Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State say they have agreed on consensus executives at the ward levels.
The resolution was reached after a crucial meeting with the seven-man Ward Congress Committee constituted by the National Caretaker Committee in Ibadan on Friday evening.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee had directed the committees to meet with the party leaders in the various states.
NAN reports that party leaders in the state present at the meeting agreed to have consensus executives at the ward levels.
The meeting also enjoined all leaders to sensitise and encourage members as well as supporters at the grassroots to peacefully participate in the exercise without any rancour or misgivings.
The decision of the party leaders in Oyo State came days after their counterparts in Lagos also agreed to adopt the consensus system.
NAN reports that the Gambo Lawan-led Ward Committee for Oyo State met with the leaders ahead of the party’s ward congresses scheduled to hold on Saturday across the country.
Other members of the Gambo-led committee are Friday Sanni, Akintunde Adegboye, Saidu Musa Abdullahi, Ephraim Bombo, Rotimi Bello and Bukola Ayanwuyi.
Mr Lawan said the meeting was convened to bring all the party gladiators together and rub minds on the forthcoming congresses toward achieving cohesion and acceptable consensus.
He said the party would go ahead with the ward congresses on Saturday, adding that the APC has repositioned itself to take over the state in 2023.
Mr Lawan said the committee was from the national headquarters of APC to conduct ward congresses to the 351 wards in the state.
“We are not having election with the PDP or other party, but within our family. We encourage consensus so that we can resolve trouble, misunderstanding, and disagreement.
“We lost last election in Oyo because there was no understanding and agreement. There was too much personalisation. Some people put their personal interest above the collective interest,” he said.
Among the party chieftains from the state present at the meeting were Akin Oke, the State Caretaker Chairman; Teslim Folarin, Abdulfatai Buhari, and Olusegun Odebunmi.
Others were Joseph Tegbe, Adebayo Adelabu, and Mojeed Olaoya.
Consensus in Osun
Meanwhile, Gboyega Famodun, the Caretaker Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Osun, on Friday, said the party would be adopting a consensus system at the party ward congress on Saturday.
Mr Famodun made this known at the “Osun APC Congress Committee Stakeholders’ Meeting on Ward Congress” at the Government House in Osogbo.
The party caretaker chairman, who was welcoming the party national congress committee members, said security arrangements have also been made to ensure committee members’ safety and security throughout the congress.
In his remarks, Gbenga Elegbeleye, said that his team has received a list of members of the congress committee set up by the party in the state that they will be working with.
Mr Elegbeleye also debunked reports that he had been kidnapped in the state because of the congress, saying he and his team just got into the state and that he is safe and sound.
“The principle of consensus would apply for the congress. according to the party, and we will be very transparent in our job,” he said.
The State governor, Gboyega Oyetola, in his remarks, said consensus was adopted by the state for the congress in order to avoid rancour.
Mr Oyetola explained that congress was a way of electing officers of the party and should not be a problem.
Opposition members kick
But the decision of the APC leadership in the states to adopt the consensus system had, however, met with opposition with some party members.
In Lagos, a leader of a faction of the party, Fouad Oki, said any attempt to go ahead with the consensus arrangement would be “an exercise in futility.”
Another group within the party in the state, the Lagos4Lagos Movement, alleged that the National Ward Congress Committee, headed by Mohammed Dangiyadi, was biased.
Olajide Adediran, the convener of the group, who addressed journalists on Friday said the national committee ought to have formed a local working electoral committee to work with, to make its work easier in the 245 wards in Lagos State.
“The congresses will hold tomorrow but till now we don’t know the electoral committee members or even the contestants. The venues are also not clear.
“The guideline said there must be forms for anyone who wants to contest, but we have not seen any single form, despite paying for same and having our payment evidences.
“We even showed the chairman a list of our intending contestants across the 245 wards, to express our readiness for this congress.
“How do we hold a congress/election without knowing the members of the electoral committee and even aspirants?
“The committee chairman said he has no business with the list of contestants, but who are the aspirants you are conducting the election for if you don’t have forms with you at this time,” he said.
According to him, “it is very obvious they are scared of the competition”, but the group said itwill go ahead with the ward congress on Saturday because they have paid for nomination forms into the party’s coffers to show readiness and seriousness.
He called on the group members in the 245 wards to come out on Saturday and file behind their officials to be voted for.
“When we are done, we will submit our list and payment evidences to the national office.
“We will also seek redress in the court if we are not satisfied with the congress outcome because it is our right and we are fully prepared to give all it takes to assert it,” Mr Adediran said.
Similarly, The Osun Progressive (TOP), a faction within the APC in Osun State, alleged that the state APC Caretaker Committee “refused to carry other leaders along in the preparation and arrangements for the ward congress in the state on Saturday”.
The TOP Chairman, Adelowo Adeniyi, who spoke during a news conference on Friday in Osogbo, the capital, said only the Ilerioluwa group (a group loyal to the governor) is involved in the party arrangements, adding that no single form was sold to all other interested parties within the APC.
He also alleged that the national secretariat officers sent to Osogbo for the congress had been hijacked and kept from being accessed by other leaders in the party.
“We have it on good authority that the Ward Congress Committee appointed by the National Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning committee arrived Osogbo on Friday morning.
“They are said to have been in the Government house with the governor.
“They are circumventing the popular rule of democratic engagement by not allowing the committees to interact with stakeholders in consequent with how things will go tomorrow,” he said.
He, however, called on the ward congress committee members, who were in the state for the congress, to be fair to all members within the party.
Reacting to the allegation, APC Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, said the allegations by the TOP group were baseless.
Mr Oyatomi assured party members that the congress would be conducted peacefully and transparently on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some members of the APC (TOP group) later staged a protest along the Gbongan-Ibadan road, Ogo-Oluwa, Osogbo, alleging that the party caretaker committee chairman had hijacked the nomination forms brought to the state for the congress.
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