•Don’t bring party down with selfish interest, APC warns members
•We’ll resolve issues arising from state congresses before nat’l convention — PDP
•Confusion as APC gets 3 state excos in Akwa Ibom
•Akpabio, Akpanudoedeghe, Enang fight dirty
•S-West PDP crisis deepens
•PDP Scribe: Obi, Udenwa, Ihedioha kick against imposition of Anyanwu
•Harbour, Abia APC chairman extends olive branch to aggrieved members
•Any congress not conducted by APC national officials is jamboree — Elegbeleye
By Clifford Ndujihe, Dirisu Yakubu, Omeiza Ajayi, Chioma Onuegbu, Ugochukwu Alaribe & Shina Abubakar
THE crises rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in some states, and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-West and South-East, took a dangerous bent, weekend, with leaders of both parties racking their brains on to how navigate the crises before their national conventions.
The PDP national convention is scheduled for October 30 and 31, while that of the APC is expected to be held in December, 2021 or early next year.
State congresses of the APC, weekend, threw up more challenges as no fewer than nine states held parallel congresses with some, such as Lagos and Akwa Ibom, producing three parallel state executive committees. Other states where APC had parallel congresses are Enugu, Ogun, Osun, Bauchi, Kano, Kwara and Niger.
In the PDP, crisis over sharing of National Working Committee, NWC, positions zoned to the South-West worsened, with some PDP leaders being at daggers drawn with Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde.
Also, leaders of the party in the South-East opposed alleged imposition of Senator Sam Anyanwu as national secretaryship candidate.
Indeed, the PDP in Oyo is factionalised and the party had parallel state congresses, on Saturday with hoodlums disrupting the congress of one of the factions in Ibadan. National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party hierarchy would take measures to resolve the crises so that the party will go to the national convention in 11 days time with a united front.
In like manner, a top leader of the APC said the party has laid down measures for resolving issues arising from the parallel congresses. One of the measures is to sanction those who went out of line to stage a parallel congress without exhausting internal mechanism for resolving grievances.
According to the National Committee Chairman for Osun State APC congress, Gbenga Elegbeleye, any congress not supervised by the team from the national headquarters is a mere jamboree. He spoke as the newly elected Abia State Chairman of the APC, Mazi Enyinnaya Habour, extended a hand of fellowship to all aggrieved members of the party to reposition the APC for the 2023 polls in Abia.
Confusion as APC gets three state excos in Akwa Ibom
In Akwa Ibom, an end to the supremacy battle rocking the APC appears far from sight as the party conducted three separate state congresses and elected three state executives to steer the ship of the party in the state.
The faction loyal to Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio held its state congress at the Kara Event Centre, along stadium road,Uyo where Mr. Steve Ntukekpo emerged as state chairman.
It was gathered that Mr. Victor Antai, a former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism before he moved to the APC ahead of 2019 general elections stepped down for Ntukekpo.
On another hand, Mr. Douglas Pepple was also elected as state chairman by another group loyal to the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang.
The list of 36 elected state officials obtained by Vanguard, yesterday, in Uyo, was signed by Group Capt. Sam Ewang, retd; Senator Ita Enang and Dr Maurice Ebong for Akwa Ibom APC leaders.
However, a statement by Dr. Ita Udosen, state caretaker committee chairman, and a group loyal to Senator John Akpanudoedehe showed that Mr. Augustine Ekanem was elected state chairman, thereby bringing to three the number of state executives elected in the state.
The state entitled: “Results of APC state congress Elections” read in part: “In line with the Constitution of All Progressives Congress, I wish to bring to the notice of all APC members and the general public, the official results of state congress Elections conducted through open secret balloting on Saturday, October16, 2021, at Sheergrace Arena, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State as announced by the 7-man State Congress Committee from Abuja who conducted the exercise.
