By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—NOTABLE political appointees and members of the National and State Assembly of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State have called for the cancellation of the congresses across the state.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Bamidele Oloyelogun and other party members of the assembly, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were shut out in the ward congresses across the state.
Oleyelogun said the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro and other state officials, who were supposed to conduct the election refused to show up throughout the day.
He said: “No election was held till 4:30 pm on Saturday when all the party leaders and members had left the party secretariat in anger.
“All the security personnel from different agencies were also on ground, but the party officials from Akure led by Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, Commissioner for Health refused to show up for the Congress. I called him for about hundred times but he refused to pick my calls.
“This is not in the interest of our party, it will not allow the party to grow. I am using this medium to tell the whole world that no Congress was held here.
Two National Assembly members Bamidele Samson Baderinwa representing Idanre/Ifedore federal Constituency and Awe Olowookere representing Akure South and Akure North, yesterday, called for the cancellation of the ward congresses over allegations of hijack of forms and manipulation by government officials.
Congress went well— Party spokesperson
Reacting to the allegations, the party’s Director of Media and Publicity, Steve Otaloro insisted that the congresses across the state “went well but some disagreements in a few venues some of which were resolved immediately.”
Baderinwa, in a statement in Akure, said: “I called the Congress Chairman, Hon Komsol Longgap and he promised to make the nomination forms available only for him to say he cannot do anything about it and eventually connive with the Acting State Chairman of the party, Mr. Ade Adetimehin to manipulate the whole exercise and disenfranchised card carrying members of performing their constitutional rights.
“This is not too good for our party at this period that the opposition parties are looking for loopholes within our party structure to take advantage of it ahead of 2019.”
Another aggrieved APC chieftain, Mr. Afe Olowookere said: “What happened in most of the supposed congress centers was that members of the National Union Road Transport Workers, NURTW, in Ondo state led by Idajo took over all the centers armed with different kinds of weapons.
“They wounded some members and did not allow the congress to hold in all the centers in Akure South. When we discovered that, we appealed to all our members to leave in order to avoid loss of lives.
“We have photo evidence of our claims, of our members who were attacked and wounded. I’ve called the deputy governor of the state and reported the development to him. I’ve tried to reach out to Mr. Governor but I couldn’t get him. There was no congress anywhere. The Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde, has said he would impose his list on all of us in the local government area. The next line of action is to inform the governor and the leadership of the party of what happened.”