states.
DSS, Police seal venue of parallel congress in Kano
The crisis in Kano APC yesterday led to parallel congresses between members loyal to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and a former governor of the state, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.
The governor, who led delegates from his local government of Dawakin Tofa to cast their votes at the Sani Abacha Indoor Sports Hall, declared that any other meeting at any other venue organised by those he called “disgruntled elements” was illegal.
The governor said the Auwalu Abdullahi-led national secretariat screening committee and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) present at the hall confirmed that it was the only venue accredited for the congress.
The interim chairman of the party in the state, Abdullahi Abbas, was returned as consensus candidate following his endorsement by the Ganduje-led APC stakeholders and a voting process that saw 3,320 delegates elected him and 50 others into various offices in the party.
Meanwhile, the Shekarau’s G7 said it had elected Ahmadu Haruna Zago as chairman at a parallel congress in the state.
The parallel congress held at the Janguza area of the state after their initial venue was sealed by security agents, who fired teargas to disperse the crowd at the place.
Parallel congresses, excos in Niger
Two sets of executives emerged from parallel congresses conducted in Niger State between members loyal to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and aggrieved members disqualified by the congress committee.
The congress attended by the governor and other top government officials at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Congress Centre, produced, through consensus, a former Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Haliru Jikantoro, as the chairman.
It also elected one Ibrahim Khalil as the secretary of the party.
Whereas the aggrieved members converged at an office belonging to the embattled chairman of the party in the state, Jibril Imam, and elected one Nasiru Yusuf Ubandiya as their chairman.
But, the chairman of the congress committee, Ahmed Suleiman Wambai, said the congress attended by the governor was the legitimate one.
Earlier, the chairman of Local Organising Committee, Ahmed Musa Ibeto, said contestants who stepped down for consensus would be considered for political appointments by the state government.
Okorocha boycotts congress as Uzodimma seeks reconciliation
In Imo State, former Governor Rochas Okorocha and his loyalists boycotted the congress which elected Dr Macdonald Ebere as the consensus chairman of the party.
Ebere, a former special adviser to Governor Hope Uzodinma, would succeed Marcon Nlemigbo.
The congress, which held at the Ndubuisi Kanu Heroes Square, was attended by two members of the House of Representatives, Chike Okafor and Miss Marian Onuoha, among other delegates from the 27 local government areas of the state.
However, the faction led by Daniel Nwafor has described the congress as a charade.
Speaking to our correspondent in a telephone interview after the announcement of Ebere as the new chairman, Nwafor insisted that he remained the authentic chairman because both parties were still in court.
However, Uzodimma charged the new executives to seek genuine reconciliation with “all manner of people” in the party.
2 injured in attack as violence erupts in Osun
Two persons were reportedly injured in violence that erupted at a parallel congress held by loyalists of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, in Osogbo, Osun State.
The congress was attended by members of The Osun Progressives (TOP) at Ladsol area of Ogo-Oluwa while the Ileri-Oluwa group loyal to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola held its congress at Osogbo township stadium.
The chairman of TOP, Mr Adelowo Adebiyi, accused the governor of sponsoring the attack to intimidate their members.
He alleged that two APC members, Adedapo Atobatele and Ismail Akinyede, were directly shot by hoodlums allegedly led by one Asiri Eniba.
“Atobatele and Akinyede were shot at the leg and hand. The thugs invaded the premises of the state congress venue with about eight vehicles. Some of them had lurked around in a street behind the venue. They started shooting in an attempt to disrupt the congress. But the officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps repelled the attack and chased the hoodlums away.”
But the state Commissioner for Information, Mrs Funke Egbemode, said the allegation by TOP against the governor was not true.
“Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is a fine gentle man; he has nothing to do with the attack or shooting anywhere. He is not such a person that can send thugs to attack anyone. People should be careful with what they say about other people,” Egbemode said
The director of media and publicity for the APC, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, said the claim by TOP was not true.
“We were at the stadium for our state congress, which was conducted peacefully. We are not aware of the shooting anywhere. Their claim is not true. We have nothing about the attack,” Oyatomi said.
Party suspends congress in Oyo
The party in Oyo State announced the suspension of the congress to harmosnise the executive.
Though there was a rumour about “forging of documents meant for the exercise and other irregularities in some quarters”, our correspondent reports that leaders of the party were on ground as early as 8am.
