The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday implored its members who may have been aggrieved by the conduct of Saturday’s ward congress across the country to seek redress in its appeal panel.
The governing party, however, congratulated all of its members, saying the conduct of the ward congress was generally peaceful.
The ward congresses of the APC held across the country on Saturday and was reportedly characterised by violence, intrigues and boycotts, indicating that all was not yet well with the ruling party.
While the exercise witnessed massive turnout in some states, some notable stalwarts of the party, including its national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and former Ogun State governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, were absent during the exercise in Edo and Ogun States respectively.
There were also reports of manipulation, thuggery and violence in some states where the exercise held, with several delegates beaten up and maimed, necessitating the postponement of the exercise.
But a statement issued yesterday by the party’s national publicity secretary, Malam Bolaji Abudulahi, to this effect noted: “The party especially commends members who served in the congress committees for their dedication and impartiality.
“We, however acknowledge that there are some issues arising from the conduct of the elections in some states.
With this in view, the party had set up various appeal committees which will begin sitting from Monday, May 7”.
Abudulahi called on all party members across the federation to remain law abiding, even as he stressed that where there were issues, party members should seek redress through the appeal committees in their respective states.
APC also expressed regret over the disrupted governorship primary election in Ekiti state, noting that the issue has been resolved amicably with hope to continue the exercise from where it stopped last Saturday.
The party’s primary election was disrupted by suspected political thugs, leading to indefinite suspension of the exercise.
The chairman of the Ekiti governorship primary and governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, was forced to suspend the exercise after a meeting with the 33 aspirants.
Speaking on the crisis in Ekiti, APC national publicity secretary, Abdullahi, expressed regret, just as he noted that the issue of indefinite postponement did not arise.
He said, “The situation in Ekiti is regrettable. The issues have been resolved and it is our hope that the exercise can now continue where it stopped.
“The Primaries chairman has spoken to the National Chairman after consulting with the aspirants. The position is that the process should resume as quickly as possible. The issue of indefinite postponement does not arise”.
APC Ward Congress In North West A Success – Gov Yari
Meanwhile, despite the crisis that rocked the ward congresses of the APC in some parts of the country, Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, has declared that it was successful in the Northwest region of the country.
Speaking with journalists at the president’s residence in Daura yesterday, Yari said prophets of doom were disappointed, as the exercise was hitch-free in his state and neighbouring Northwestern states.
He said, “In the region where we come from, according to the information I received from Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto, people were expecting that there will be serious problem but the exercise went on successfully”.
Asked if there will be a committee to look into complaints by aggrieved contestants, he answered in the affirmative, saying the national executive of the party has set up a committee to look into genuine complaints.
He stated: “Already there is an appeals committee that is set to commence work tomorrow (today) . The committee will assess the ward congress and if there is any complaint, they will be looked into.
“We are operating a democratic system not a dictatorship. People have interest at any point in time and their interest is paramount to them. So, whatever you put in place and whatever mechanism to make sure things go smoothly people must complain. Even in the general election, people will still complaint.
“This is internal democracy and we don’t have any problem with it. Anyone that has a complaint the appeal committee set up by the national executive of the party is in place and it would be attended to”.