In contrast to the violence and boycott that greeted the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ward Congresses last week, the party yesterday put its act together by holding what has been described as peaceful local government congresses nationwide.
Apart from some states where parallel congress were said to have held, with two factional executives emerging, the APC local government congresses attracted commendation from a cross-section of stakeholders.
In Katsina State, deputy governor, Mannir Yakubu, commended the effort of the party in conducting the congresses in a peaceful and transparent manner.
Speaking to journalists shortly after supervising the Katsina local government congress held at the state APC secretariat, Yakubu expressed optimism that the congress would bring positive development to the people.
He said the free, fair and credible congress across the state is a clear signal that the ordinary Nigerians who have given the present administration the mandate are ready to renew the mandate come 2019.
LEADERSHIP Sunday checks revealed that the APC local government congress across the state was generally hitch-free.
In the same vein, the party in Kwara State said the local government congresses across the 16 local government areas in the state yesterday were peaceful.
Just like last week ward congresses, APC stakeholders in most local government areas in the state picked their executives through a consensus arrangement. The arrangement helped greatly in minimising the rancour that is always associated with elections.
In Kogi State, the director general of media and publicity to Governor Yahaya Bello, Kingsley Fanwo, dismissed rumours of “parallel Congresses, saying organisers of such and their sponsors should be expelled from APC.
Fanwo stated this in Mopa shortly after the Ward Congress to elect local government APC executives.
His words: “You can see the orderly manner in which our party members have elected our executives. The strength of our party lies in our internal democratic mechanism. We are a law abiding party”.
When asked about reports of parallel Congresses in Lokoja LGA, Fanwo said the people who organized “the purported parallel Congresses are jesters and politically confused individuals who are out to destroy the party”.
According to him, the Congress has been “hugely successful”.
He continued: “Last week , they issued a press statement that they won’t be taking part in the Congresses, only to wake the following morning to claim their group already had majority of the Ward executive.
“People do not take them serious anymore. They are mere political jesters who want to destroy the party before moving to other parties they have been sponsoring secretly.
“There was a Stakeholders meeting yesterday where Party faithful were addressed by the Congress Committee sent to the state to midwife the process. Those claiming to have done parallel Congress didn’t attend.
“Security agencies must go after those hoodlums who claimed they had another Congress apart from the one originally supervised by the National Headquarters of our great party.
“Security agencies should question how they forged the materials they used and ensure proper prosecution of the perpetrators and their Abuja based sponsors”.
Similarly, Some members of the APC in Edo State lauded the conduct of the local government congresses in the state, describing it as peaceful.
They commended the peaceful conduct of the delegates, emphasising that the maturity demonstrated by the delegates was an indication that the party would go to the 2019 general elections as a united body.
The leader of the party in Ovia South West local government area, Mr Dennis Idahosa, while expressing satisfaction with the congress that took place at Ozolua Primary School, Iguobazuwa, commended the delegates for conducting themselves in an orderly manner.
According to him, “the maturity displayed by the delegates and the peaceful disposition as well as the orderly manner the congress was conducted shows that the party is ready for the general elections”.
Contrary to insinuations that intra-party feud would affect the conduct of its congresses, the Ogun State chapter of APC yesterday adopted a harmonisation formula towards ensuring a hitch-free local government party congress.
The exercise, which held across the 20 local government headquarters of the state, had in attendance party loyalists from the Governor Ibikunle Amosun faction as well as party faithful from the camp of his estranged godfather, Aremo Olusegun Osoba.
LEADERSHIP Sunday reliably gathered that the harmonisation resulted in the congress producing consensus candidates for all the 20 elective positions at the local government levels for the party.
The consensus arrangements adopted by the party also took care of the interests of those aggrieved politicians who had earlier decamped to the party from the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In Bayelsa State, there were signs of a new crack within the fold of the APC, following the conduct of parallel congresses in the eight local government council areas of the state.
The parallel congresses were however conducted in a peaceful and non-violent manner, with huge turn out of party delegates and supporters.
The APC local government congresses in Niger state was peaceful, even as some of the party members were against the affirmation of some executives in the areas thaty were adopted by affirmation.
It was gathered that in the local government congresses, most members went for affirmation of the former executives, while few believed that the election must take place to weed out those they tagged “selfish”.
LEADERSHIP Sunday however observed that in the areas where the congresses took place
, it was peaceful without hitches.
The APC local government congress in Kano State witnessed a massive turn out.
A visit to some local government areas within the municipality, including Gwale, Municipal, Nassarawa, Kumbotso, Dala and Tarauni Secretariat of the party revealed that delegates had already converge in to cast their votes for choice candidates.
It observed that electoral materials were distributed as early as 8:00am across the wards as voting commenced as early as 9:30am in the areas visited.