The state publicity secretary of the party, Dr. Olatunde Abdulazeez, who made the announcement in Ibadan said it was postponed for the party to harmonise the wards and local government executive.
Our correspondent who arrived in Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, the venue of the congress before the announcement was made, reports that members of the party across the state were on ground to cast their votes.
Olatunde said, “Yes, the congress has been postponed. It is postponed for us to harmonise our executive and put our home in order.”
APC national scribe, Akpabio hold parallel congresses in Akwa Ibom
The group loyal to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, conducted its congress at the Kara Event Centre, along Stadium road, while the Senator Akpan Udoedeghe-led group elected its officials at Sheer Grace Centre in Uyo.
Speaking during the congress held at Kara Event Centre, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, explained that the different congresses were working for the interest of the party.
Also speaking, Akpabio said the disagreements would be settled at a round table.
Ojelabi emerges as consensus chairman amid parallel congresses in Lagos
Cornelius Ojelabi on Saturday emerged the consensus chairman of the APC in Lagos State.
The congress, which took place at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena Stadium, also saw 35 other executive members elected through voice votes.
This came amid another parallel congress held by a group within the party, under the aegis of Lagos4Lagos Movement, which had vowed to wrest the control of the party from the APC national leader and former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Daily Trust reports that members of the Lagos4Lagos Movement held their congress at the Airport Hotel in Ikeja. The group had equally conducted parallel congresses for the wards and local governments.
The group elected Sunday Ajayi from Agege Local Government as the state chairman, with 35 other state officers.
But the mainstream APC congress held at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena was monitored by the chairman of the Lagos APC Congress Committee, Bayo Adelabu, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and independent observers.
Adelabu disclosed that 1,615 delegates were accredited for the exercise, which produced Ojelabi
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the congress described the conduct as simple, fair and non-controversial.
Parallel congresses in Enugu amid fracas
Two parallel congresses held in Enugu yesterday as a faction elected Chief Ugochukwu Agballah as the state chairman of the party, amid fracas.
The parallel election, which produced Agballah, was initially disrupted by some thugs, who damaged the public address system, forcing delegates to scamper for safety.
When the crisis subsided, the chairman of the state congress, Dr Arodogbu Ijeoma, went ahead with the exercise during which Option A4 voting system was adopted.
Ijeoma, who briefed the gathering before and shortly after the congress, announced that three candidates Chike Peter Umeje, Ugochukwu Agballah and Group Capt Joe Orji (retd) were dully screened and cleared for chairmanship position.
He said Agballah scored 684 beating Umeje, who got 4 votes while Orji was not at the event.
Meanwhile, the suspended former chairman of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye, and his group held their parallel congress at another venue, which had not been concluded as at the time of filing this report.
Violence as Abiodun, Amosun factions elect parallel excos
There were heavy shootings yesterday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as the two major factions of the elected parallel state executives.
The factions led by Governor Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
As early as 8am on Saturday, Abiodun’s loyalists gathered at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, while the faction loyal to Amosun converged on the Ake palace ground to elect the parallel executive members.
Our correspondent reports security was beefed up at the two venues to forestall break down of law and order.
However, pandemonium broke out when some hoodlums, at about 10:30am stormed Ake palace ground located within the palace of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, in the state capital, and opened fire on the Amosun loyalists.
The political thugs numbering about 20 attacked party members and smashed windscreen of vehicles parked front of the palace.
Apparently aggrieved that the security agents did not resist the hoodlums while carrying out the attacks, the APC members, mostly youths, charged towards the security men and chased them away.
However, the security personnel, who ran momentarily, turned against the aggrieved youths, shooting into the air to disperse them.
Unconfirmed report said one person was feared dead while about three others sustained injuries during the violence.
Amosun’s loyalists about 30 minutes later regrouped at the venue and went ahead with their parallel congress, electing Chief Derin Adebiyi as the chairman through consensus arrangement.
At the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abiodun led Otunba Gbenga Daniel; the former deputy governor of the state, Senator Adegbenga Kaka and other loyalists to produce Chief Yemi Sanusi as the State Chairman of the party.
The Congress was conducted under the supervision of a -7 man committee led by Chief Wale Ohu.
The faction also adopted consensus approach shortly after some opposing aspirants withdrew from the contest.
Peaceful congress in Yobe as delegates adopt consensus
The congress was peaceful in Yobe as the delegates adopted consensus mode in electing the state officers.
