Posted by Grand News | 13 May 2018 | 1,816 times
For the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Saturday’s Local Government Congresses were for the most part an exercise to forget. It was marred by divisions and rancours which led to parallel congresses in at least seven states. There were reports of parallel congresses in Enugu, Zamfara, Bayelsa, Kogi, Ondo, Abia and Kwara.
Reports from Enugu State had it that top party chieftains like the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu and Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku, the Special Assistant to the President on Judicial Reviews all emerged as delegates but all were through parallel congresses in Udi local council area of the state..
While Onyeama and Ibekaku, as well as other key officials of the Udi APC Local Government, were elected unopposed at the congress held at Comprehensive High School, Abia-Udi, Okechukwu was elected at the Udi APC Local Government office, 9th Mile Corner, Ngwo, near Enugu.
In Kogi State, while one congress held at the St. Luke Primary School, Adankolo, said to be the Audu/Faleke faction of APC, another one in Okene, allegedly loyal to Governor Yahaya Bello and led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Ohere, held at Lafia Street.
In the North West state of Zamfara, reports say those loyal to Senator Kabiru Marafa, the chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), organised a parallel congress across the 14 local government areas of the state. The group has been alleging a clandestine plan by Governor Abdulaziz Yari to scuttle the will of the people during the Congress.
The same tales of division were reported in the South-South state of Bayelsa where parallel congresses were also recorded in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The two factions were said to be those loyal to ex-governor Timipre Sylva and an ex-acting governor, Chief Nestor Binabo.
In Ondo State, South West Nigeria, parallel congresses were conducted by two factions across the 18 council areas. One loyal to the incumbent governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and the Acting Chairman of the party, Ade Adetimehin. The other is loyal to embattled chairman of the party, Isaac Kekemeke. Happily, no violence was recorded.
Abia State, South East, was not spared either as congresses were peaceful across the 17 local government areas but reports by NAN had it that a faction of the party loyal to Chief Ikechi Emenike also held a parallel congress at Umuawa Alaocha Primary School in Umuahia North LGA.
The congresses in Kwara State, North Central, was even more graphic as two parallel congresses took place across the 16 local government areas of the state. While one was said to be loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari, the other was loyal to Senate President Bukola Saraki but were all peaceful.
In the key state of Kano, North West, whereas the congress was peaceful and recorded a large turnout, the group known as Kwankwansiyya, loyal to former governor and sitting Senator, Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso was said to have stayed away for undisclosed reasons.
For many states however, especially those controlled by the APC, simply adopted the consensus option of picking their executives.
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