The fallout of Saturday’s ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has further deepened the crisis rocking the ruling party. Reports from New Telegraph’s correspondents across the country revealed that the exercise, which was marred by violence and confusion in most states has also polarized the party the more.
It was further gathered that the violence is yet to subside as hoodlums believed to be political thugs loyal to a faction of the party in Bauchi State, Saturday evening, razed part of Ningi Local Government Area secretariat. Besides Bauchi, other states worse hit by the fallout of the congresses are Kano, Rivers, Ebonyi, Ondo, Kebbi, Kogi, Delta, Kaduna and Katsina.
But, the national leadership of the APC, which hailed the “successful conduct of the ward congresses,” yesterday, called on aggrieved members to seek redress with party’s appeal panels. The panels begin sitting today.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said: “The APC wishes to congratulate all its members for the generally peaceful conduct of the party’s ward congresses, which took place across the country over the weekend. “The party especially commends members who served in the congress committees for their dedication and impartiality.
We, however, acknowledge there are some issues arising from the conduct of the elections in some states. “With this in view, the party had set up various appeal committees which will begin sitting from Monday, May 7.
We, therefore, call on all party members to remain law abiding and where there are issues, they should seek redress through the appeal committees in their respective states.” Bauchi: Hoodlums raze LG secretariat In Bauchi, hoodlums believed to be political thugs loyal to a faction of the APC in the state, razed part of Ningi Local Government Area secretariat.
A source told one of our correspondents that some aggrieved APC members stormed the secretariat at about 6p.m. on Saturday and set it on fire to protest the outcome of the party congresses held in the area.
The source stated that the results of the congresses did not go down well with a faction of the APC in the area. A prominent APC leader in the council was said to have lost out in the exercise as all his candidates failed in the congresses.
Bauchi State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Kamal Datti, who confirmed the incident, said: “Some hoodlums went and set fire on part of the Ningi Local Government secretariat building while the congress was going on.
“It’s unfortunate this could happen when the whole country is preaching peace. We were able to make one arrest and the suspect is in custody providing useful information.”
He added that the command has commenced investigation into the incident and gave assurance that those responsible for the arson would be brought to justice. Ganduje, Kwankwaso conduct parallel congresses While the committee that conducted the ward congresses in Kano State believes that the exercise was without hitches, former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso carried out a parallel congress in the state.
However, a member of the APC Congress committee, Murtala Garo, told New Telegraph that Kwankwaso only carried out his own parallel congress in six wards and that was even not in the legally agreed party offices.
He said the committee allowed an open exercise for everybody to participate provided they met the party’s requirements and that winners have emerged in all the 448 wards of the state.
Garo’s claim was, however, faulted by the chairman of the faction of the party loyal to Kwankwaso, Haruna Doguwa, who said they conducted their own congresses in all wards of the state and will soon take their results to Abuja. Rivers: Amaechi, Abe in claims and counterclaims In Rivers State, it was disagreement between the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and Senator Magnus Abe over the outcome of ward congresses.
While Amaechi’s camp said the exercise was free and fair and described those complaining of not being on ground, Abe’s camp claimed there was a deliberate move by those working for Amaechi to shut out some members of the party.
The senator had, after results were declared,said that there was no congress in the 319 wards of the state, but Amaechi dismissed Abe’s allegation of hijack of forms for the exercise, explaining that the congress was based on Option A4, where delegates had to queue up and be counted. A day before the election, some party members had protested at the party secretariat over the non-availability of forms, which they alleged had been hijacked by Amaechi.
The lawmaker representing Ikwerre/Emuoha Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Chidi Wihioka (a member of Abe’s camp) also faulted the exercise, but Rivers APC Woman Leader, Mrs. Caroline Nagbor, said that the exercise was peaceful and had the full participation of women who, she said, were mobilized to participate.
Ebonyi: Onu holds sway as faction kicks In Ebonyi State, it was the faction controlled by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu that carried the day.
The party has been polarized into two in the state with a faction loyal to Onu, while the other faction has the support of the party’s governorship candidate in 2015 general elections, Senator Julius Ucha.
The Onu faction has Pastor Eze Nwachukwu as its chairman, while the Ucha faction has Hon. Ben Nwaobasi as its chairman. But, the congress committee set up by the national leadership of the party recognized the minister’s faction.
Nwaobasi had alleged that the seven-man committee was hijacked by the group loyal to Onu. He also expressed disappointment that the committee absconded while the exercise was going on.
But, Nwachukwu dismissed the conduct of parallel congresses during the exercise. Party chieftains kick in Ondo The emergence of candidates of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the 203 political wards in Ondo State has prompted some APC chieftains in the state to fault the conduct of the congresses. In many political wards, parallel congresses were held while violence marred the exercise in some areas.
In Akure South, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde, was said to have written the list of the party executives in the local government with the exclusion of other top political office holders.
This development made the lawmaker representing Akure South/North federal constituency, Hon. Afe Olowookere, to allege irregularities in the conduct of the congress.
Similarly, the lawmaker representing Iferore/Idanre federal constituency, Hon. Bolarinwa also alleged irregularities. In Ondo East and West federal constituency, parallel executives emerged as some leaders who were opposed to the handpicking of ward executives organised their own congress. Imo: Okorocha battles for survival The outcome of the ward congresses in Imo State is still clouded by uncertainty. While Governor Rochas Okorocha and members of his faction insist there was no congress in the state and that a new date would be announced for the rescheduled congress, the state chairman of the party, Dr. Hilary Eke, at a press conference yesterday, maintained that the congress held on Saturday has not been cancelled.
If the results of the congresses were upheld, then it means that Okorocha has lost the party structures. Okorocha is contending with a massive alliance of APC leaders across the 27 council areas of the state led by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Ben Uwajumogu, Senator Osita Izunaso and the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere and Okorocha’s former chief of Staff and SSG, Sir Jude Ejiogu.
Others are Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba of TETFund, Jasper Azuatalam, business mogul, Tony Chukwu, and several other former aides of the governor. Kebbi: Party faction rejects exercise A faction of the APC in Kebbi State, yesterday, kicked against the outcome of the ward congresses held in the 21 local government areas of the state.
Addressing newsmen at the state party secretariat, the leader of the faction, Hon. Abdulhai Arugungu, said there were no congresses in the state. He further accused the state government, party officials in the state and members of the congress committee of bias. Kogi: Confusion over parallel congresses It was confusion in Kogi State as the Audu/Faleke and Governor Yahaya Bello’s factions of the party held separate congresses.
While the Audu/Faleke camp held its congresses under the supervision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that of Bello’s camp was held at the Government House, Lokoja.
The state chairman of the party, Alhaji Hadi Ametuo, described the action of the governor to hold the ward congresses at the government house as absurd and exercise in futility. According to Ametuo, Governor Bello’s action to run a parallel congress against the decision of the national leadership party, underscores his penchant for killing the party in the state.