In this piece, ABDULLAHI OLESIN narrates how the consensus arrangement ensured a peaceful All Progressives Congress (APC) local government congress in Kwara State.
For the second time running, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State recorded a seamless congress due to the adoption of consensus arrangement by party stakeholders.
The Saturday, September 5, 2021 local government congresses across the 16 local government areas of the state was held under a peaceful atmosphere as the stakeholders had two days before the event agreed on the list of party’s officials at the council level.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the party also adopted the consensus arrangement for its earlier ward congress, following the counsel of the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
AbdulRazaq and other APC’s stakeholders in the state had reasoned that the consensus option will enhance unity and cohesion amongst party members and minimise post-election conflicts.
The deal to pick the party’s officials through consensus was sealed at the eve of the congress during a well attended APC stakeholders’ meeting in the state with members of the national local government congress committee from Abuja in attendance.
Addressing the stakeholders,the congress committee chairman, Hon. Yusuf Omaaki, assured them of justice and fairness, promising that the committee, with the support of party members, would conduct hitch-free congresses in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
“Our mission here is very simple. It is to liaise with party members in Kwara State and be in synergy with them to enable us carry out our task peacefully and successfully. In doing that, there is a procedure for Congresses at all levels. You will discover that we have agreed to follow the provisions of our constitution in the conduct of the exercise.
“Our party allows consensus and where there are issues it is the duty of the stakeholders to sit down and agree among themselves. I want to plead with all of you to give us your support, support the party and support His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
“Our mission in this state is to affirm justice and unity of the party in the state. We cannot do that without the cooperation and support of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the people of Kwara State,” Omaaki stated.
Other members of the seven-man committee were: Dr. Mohammed Buba (Secretary); Mr Simon Dolly; Mr Patrick Ogunyemi; Mr Samuel Ekeh; Hajia Larai Kangiwa and Hajia Habiba Muhammed.
In his remarks, Governor AbdulRazaq, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, enjoined party’s members to remain supportive and loyal to the party.
“We conducted our ward congresses peacefully and successfully in Kwara State before and I believe the local government congress will also be peaceful and successful,” the governor enthused.
While urging all party members to conduct themselves in an orderly and peaceful manner before, during and after the exercise, AbdulRazaq assured members of the congress committee that the exercise would be peaceful and orderly.
The APC chairman in the state, Alh Abdullahi Samari, said adequate arrangements had been made for the conduct of the local government congress across the 16 local government areas of the state.
“We are here today to let you know that our local government Congresses will take place tomorrow. The team from the national secretariat of APC is here purposely because of the exercise. So, disregard any rumour. Make sure you are at your respective local government areas tomorrow to exercise your civic right by making sure you stand by our decision on consensus candidates,” Samari stated.
LEADERSHIP observed that things went on as planned on the congress day as delegates trooped out to elect the new executives at the local government by affirmation.
The exercise was supervised by the APC team from Abuja and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
An INEC official, Muhammad Kabir, who monitored the process in Ilorin, the state capital, described the exercise as peaceful.
“I am really impressed with the conduct of the exercise in the local governments I visited. We are going round to see for ourselves. It is very peaceful,” Kabir stated.
In his reaction, the state chairman of APC, Alh Abdullahi Samari, expressed delight that the process was peaceful and orderly throughout the state.
“So far so good, the reports I have indicate that the Congress went on well in all the 16 local government areas. The congress was conducted peacefully. It was a consensus all through,” Samari said.
The special adviser to the governor on Political Communications, Alh Bashir Adigun, noted that the exercise went smoothly in line with the resolution of all stakeholders of the party on the adoption of consensus arrangement.
“The resolution was unanimously adopted by all members of the APC under the leadership of our dynamic leader, Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq. Hence we have a hitch free local government congress where the new executives of the party were elected in the 16 local governments by consensus,” Adigun added.
Special adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Alh Abdullateef Alakawa, urged party members to continue to work together as members of the same family, irrespective of their differences; and continue to support the vision of Governor AbdulRazaq.
He said: “Today is just another festival day for us in Kwara APC. The local government congress is a celebration of our leader, His Excellency, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for his achievements in the areas of cohesion and cementing relationships. That is what we saw everywhere today which culminated in consensus arrangement in the congresses everywhere. It’s been peaceful and orderly through consensus arrangement in line with the leadership provided by the governor.
“Consensus by the APC arrangement is constitutional. It is one of the options approved by the guidelines of the party. It is all about negotiation and consensus building. APC believes in deepening democracy and everybody should have their say. This projects oneness of family, unity of purpose and direction.
“As we go to 2023, what consensus says to you is that the party is strong, the party is united, the party is focused and cohesive to win elections,” he said.
The special adviser to the Governor on Strategy, Alh Saadu Salau hailed the consensus arrangement which produced new leaders at the local government level.
“In line with the unanimous resolution of all APC stakeholders in the state, the directive of our leader, His Excellency, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the National Caretaker Committee of APC, we resolved that the election of the executives of the party would be based on consensus arrangement.
That was exactly what we have done in all the 16 local government areas of the state. So, what we did today was to publicly affirm those elected on the basis of consensus. I can confirm that the process at which the congress was concluded has been peaceful, hitch-free and we are so delighted with the process,” Salahu added.