‘The Congress was attended by the party chieftains; Atuekong Don Etiebet, HE Godswill Akpabio, HE Group Captain Sam Ewang, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, Senator Ita Enang, Sir Bassey Dan-Abia, Dr. Ita Udosen, Archbishop Sam Rt. Hon. Emman Ekon, Rt. Hon. Emman Akpan, Otuekon Sunny Jackson Udoh, DIG Udom Ekpoudom, Chief Godwin Afangide, Chief Engr. Benedict Ukpong, Dr. Bassey Antai, Dr. Edet Atti, Rt. Hon Nse Ntuen, Barr. Ibanga Akpabio, Hon. Engr. Akanimo Edet
among other important party dignitaries that graced the occasion and cast their votes.
“The attendance cuts across all the major shades of opinion in our party and there was no one left in doubt as regard the authenticity of the Congress which was very peaceful…The party therefore warns that members who attempt to circulate forged list of party organs and those found impersonating to confuse the public will find it hot in the hands of security agents this time. The party directs all members to accord the newly elected state officers the due respect.”
It was observed that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and APC congress committee from Abuja, led by Sheriff Banky monitored the congress held by the Senator Akpanudoedehe’s faction.
However, while addressing the congress at Kara Event Centre, Senator Akpabio promised to work towards ensuring unity among the leaders in the state in order to position the party to take over power in 2023.
His words: “I want you to note today, do not look at the disagreement of the elders, because every war whether first world war or second world war was settled at the round table. And many of you will not be there when the war will be settled. But one thing is sure, I brought the message of peace.
“Now you are wrestling power from a sitting government, don’t take it for granted, it’s not a tea party. No single group can do it alone, we must do it together. But one thing we can resolve is, never again shall we be in opposition in 2023 and we should be wise in electing who will lead us.”
On his part, Senator Ita Enang assured the party members that the different congresses are working for the interest of the party, stressing, “I have seen other congresses going on, all are working for the APC. People must always disagree to agree but the most important thing is that we are all working for the party.”
Some party members in the state have described the development in the party as worrisome and confusing.
Any congress not conducted by APC national officials’s jamboree— Elegbeleye
Meanwhile, the National Committee Chairman for the congress in Osun State congress, Mr. Gbenga Elegbeleye, said any congress apart from the ones approved the national headquarters has described is a mere jamboree.
The faction of APC in Osun, loyal to the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, had organised a congress at Ladsol area, Ogo-Oluwa, while the National Committee conducted the APC congress held at the Osogbo city stadium, where Prince Gboyega Famodun and Mr Kamoru Adebisi emerged as chairman and secretary respectively.
Mr Rasaq Salinsile and Mr Adelani Baderinwa emerged as chairman and secretary at the factional congress.
Addressing journalists at the APC secretariat, yesterday, Elegbeleye said his committee was not in the state for political jamboree but to supervise and conduct congress for the APC at a specified venue, which is the stadium in the state capital, adding that neither a faction nor the National Secretariat notified the committee of any other congress.
“I am not aware of any congress elsewhere in Osun State, nobody notified me or any member of this committee. We are seven in number. What we don’t know we don’t act on it.
“We came to the state secretariat of the party on Friday to hold a stakeholders’ meeting and we informed all party members that the congress we were saddled to conduct by the National Secretariat, will be held at Osogbo city Stadium on Saturday. We came here to announce the venue of the congress. So if anybody goes to any shrine to do anything, certainly that maybe funeral ceremony or marriage ceremony but not a congress”, he said.
Countering, Mr Adelani Baderinwa said Elegbeleye came to the state to do a dirty job, which he has concluded, but would not deny that form was sold to the group.
“He came to do a dirty job here and he has completed it. There is no reasonable committee chairman that would be aware that the national secretariat sold two sets of forms and he would be saying he was not aware of our congress,” Baderinwa added.
Harbour, Abia APC chairman extends olive branch to aggrieved members
THE newly elected Abia State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mazi Enyinnaya Habour, has extended a hand of fellowship to all aggrieved members of the party to reposition the APC for the 2023 polls.