The chairman of the state congress committee, Senator Osita Izunaso, stated that over 1,000 delegates would participate in the congress.
The motion to adopt the consensus mode was moved by Lawan Shettima Ali, a member of the House of Representatives, and seconded by Sidi Yakubu Karasuwa.
The delegates unanimously affirmed Mohammed Gadaka as the state chairman with 35 other state exco.
Governor Mai Mala Buni, who is the acting national chairman of the party, commended the peaceful conduct in the state, adding that it would serve as a template for others.
On his part, Senate President Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, congratulated all the elected officials, urging them to discharge their duties in the best interest of the party.
Peaceful conduct in Abia
A faction of the party in Abia loyal to Chief Ikechi Emenike has elected Eyinnaya Aboh as the new chair with 1,260 votes, defeating three others.
The chairman of the congress committee and former House of Representatives member from Ondo State, Babatunde Kolawole, said 1,277 delegates were accredited.
He said any congress conducted outside that was a picnic.
Meanwhile, another faction of the party led by Donatus Nwamkpa postponed its own congress
Journalists barred from congress venue in Edo
In Edo State, many journalists were barred from covering the congress held at the University of Benin Sport Complex yesterday.
Even when the journalists showed their identity cards, officials of the State Security Service manning the gate stopped the journalists, saying they were acting on instruction.
“You can’t enter the venue; we don’t need office identity card. If you want to enter the venue you have to show your accreditation card. Sorry, it is not our fault; we are acting under instruction, called the officials.”
Meanwhile, a delegate from Etsako West Local Government, Make Afaliokhai, said the congress election went peacefully.
He said the state executives were elected through affirmation by all the delegates.
He said Francis Inegbeneki, who was contesting the chairmanship position stepped down during the election to pave way for Col David Imuse (retd), who was elected state chairman of the party. Lawrence Okah was also elected as the secretary, among others.
Fear of violence forced postponement in Taraba
Heightened fear forced the party to postpone the congress in Taraba State yesterday.
The caretaker chairman in the state, Ibrahim El-Sudi, told Daily Trust on Sunday in an interview that there was a threat to peace as some contestants had smuggled in thugs to cause crisis during the congress.
El_Sudi stated that the committee sent in by the national secretariat of the party to conduct the congress had invited all stakeholders to a meeting in Abuja, where a memorandum of understanding would be signed among contending parties to ensure peaceful conduct at a new date to be announced.
Nasarawa, Gombe adopt consensus
Stakeholders of the party in Nasarawa State at a meeting in Government House, Lafia adopted a consensus arrangement to elect new leaders.
Security was beefed up in and around Lafia, the state capital yesterday to maintain law and order during and after the congress.
Our correspondent who went round the state capital observed that the police were stationed at Lafia-Jos and Lafia-Makurdi roads to prevent any breakdown of law and order.
Security agents were stationed at strategic areas to avert crisis and control vehicular movements.
However, stakeholders in Gombe State yesterday elected Mr Nitte Amangal as chairman, alongside 35 other executive members to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years.
The new executive members emerged through a consensus method in line with the party’s guidelines and the resolution of the party stakeholders prior to the congress.
Speaking shortly after the exercise held at Pantami Stadium in Gombe metropolis, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya applauded the smooth conduct of the exercise.
He commended the electoral committee for conducting a “rancour-free election” from wards up to state level.
Earlier, the chairman of the committee, Dr Danjuma Dabo, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the congress from ward, local government councils and state level.
He announced the return of the new executives after putting a voice votes to the 712 accredited delegates.
Gov, speaker absent as 7 women emerge in Jigawa
Seven women emerged among the 36-member executive members in Jigawa at the congress yesterday.
The chairman of the committee, Alhaji Haruna Musa, who announced the outcome of the congress, confirmed that they emerged through a consensus arrangement.
The immediate past chairman of the All Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and former chairman of Gumel Local Government, Aminu Sani Gumel, emerged as the chairman
The outgoing caretaker committee chairman, Alhaji Umar Muhammad Dikuma, was returned as secretary.
However, Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar and some key stakeholders of the party were absent at the congress.
While Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that Badaru was out of the country and represented by his deputy, Umar Namadi, it was not clear why others stayed away.