Earlier, the Chairman, Kano local government congress Committee, Chief John Agoda, during the distribution of the electoral materials at the party Secretariat said 27 positions are to be contested for in each of the local government areas.
He commended the APC leaders in the state for conducting themselves in a good and orderly manner during the exercise.
APC Takes Lead In Kaduna, Oyo LG Polls
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) was coasting to victory at the local government elections held in Kaduna and Oyo States yesterday.
Investigations by our correspondents showed that the ruling party was leading in most of the polling units that were visited in the states.
Preliminary official results obtained by LEADERSHIP Sunday showed that in Gabasawa ward, APC scored 15,260 to beat the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which scored 1,157 votes while People’s Redemption Party (PRP) got 11 votes.
The returning officer of Gabasawa’s SIECOM ward, Aliyu Bamali, signed the result sheet.
Also, the break down of results in Kaura Ward, Zaria local government indicated that, polling Unit 031, APC scored 127, while PDP has 41 for chairmanship.
Our correspondent gathered that the council polls were suspended in two local government areas due to security reasons, though no official confirmation from SIECOM.
Despite the low turn out of voters in Oyo State, the local government election was largely peaceful.
The State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and his wife, Florence voted at Ward 9, Unit 21 at about 12.30pm in Oluyole Local Government Area of the state.
The governor, after casting his vote, expressed optimism that his political party, APC, would emerge victorious.
He expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the exercise, which was witnessed by both local and international observers.
Also, observers from the human right society, Comrade Friday Maduka, gave the electoral process a pass mark, saying that voter turnout in the units was encouraging.
About 12 political parties, excluding major parties participated in the exercise.
The state governor had an opportunity to conduct local government election when it would have been glorious for him.
Fayemi Emerges APC Guber Candidate In Ekiti .Meanwhile, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi yesterday emerged candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State.
Fayemi, immediate past governor of the state, polled 941 votes in the governorship primary held at the Damlek Event Centre, Ado Ekiti, the State capital.
He lost the 2014 election to Governor Ayodele Fayose of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after which President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him as minister after winning the 2015 presidential election.
He defeated another former governor and immediate past APC national deputy chairman (South) Chief Segun Oni, who polled 481votes, while Engineer Kayode Ojo came third, scoring 281votes. Former speaker of the State House of Assembly, Femi Bamisile came fourth with 179 votes.
33 aspirants initially contested the botched poll held penultimate Saturday, but the Special Assistant to President Buhari on political matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, announced his withdrawal from contest on Thursday, just two days to the day of the election.
The presidential aide still went ahead to garner 10 votes in spite of his withdrawal from the poll.
According to the Electoral Committee Chairman, and Nasarawa State Governor, Umar Tanko Al-Makura a total of 2,327 delegates were accredited.
A total of 2618 delegates were participatein the process according the delegates list submitted to the committee by the national Secretariat of the party in Abuja for the purpose of the election.
On the order of voting by the delegate s, 60 statutory delegates voted first while members of state working committee of the party who are 25 in number voted after then.
The exercise was conducted under tight security as thousands of security agents from the Nigerian Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as men of the Department of Security Services were deployed in Ado Ekiti to maintain law and order.
The exercise commenced at about 800am, with accreditation of delegates at three different points, while the voting started at about 1:05pm and ended at 4:15pm.
The delegates from the three senatorial districts of the state were accredited at the three designated centres.
While the accreditation was going on, some suspected hoodlums were arrested at the gate of the venue of the primary election.
It was learnt that one of the suspected hoodlums, who accused the policemen of bias after he was denied access into the venue because he did not have the necessary requirements, had on him charm wrapped in a red piece of cloth.
Also, other suspected hoodlums were arrested and handed over to operatives of the Criminal Investigation Department present at the venue.
The men claimed they were delegates from various wards but they did not possess any of the documents required to ease their entry to the main venue.
Other Aspirants and Their Scores ,Mrs Abiodun Amudipe Folake 0, Sunday Adebomi 1, Duran Adesua 4, Adeyanju Bodunde 3, Ajayi Oluranti 1, Yinka Akerele 11, Kola Alabi 14, Bisi Aloba 7, Gbenga Aluko 86, Ago Arise 2, Opeyemi Bamidele 8, Muyiwa Coker 2, Bimbo Daramola 28, Ogubkoyode Oladipo 1, Adekunle Esan 0, Bamidele Faparusi 73, Sedan Fatoba 43, Victor Kolade 16 votes, Elizabeth Taye Matesun 1, Dele Okeya 13, Ajayi Olowo 2, Tosin Olofinluyi 14, Oluwole Oluleye 6, Olumilua Olumuyiwa 2, Wole Oluyede 121, Adebayo Orire 3, Makanjuola Owolabi 5, Mrs Mojisola Yaya-Kolade 4,
A total of 11 invalid votes were recorded in the exercise.
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