Idowu Bankole

Amidst protests by some aggrieved People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants in Ekiti State over the last Saturday Ward Congress to elect three Ad-hoc delegates, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given the congress a pass mark, saying it was conducted peacefully in most of the Local Government Areas in the State.

INEC said in its report on the congress dated January 18, 2022, and signed by its Monitoring Team comprising of Head of Department of Election and Party Monitoring (EPM), Mr Austin N. Orogbu, Abiodun Iwaloye and Idowu Kazeem O, that “The exercise was conducted peacefully in most of the local government areas with the exemption of Ekiti East, Ido/Osi and Ikere which were later resolved.”

The report, which was obtained exclusively by our reporter, stated that “contestants in most of the wards were unopposed. Hence, the party members present unanimously affirmed all the nominated candidates put forward for the election.”

INEC said further in the report that the result of the congress was accepted in most wards. It however added that “the delayed arrival of the electoral panel from the PDP headquarters in Abuja created an atmosphere of suspicion and confusion. However, the situation was later put under control.

Results of the Ward Congress were attached to the report, which was submitted to the Administrative Secretary of INEC in Ekiti State today.

“In some of the venues, goodwill messages were made by some elders of the Party admonishing Party members on the need to be peaceful,” INEC said.

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Stating what happened in Ido/Osi Local Government in particular, the electoral commission said its officers observed that “members of the PDP at ward level were available in good numbers to elect the three (3) ad-hoc delegates at each ward. Though in all the wards, there were pockets of groups with at least two factions that were available for the congress and in most cases, the congress became chaotic and the party members were agitated.

“However, before the close of proceeding, the Electoral Committee through the PDP Chairman came and submitted a set of results which contains three names of elected Ad-hoc delegates for each ward except Ifaki Ward 1(03) and Ifaki Ward 2(04). The Chairman explained that the arrangement was a consensus mode to actually resolve the crisis that may come up.”

“The Commission is hereby invited to consider the outcome of the PDP ward congress conducted on the 15th January 2022 in Ekiti State to elect three (3) Ad-hoc delegates in each of the one hundred and seventy-seven (177) wards in the sixteen (16) local government areas in the State,” the report concluded.

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