Thanking party members for his election, Harbor said his victory has put the party on the path of going to the Government House, adding with him on the seat the party was sure of capturing the state in 2023.
Pledging to rebuild the APC in the state, he appealed to aggrieved members, adding that the doors of the party are open for genuine members.
Loyalists of the Hon. Donatus Nwankpa gathered at the indoor Sports Hall of the Umuahia township stadium, for a parallel congress.
Habor was elected at the state congress held in Umuahia, the state capital, on Saturday.
The congress was conducted by the Seven-man committee from the national headquarters led by Hon. Babatunde Kolawole and Hon. Muktar Bajeh, chief whip of the Kogi State House of Assembly. Harbour, Chidi Avaja, Obinna Atuonwu were elected chairman, secretary, and organizing secretary respectively. Other officers were elected by consensus.
He belongs to the Ikechi Emenike group, whose congress was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was attended by eminent members of the party from the 17 council areas in the state including the Member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal constituency, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; former Governorship aspirant, Sir Friday Nwosu; ex organizing secretary of the Nwankpa faction, Chief Obi Aham; and the Member representing Isuikwuato constituency in the state House of Assembly, and Emeka Okoroafor among others.
Don’t bring the party down because of your selfish interest, APC warns
Disturbed by the developments, the APC has warned aggrieved members who conducted parallel state congresses at the weekend against bringing the party down due to their selfish interests, saying they should instead exhaust the option of appeal.
National Secretary of the party’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe gave the warning while reacting to the outcome of the exercises.
According to him, the party leadership will not recognize such parallel congresses.
He said: “We successfully concluded the first and second congresses in the Wards and Local Governments by observing all the laid down rules and regulations, including satisfying the requirements of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“We, therefore want to sound a note of warning again that any congress outside what we have endorsed is an effort in futility. All we want to appeal to them is to respect the constituted authority by exploring the Appeal Committee option when we set it up. Again, we have a listening chairman who can attend to any kind of complaint from anybody.
“They don’t need to bring the party down because of their selfish interests. It is not done that way. In any case, we don’t want to overrate ourselves, otherwise I will say that we achieved 99 per cent successes in the three congresses we have conducted so far,” he declared.
Akpanudoedehe in another statement, while congratulating APC’s teeming members on the successful conduct of its State Congresses across the country, said: “However, our attention has been drawn to reports of so called and purported ‘parallel’ congresses. To borrow the phrase of one of our esteemed governors, such “parallel” congresses are mere naming ceremonies. The purported ‘parallel’ congresses are futile activities and very strange to the party, our Constitution and the guidelines for the conduct of the State and other congresses.
“Only exercises conducted by duly inaugurated State Congress Committees are recognised by the Party. The APC leadership will not hesitate to take adequate and lawful measures against any person or interest sabotaging the collective Party’s interest and efforts to achieve peace and unity in our great party.
“Where contestations exist, adequate conflict resolution measures have been put in place to address them. The party has Appeal committees for every Congress.
“Recall also that the Party has inaugurated the National Reconciliation Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, former Governor of Nasarawa state to reconcile all differences among stakeholders and party members,” the statement added.
South-West PDP crisis deepens
In the PDP, moves by the Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to distribute National Working Committee, NWC, offices micro-zoned to the South-West among his allies, is causing unrest in the zonal chapter of the PDP ahead of the October 31 national convention, a national officer of the party Sunday, confided in Vanguard.
According to him, the Offices of the Deputy National Chairman (South), Deputy National Secretary and National Publicity Secretary were micro-zoned to the South-West following the recommendation by the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led zoning committee and subsequent ratification of same by the National Executive Committee, NEC for swapping of party offices between the North and South.
The party official said Governor Makinde’s lack of consultation may do the South-West more harm than good if “outstanding issues are not resolved,” in the interest of all parties.
