By Dayo Johnson, Festus Ahon, Shina Abubakar, Sola lshola, Davies Iheamnachor, Emem Idio, Wole Mosadomi, James Ogunnaike, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Aliu and Bashir Bello
Apart from issues in some Local Government Areas, LGAs, in Lagos, Kano, Akwa Ibom and Niger States, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Local Government Congresses were largely peaceful across the country.
The outcome of the exercise monitored by our correspondents in the 36 states of the federation proved pundits wrong.
Many had predicted a largely controversial exercise owing to many legal obstacles that had preceded the event.
A High Court sitting in Asaba had stopped the party from going ahead with the congresses.
The court presided by Justice Onome Marshal Umukoro also restrained Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State alongside other members from acting or parading as APC National Caretaker Committee until the determination of a substantive suit before the court.
But despite the ruling, the party said it was going ahead with the exercise.
In Ondo State, the congresses were generally peaceful in the 18 LGAs.
It was held in line with the consensus arrangement agreed by stakeholders at a meeting with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Reports from the three senatorial districts in the state indicated that party members affirmed the consensus list after the names were read out to them.
However, reports had it that a few councils including lfedore and some councils in Akoko area couldn’t agree on consensus candidates.
New local government party officers of APC emerged yesterday as party members trooped out to ratify the list of executive officers already adopted across the 30 LGAs in the state.
The APC, had, last Friday, adopted a consensus model for the event to reduce rancour during the exercise.
Party members in Olorunda LGA gathered at Adenle Grammar School, Ayetoro, Osogbo for the exercise around 10am as the congress committee conducted membership verification from the 11 wards before proceeding with the exercise.
Addressing journalists at Iragbiji, Boripe LGA where Governor Adegboyega Oyetola participated, Chairman, National Congress Committee, Gbenga Elegbeleye, described the exercise as peaceful.
The congresses were devoid of rancour across the LGAs in Oyo State
Speaking on claims that there were parallel congresses, immediate past Secretary of the party in Oyo West LGA, Saliu Raji, said “it was true some people left the venue of the congress.”
He added that: “The only authentic congress that held in Oyo West is the one we had at Idi Ope L.A Primary School, Oyo.”
A member of the party, Ogunjimi Monsuru who spoke to our correspondent also said that it was true some people left the venue.
“We were together before they left the venue for another venue as if they were going for something else.”
The congresses were adjudged as peaceful across 23 LGAs in the state.
Delighted over the outcome, spokesman for the caretaker committee of party in the state, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, said APC is now positioned to take over power in Rivers.
Party chieftains and members came out enmass to participate in the congresses, which were monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
It was gathered that in some local government areas chapters, party officers emerged through consensus.
Our correspondent who monitored the exercise in Delta North and some parts of Delta Central, observed that the event was devoid of crisis as of press time. Armed security men were stationed at the party secretariat to maintain peace and order.
In Asaba, Ogwashi-Uku, Issele-Uku, Agbor, Owa-Oyibu, Kwale, Akwukwu-Igbo, Obiaruku, Isiokolo, Otu-Jeremi, Otor-Udu, Ughelli, Oleh and Ozoro, the exercise was conducted in the presence of security agents and officials of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC.
Out of the 25 local government areas in Niger State, five have kicked against consensus candidates adopted by the party.
The local governments are Bida, Lapai, Shiroro, Wushishi and Rijau.
Niger State Chairman All Progressives Congress APC Congress Committee, Senator Domingo Obende, who confirmed this to newsmen in Minna, yesterday, said the five local governments could not agree on consensus and would go ahead with election today at 10am.
He maintained that where there was consensus, it was not by imposition but mutual agreement by all in the local government areas.
The exercise held in the 20 local government areas of Ogun State, with parallel events by party faithful loyal to a former governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, holding their congress at different venues.
The Congress witnessed large turnout of loyalists from both camps as consensus method was adopted in electing party leaders.
Speaking at St. Saviour Anglican Primary, Ikenne, venue of the congress in Ikenne Local Government Area, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun commended members of the party in the state for the peaceful conduct of the local government congresses.
Abiodun said, the peaceful manner in which the party conducted the exercise was a strong indication that APC remains the party to beat.
The exercise successful across all the LGAs in Imo State.
However, a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha’s group didn’t participate.
CARETAKER Committee Chairman of the Edo chapter of APC, Col David Imuse (rtd), said the party’s structure in the state does not belong to any single individual.
Imuse, who spoke at Iguobazuwa, Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo, during the congresses, said members must be united in purpose to win elections.
Reports from most local government area across the state showed that most of the leaders emerged based on consensus.
Reports from Lagos State said there were parallel congresses just as the APC Caretaker Publicity Secretary, Mr. Seye Oladejo, denied any such development took place.
There may be no end in sight to the division in the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the APC as the faction led by Group Captain Sam Ewang, rtd, allegedly boycotted yesterday’s local government congress in the state.
However, the faction led by the National Caretaker Secretary of the party, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe, and State Caretaker Chairman, Dr. Ita Udosen, held the congresses peacefully in designated centres across the LGA.
It was gathered that majority of the candidates emerged by consensus arrangement earlier agreed by the faction.
Despite the consensus arrangement adopted by the leadership of APC in Kano, some party supporters snubbed the arrangement and went ahead to conduct congresses in some local government areas of the state.
Our correspondent gathered that congresses were held in Kano Municipal, Dawakin Tofa, Rimingado and Tofa among others.
The party had adopted a consensus arrangement during it stakeholders meeting in the state.
Addressing newsmen at Tofa Local Government after the congress, the member representing Dawakin Tofa and Rimingado Federal Constituency, Tijjani Abdulkadir Jobe, kicked against the consensus arrangement and opted for congress which he described as “democratic election”.