•We can’t win with faulty congresses, convention —Concerned Stakeholders
•PDP disqualifies Olafeso, Oladipo, Muo-Aroh from convention
•Imposition of spokesman may cause PDP 2023 poll —Ondo South PDP
By Dayo Johnson, Omeiza Ajayi & Dirisu Yakubu
THE ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and concerned stakeholders, yesterday disagreed on the party’s chances of winning the Anambra, Osun, Ekiti states governorship and the 2023 general elections.
While the party boasted of its numerical strength, which it placed at over 40 million, to win these elections, the concerned stakeholders in the party said APC would not win elections with faulty congresses and convention.
This came as the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, disqualified Eddy Olafeso, Professor Wale Oladipo and Okey Muo-Aroh from contesting for national publicity secretary, deputy natioanl chairman and secretary respectively in its October 30 and 31 national convention.
The disqualification is raising dust in the PDP as leaders of the PDP in Ondo South Senatorial District of Ondo State, said the imposition of Mr. Debo Ologunagba as national publicity secretary may hurt PDP at the polls in 2023.
APC set to win Anambra, Osun, Ekiti, 2023 polls —APC scribe
National Secretary of the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, who declared the party’s position at the National Secretariat of the party while inaugurating State Congress Appeal Committees, said: “You all will agree with me that the process of recalibrating our party into a functional winning machine in 2023 is well on course.
“With the huge membership strength we have recorded during the last registration and revalidation exercise, there is no doubt that Nigerians still trust us and that we will win all the upcoming elections convincingly, starting from the governorship elections in Anambra, to Osun, Ekiti and to the 2023 general elections.”
According to him, Nigerians by now have realized that the APC led-government of President Muhammadu Buhari means well for them and is doing everything possible to deliver infrastructure amid difficult economic times, globally.’’
“We must stay united so we can defeat the agents of destruction who have vowed to set Nigeria backwards. Just this morning (yesterday), an Abuja-Kaduna passenger train was attacked by criminals, depriving Nigerians the services it provides. This is so despicable, but together we shall overcome them.
”All true party men and women must see dissensions within the party as family disputes and should not seek to destroy the platform which helped them in times past.
“As a party, we shall ensure that channels of communication are kept open, as in the instant case and as dictated by the constitution of our party. This Appeals Committee is part of the internal mechanisms, so that those who may feel dissatisfied with the states congresses can approach the committee and ventilate their grievances through this avenue.”
‘We can’t win with faulty congresses, convention’
However, Concerned Stakeholders of the APC have described as embarrassing, the wave of crises which have trailed Saturday’s state congresses of the party, telling the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led CECPC to ensure there was rectitude in party administration before any reconciliation of aggrieved forces.
According to them, the party’s chances in future elections could be imperiled due to what they described as imposition of candidates disguised as “consensus.”
They said despite feeble attempts at troubleshooting by the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led Reconciliation Committee, there can be no genuine reconciliation without rectitude.
Convener of the stakeholders, Abubakar Usman, in a statement, on Thursday, said: “While we acknowledge the steps taken by the party leadership with the constitution of a National Reconciliation Committee, it is our belief that reconciliation without rectitude cannot lead us anywhere.
“To have a cohesive and united party which is ready and prepared to take on the challenges ahead of us, especially as we approach 2023, there is the urgent need to embrace progressive behaviour which accords significance to all party members, irrespective of status.
Recalling that they warned of the crises following the ward and local council congresses, they said ”the realities that emanated from our state congresses across the country have justified our concerns and proven that the fears we have about the future of this party are potent.
“From Kano to Kwara, from Osun to Ogun, from Lagos to Sokoto, and a couple of other states, Nigerians were treated to embarrassing spectacles of multiple congresses by members of the party who simply wanted to exercise their rights. Even in Akwa-Ibom, the home state of the Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, who was quick to issue a statement celebrating this fiasco as the true reflection of internal democracy in a progressive party such as ours, more than one congress held.
To make matters worse, he said in his statement last Sunday that the congresses held across the country were conducted in compliance with ‘the charge by the leader of our great party, President Muhammadu Buhari that the party be returned to the people.’ If indeed this was the case, it would almost be impossible to record the sort of congresses we had across the country.
PDP disqualifies Olafeso, Oladipo, Muo-Aroh from convention
Exactly 10 days to the elective convention of PDP, the screening committee, yesterday, disqualified Messrs Eddy Olafeso, Wale Oladipo and Okey Muo-Aroh.
Olafeso, a former national vice chairman (South) of the party, was vying for the position of the National Publicity Secretary alongside former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Debo Ologunagba.
Oladipo on the other hand, was in a three horse race with Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Taofeek Arapaja for the office of the Deputy National Chairman (South).
Muo-Aroh, on his part, was aspiring to the office of the National Secretary with Senator Sam Anyanwu following the withdrawal of Cyril Maduabum.
Briefing newsmen at the formal launch of the PDP national elective convention logo on Thursday, Chairman of the Convention Planning/Organizing Committee and Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, said: “I want to tell you the three that could not meet the standard of the screening committee. Dr. Olafeso Eddy Eniola, who initially has put his interest to contest for Office of the National publicity secretary, and the other persons are Prof Adewale Abiodun Oladepo, Bar Okey Muo-Aroh.
“All these have been disqualified for the reason that they took the party to the court. Their intention also was to stop the national convention. So, if you have taken the party to court without exhausting the internal mechanism of settling whatever grievances you have and you try to stop the convention, the committee felt you cannot also enjoy from the convention.”
Muo-Aroh, Olafeso kick
Muo-Aroh who stated this while speaking with newsmen added that it was wrong of the panel to have disqualified him on that ground, and pledged to challenge his disqualification at the appeal panel which is expected to begin sitting on Saturday.
On his part, Olafeso described his disqualification as “pure politics to scheme him” and others out of the race.
He said: “We never took the party to court to stop any convention; what we did was to approach the court to interpret the constitution of the party on the controversy surrounding the tenure of the ousted National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
“This was done with good intention to safe the party from further crisis. And the case has since been withdrawn from the court a long time ago to exhaust internal conflicts resolution mechanism for the overall interest of the party.”
Ondo PDP faultsimposition of Nat’l Pub-Sec
Meanwhile, leaders of the PDP in Ondo Senatorial District of Ondo State, have kicked against alleged imposition of Mr. Debo Ologunagba as the party’s national publicity secretary.
Speaking on behalf of the party leaders from Ondo South, Mr. Akinrinlola Olumide faulted the alleged plot by some party chieftains to push for Ologunagba as the spokesman for the party at the convention.
Akinrinlola said: “Mr. Ologunagba worked as Company Secretary/Legal Adviser in many banks before venturing into politics and got elected to the House of Representatives.
“The PDP needs an experienced journalist or a professional in the relevant field to tackle the APC ahead of 2023.”