He said: “The crisis in the South-West PDP is not being managed well by Governor Seyi Makinde. He is the creator of the problem. He wants to fix the three positions zoned to the South-West among members of his political camp. He did not consult with the leaders of the zone and that was the beginning of the problem.
“He wants to single-handedly share those three NWC offices without consulting leaders like Ayo Fayose, Ladi Adebutu, Ademola Adeleke and Adedeji Doherty, among others.”
He continued: “When he (Makinde) met with our leaders following the intervention of Fayose, he was told clearly to allow the states that make up the South-West to bring their nominations. He told them that he had already picked Oyinlola to be Deputy National Chairman but the people of Osun rejected it.
Meanwhile, Diran Odeyemi, deputy national publicity secretary of the PDP has called on the leadership of the party in the zone to put its house in order ahead of the convention.
“It will be a shame on the leadership of the South-West where we have had leaders of the party to allow this crisis unresolved before the national convention. It will not portray us as a zone with leaders and elders who are capable of resolving issues.
PDP Scribe: Obi, Udenwa, Ihedioha kick against imposition of Anyanwu as S/E candidate
Leaders of the PDP in the South-East have rejected what they called the imposition of Senator Sam Anyanwu as the consensus candidate for the position of national secretary of the party from the zone.
The chieftains including ex- governors of Anambra and Imo states, Mr Peter Obi and Chief Achike Udenwa as well as Emeka Ihedioha, among others, pointed out that what happened at the PDP meeting held on October 14, in Enugu and hosted by Governor Ugwuanyi can best be described as a stalemate.
No decision at the meeting, they insisted was taken to pick Senator Anyanwu to represent the South-East as PDP national secretary.
According to them, Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Okezie Ikpeazu of Enugu and Abia states merely came to the meeting and announced the selection of Senator Anyanwu. Most of the people who attended the meeting, according to the PDP chieftains, vehemently objected to it and refused to accept it.
The PDP chieftains, according to a statement by Chief Madu Chinemerem, a former official of the PDP from Imo State, said: “What transpired at the PDP meeting held on Thursday 14th October at Enugu hosted by Governor Ugwuanyi can best be described as a stalemate. The meeting certainly didn’t elect Sam Anyanwu to represent the South-East as PDP national secretary.
“Gov Ugwuanyi and Ikpeazu came to the meeting and just announced the selection of Senator Anyanwu. Most of the people who attended vehemently objected to it and refused to accept it. The entire Anambra delegation led by Peter Obi rejected it. Imo delegates led by former Govs Emeka Ihedioha and Achike Udenwa also rejected it.
“The state chairmen of some of the state chapters also said no. The meeting ended without any agreement.
“What was most annoying to South-East leaders was that Sen Sam Anyanwu is being imposed on them by a Governor from South-South who nominated him.
“Definitely Anambra and Imo States have better materials for the office if it is zoned to them,” the statement said.
We’ll resolve issues arising from state congresses before natl convention— PDP spokesman
Speaking on the problems, Spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, assured party faithful that crises arising from Saturday’s state congresses will be resolved before the October 31 national convention of the party.
It would be recalled that the congresses recorded varying degree of successes across the country. While Plateau and Ebonyi state chapters both conducted peaceful and successful congresses, the story was different in Osun as two factions held parallel congresses.
In Lagos state, the exercise was cancelled amid allegations of shady deals. All these have led to fears of possible tension in affected state chapters ahead of the convention.
Mr. Ologbondiyan said the party has already initiated moves to put things right before the convention.
His words: “It is true that some issues arose from the congresses we conducted yesterday (Saturday) but I can assure our teeming members and well meaning Nigerians that we will do all it takes to resolve these issues.
“PDP is different from other political parties because we are first and foremost, members of one political family. Already, the leadership of the party is looking at the issues and we have initiated steps to address all of them.
“We are coming to the convention as one united body desirous of putting in place structures that will assist us in ousting the All Progressives Congress, APC, from power come 2023.”