Ogun APC holds parallel State Congress - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

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Saturday, 16 October 2021

Ogun APC holds parallel State Congress

....Abiodun hails exercise as peaceful, transparent

By Our Correspondent



The crisis rocking Ogun State chapter of All Progressives Congress took another dimension on Saturday when Governor Dapo Abiodun and Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) conducted parallel congress to elect executives into Party offices in the State 


Recall that the two groups had earlier inaugurated parallel ward and local government executives as the battle for the soul of the APC structure in Ogun State heats up.

Saturday’s parallel congress came up in spite of the warning by the Chairman of the State Congress Committee, Wale Ohu, against the same.


At different locations, the two factions elected their party executive officers through consensus arrangements.


Earlier there were heavy gunshots immediately Amosun loyalists step into the venue of the parallel congress held at Ake Palace ground, Abeokuta.


Caught in the melee were
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite; the Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District, Tolu Odebiyi and the governorship candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement, APM in the 2019 election in the State, Adekunle Akinlade.


Party faithful in their hundreds scampered for safety, even as police struggled to restore normalcy.


Earlier, policemen had locked up the Ake palace to prevent the former Governor Ibikunle Amosun loyalists from holding a congress, but they later left the venue after an 'order from above'.


Speaking, the Chairman of the National committee of the All Progressives Congress, that conducted that of Amosun faction, Hon. Gbenga Opaleye revealed that it is not within the committee's authority to resolve issues within the party in a state chapter. 


Opaleye disclosed this while addressing party's faithful at the Ake Palace Ground, Abeokuta during the conduct of the Congress in Ogun State. 


"God gives power and we can not force events. Ogun State is known to be a very peaceful and the pacesetter state in the country. We are not happy with happenings in the state party's structure but Abuja has ordered that we leave that to them while we conduct the Congress peacefully." 


"We are here to monitor the process and report back to Abuja and the rest lies with them but what we are doing here today is legal by the provisions of the party's  constitution and provisions. I implore us to live in harmony and shun violence in whatever forms in the state", Opaleye stated.


Party leaders at the Congress include; Hon. Adekunle Akinlade TRIPLE A, Senator Tolu Odebiyi (Ogun West), Senator Lekan Mustapha (Ogun East), Arch. Lekan Adegbite (Minister for mines and steel), Hon. Kola Lawal (Reps member, Yewa South/Ipokia) Barr. Leke Adewolu (Commissioner, NCC), Hon. Mikky Kazeem, Hon. Tola Banjo, Hon. Rotimi Rahmon, Hon. Allen Taylor, Hon. Bowale Solaja, Hon. Baglo among others stakeholders of the party.


Meanwhile, the Governor Dapo Abiodun’s faction also held its congress at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta


Speaking after the Congress, Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, hailed chieftains and  members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the peaceful conduct of the state congress of the party in the state.


Abiodun, who spoke after the election of 37 state officials of the party at a congress held on Saturday at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, described the exercise as a transparent and inclusive process.


He declared  the congress which was conducted by the 7-man State Congress Committee led by Hon. Wale Ohu and witnessed by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ogun, Olusegun Agbaje, as free and fair.


The governor, however, urged the new executive committee which had Yemi Sanusi, Aderibigbe Tella and Tunde Oladunjoye as chairman, secretary and publicity secretary, respectively, to work assiduously for the party and position it for victory come 2023.


Also Speaking, the Congress committee Chairman at Prince Dapo faction, Wale Ohu explained that the seven-member committee had a mandate to conduct free, fair and rancour-free congress while commending party faithful for ensuring a peaceful exercise.


He described the exercise as excellent and perfect, saying “there is no parallel congress anywhere in the state.”


Wale Ohu, informed that all aspirants for different elective positions of the party were duly screened on Friday.


He maintained that any congress held outside the MKO Abiola Stadium was nothing but "exercise in futility".


Ohu said the committee had the mandate of the National Working Committee of the party to monitor the exercise.


He submitted that 1,730 delegates participated in the congress which was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.


Ohu said the congress monitored by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which included the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, was in line with Article 12.7 of the party's constitution.


"I have the mandate of the National Secretariat of the party to vet, screen and conduct the Ogun State congress of the APC. No other election is valid, except the one my committee of 7 sent by the National headquarters of the party”


“You will recall that we had conducted Ward and Local Government Congresses in this State before. The outcome of the congresses were subjected to appeal and subsequently validated and upheld by the CCECP of the party. 


"Any other congress other than the one we are conducting is anti-party because we have all the materials: congress eligibility register, ballot papers and boxes, result sheets, party seal and authority. No other person or group of person has the CCECP to conduct any election or congress in Ogun State tomorrow”


At the Dapo Abiodun led faction, the election was conducted largely by voice votes as some contestants withdrew at the congress venue.


Chief Yemi Sanusi was therefore reelected as State Chairman while Aderibigbe Tella emerged as the Secretary.


In his acceptance speech, Chief Yemi Sanusi, vowed to continue to build the party to the greatest admiration of the electorates


While suing for peace in the Party, Chief Sanusi said "we must close ranks with all aggrieved members. No matter how successful a project is, there will always be room for improvement and to this end, I urge all members of our party to close ranks so that together we can present a formidable team at the polls".