The two factions of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State loyal to the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, and his predecessor, Ibikunle Amosun, are set to hold parallel state congresses on Saturday (today) in separate venues in Abeokuta.
While Abiodun’s faction of the party would to hold its state congress at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Amosun had chosen the Ake palace ground as the venue for its state congress same day.
The Chairman of the Ogun State APC Congress Committee, Wale Ohu, told journalists at the party secretariat that only the elections held inside the main bowl of the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta would be regarded as valid.
“Any other one other than the one we are conducting is anti-party because we have all the materials: congress eligibility register, ballot papers and boxes, result sheets, party seal and authority. No other person or a group of persons has the CCECP to conduct any election or congress in Ogun State tomorrow”
But, in his statement, Amosun’s faction said it would hold its state congress to elect state officers at the Ake Ground, Ake Abeokuta.
The Amosun’s loyalists claimed that the leader of the team assigned to conduct the congress, Gbenga Opaleye, from Oyo State, had confirmed that all the party positions provided for in the party’s constitution would be contested during the congress.
The statement read in part, “The composition of the state congress is as provided for in Article 12.7 of the party’s constitution. The committee leader while assuring of a free and fair contest urged all candidates and delegates to arrive the venue punctually adding that adequate security will be provided.”
Meanwhile, the Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress is set to hold parallel congresses on Saturday (today) as the leaders of the party in the state have failed to a reach decision on a consensus candidate.
This was as the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Friday, directed security agencies to seal off Salt Lake Hotels, Abakaliki.
While the embattled Caretaker Committee Chairman, Dr Ben Nwoye, was said to have settled for his former deputy, Mr. Adolphus Udeh, and a grass roots politician, the camp of the former governor of the state, Sullivan Chime, former Senate President, Sen Ken Nnamani, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had no consensus candidate.
Onyeama is rooting for Ugochukwu Agballa, who joined the party barely a month, while the former Governor, Chime was said to have vehemently opposed it.
The former President of the Senate, was said to be rooting for Fidel Ayogu, former ambassador to Ethiopia from Enugu North senatorial zone, even when the leaders of the party had tacitly zoned the chairmanship position to Enugu West senatorial zone.
Speaking to journalists, Nwoye said Saturday’s congress would take place at the state secretariat, off Abakiliki Road.
But there are indications that those loyal to Onyema, Sullivan and Nnamani may conduct theirs at The Dome event centre.
There has been a disagreement between foundation members of the party loyal to Nwoye and former PDP members now in APC, who are loyal to Onyema, Chime and Nnamani. The feud led to parallel ward and local government congresses and the emergence of multiple candidates.
Meanwhile, the National Secretary of APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Sen. James Akpanudoede, in a letter dated October 15, 2021, titled, ‘Re: Screening of candidates for state congresses has been concluded’. He said any screening of candidate done outside the party Secretariat was null and void.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the National Secretariat of the APC has been drawn to a letter circulating (online) about the screening of candidates for various offices in Enugu State chapter of the party taking place today by 4pm at the party’s South-East Zonal office and signed by one Sheriff Jallaba.
“We want to categorically state that the said letter is fake and did not emanate from the party’s hierarchy. The screening of candidates in the revised schedule of activities for state congresses ended on Thursday, October 14”
“It was also done in the state party secretariat and other venues approved by the State Caretaker Executive Committees across the States where congresses were approved.
“In view of the security challenges bedevilling the country, especially the South-East region, the party cannot do such as it will endanger the lives of party faithful.
In a related development, Umahi ordered the sealing of Salt Lake Hotels in Abakaliki, alleging that a disloyal member of the APC in Ebonyi, one Kenneth Nwakparata, was planning to hold a parallel State Congress of the party at the hotel premises on Saturday (today).
Umahi stated this during a stakeholders meeting of the APC, at the Ecumenical Centre Abakaliki, on Friday.