Pro-Tinubu group shuns congress as Omotoso returns as Ekiti chair
The APC in Ekiti also adopted consensus in electing new state officers, with Paul Omotoso returning as chairman and Sola Elesin retaining his position as deputy chairman.
The congress was supervised by the committee chaired by Alhaji Yusuf Galambi.
But members of the pro-Tinubu group, the Southwest Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA) 2023, boycotted the process.
Prominent members of the group like Senators Dayo Adeyeye, Tony Adeniyi and Babafemi Ojudu were absent.
They also boycotted the local government congress, citing a pending court case challenging the conduct of the ward congress in the state.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, after the election, urged the Omotoso-led state executive to work hard and unify the party ahead of the 2022 governorship poll slated for June 18.
Omotoso, in his acceptance speech, expressed confidence that the next governor that would succeed Fayemi would emerge from the party.
Lai Mohammed absent as parallel congresses hold in Kwara
Parallel congresses held in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital yesterday as a faction loyal to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, reelected Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa as its faction chairman in the state.
Bolarinwa, alongside other new members of the executive, emerged through an affirmative process in a congress held at the party’s secretariat, located along reservation road, GRA, Ilorin.
The minister and the reelected chairman were both missing at the event.
Announcing the new executive, Dr Bolaji Afolabi, who served as returning officer said the new executive emerged by wish of the majority members of the party.
A staunch loyalist of the governor, Prince Sunday Fagbemi, however emerged at a parallel congress through consensus arrangement adopted by the party.
The exercise was supervised by congress committee from the national secretariat of the party led by Prof. Emmanuel Dan-Daura.
Dan-Daura praised the governor for guiding the party to a peaceful conclusion of the process which began with the ward congresses.
He described the Kwara exercise as one of the peaceful in five previous assignments he has supervised.
Kaduna adopts consensus
The party in Kaduna State also adopted consensus in electing the 36 party executives.
The state chairman, Emanuel Jekada, and other executives were re-elected with only few new members joining the party leadership in the state.
Governor Nasir El-rufai at the event held at Yar’adua Hall Multala Square, Kaduna called on the executives to unite and work as a team.
The state publicity secretary of the party, Salisu Tanko Wosono, said the consensus ended peacefully.
Uncertainty, apprehension in Bauchi amid heavy security
There was apprehension in Bauchi APC yesterday over the inability of stakeholders to agree on the new chairman of the party.
There was the presence of armed security personnel at the party’s secretariat along Maiduguri road to forestall unforeseen circumstances.
Investigation indicated that there was disagreement among stakeholders on the choice of Babayo Aliyu Misau anointed by the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu as the chairman.
While majority of stakeholders rejected the choice of the minister for not being an active member of the party, some members are rooting for the return of the caretaker chairman, Uba Nana.
One of the aspirants for the chairmanship position, Dr Muhammad Auwal, who addressed newsmen at the secretariat, said stakeholders from Bauchi central vehemently rejected the idea of consensus,
The chairman of the state committee, Jibrin Samuel, said stakeholders had adopted consensus method but that election would hold in the event stakeholders disagree.
As at the time of filing this report, there was no clear position taken by the party.
Cross River adopts consensus, elects Ebah as chair
The party in Cross River State also adopted consensus in electing new state officers, with Alphonsus Ebah, a former director general of the Due Process Agency, emerging as the new chairman.
The chairman of the electoral panel, Alhaji Abubakar Malami, said they relied on voice votes going by Article 20 of the APC constitution.
Governor Ben Ayade commended members of the party for their steadfastness and pledged his support to the new executive. Ebah defected with the governor from the PDP recently.
Stories from: Clement A. Oloyede (Kano); Abubakar Akote (Minna); Mohammed I.Yaba (Kaduna); Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi); Jude Aguguo Owuamanam (Owerri); Hameed Oyegbade (Osogbo); Christiana T. Alabi and Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos); Bola Ojuola (Akure); Dickson S. Adama (Jos); Tony Adibe (Enugu); Ibrahim Baba Saleh (Damaturu); Linus Effiong (Umuahia); Usman A. Bello (Benin); Magaji Isa Hunkuyi (Jalingo); Umar Muhammed (Lafia), Haruna Gimba Yaya (Gombe); Mohammed Abubakar (Dutse); Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado Ekiti); Mumini AbdulKareem (Ilorin); Eyo Charles (Calabar); Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan), Iniabasi Umo (Uyo) & Peter Moses, Abeokuta