• No congress in Oyo until authentic delegate list is out, says party leaders
• Committee Chairman held hostage for hours as members pull out
By Sola Isola
The crisis within rocking the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Oyo took a new turn on Saturday as stakeholders and several leaders of the APC absconded the congress that produced the former commissioner for lands and survey, Mr Isaac Omodewu as the chairman of the party in the state.
Our Correspondent who was at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, venue of the congress observed that party faithfuls started arriving the venue as early as 8am.
It was also observed that the main bowl of the stadium was under lock and key, even though there was heavy security presence there and the congress did not start until about 4:30pm.
In his acceptance speech, Omodewu appealed to members of the party in the state to put their grievances aside and come together to move the party to greater heights, adding that the focus should be on how to win election come 2023.
He also thanked leaders of the party for their support, promising to do his best to reconciled aggrieved members and repositionig the party to it’s initial position.
“Let peace reigns in Oyo APC, am going to represent everybody, my job is to put this party into one fold.”
Meanwhile, some leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State have said that state congress will not hold in Oyo until the result of the ward and local government congress of the party is released.
The APC leaders stated this at a press conference on Saturday at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan, appealed to the national leadership of party to delay the state congress till an authentic delegates’ list is provided.
Some of the leaders at the Press Conference include, the Minister of Youths and a Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission, Professor Adeolu Akande, Senator Ayoade Adeseun, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, Chief Niyi Akintola who was represented, the 2019 Governorship flag bearer for the state, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, Ex-SSG Sharafadeen Alli, Dr Azeez Adeduntan and Joseph Tegbe.
Some of the federal lawmakers in attendance include, Prince Akeem Adeyemi, Mrs Tolulope Shadipe, former Oyo Assembly Speaker, Mr Olagunju Ojo, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye.
Other prominent leaders present include, Chief Fatai Ibikunle, Niyi Adeagbo, Mrs Folake Oshinowo, Gbenga Olayemi, Kola Olabiyi, Wasiu Owolabi, Ambali Abiodun and Olalekan Kazeem among others.
They alleged that a serving senator and a former governor are responsible for the falsification of the delegates’ list in circulation.
Speaking on behalf of other party leaders, Senator Adeseun stated that some people have inserted fake delegates into the list.
He said:”Some dubious people have inserted fake delegates into the list brought from Abuja.
“Normally, when you have written an examination, you need to know the result either you pass or fail. We did the first congress, we did not get its result. We held the second one, no result.They kept them all.
“They brought them altogether to us yesterday (Friday) for us to hold the State Congress. When we got the delegates’ list, we observed the list they brought it is fake and falsified. False names are in the list. When we held previous congresses, everyone of us mobilized people for them. When there is competition, each will bring out his or her people to test strength.
“In this state congress, we have agreed to go for consensus, but some elements in the party, have falsified the delegates ‘ list, they are now saying they don’t want consensus anymore.
“There is no way we will use falsified delegates’ list for the state congress. If they use the falsified delegates list to hijack party structure, can they use the same approach to win in the general elections?
“Two people are behind this falsified, adulterated and fake delegates’ list. One serving senator and one former governor of the state. We think those who have attained such high positions should be trustworthy and reliable. But they are not.
“Party members and leaders in Oyo State are vehemently kicking against using such delegates’ list to conduct the state congress.
“We are using this medium to appeal to the national leadership of our party, the suffering in Oyo State is too much. We don’t want to suffer against. The only way the suffering will not continue is to allow our party to conduct election and win. Our party was in government for eight years and brought unprecedented development to the state. But with this step they are taking they working towards the defeat of the party.
“It is not possible to hold today’s congress because if we don’t get good, legitimate and authentic list, that is transparently compiled.
“They should bring out the authentic list of ward and local government congresses. They should bring them out. If they do, we are ready for the congress. We cannot hold congress with falsified delegates’ list”.
In another development, Sources revealed to Vanguard that the Congress Committee Chairman, Hon. Gambo Lawan was held hostage at Jericho Apartment, Jericho, Ibadan where he lodged by some party members who besieged the facility as early as 7am after four of the seven members in the congress committee have allegedly pull out of the assignment and returned to Abuja.
Sources close to the party hierarchy hinted that the members sneaked out one after the other from the Jericho Apartment, Jericho where they were lodged to head for Abuja enroute Lagos.
The four members are Mr Lanre Edun, Mallam Abdullai Kontagora, Mr Diran Iyantan and Chief Ralph Igbokwe.
It was gathered that the four members had argued at a meeting of the committee last night that the protest against the delegates list presented at the Stakeholders meeting should not be dismissed if the party would be reconciled for the 2023 elections.