It is not yet uhuru for the ruling party in Ogun State as the state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday, April 12, 2014, held parallel local government congresses across the state.
Encomium Weekly, however, scooped that anointed candidates of the governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun may eventually have their ways as the legitimate executives in all the 20 local governments just as the national leadership of the party is said to be disposed to the congresses anchored by the state chapter of the party headed by Alhaji Tajudeen Bello.
The congresses, which were marred by late arrival of election materials and sundry irregularities in some local government areas, also witnessed violence.
Three persons suffered machete cuts in Ogbere, Ijebu East local government area of the state as suspected thugs stormed the venue of the congresses and attacked some members. The injured were later taken to the General Hospital, Ogbere.
ENCOMIUM Weekly further gathered that the exercise, held across the 20 local government areas, saw party stalwarts divided along the camps of Governor Ibikunle Amosun and former governor Olusegun Osoba.
Amosun, who spoke with reporters, said he was doing everything humanly possible to reconcile feuding party members and ensure they close ranks.
The governor maintained that Osoba remained the party’s leader, adding that he would not do anything to underrate him.
But the senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Adegbenga Kaka, contended that the State Congress Committee (SCC) had embarked on an exercise in nullity.
He alleged that faithful party members who paid and had their tellers with them were denied access to the nomination forms “whereas those who did not pay the requisite money were given the forms clandestinely.”
Speaking in Ijebu-Igbo, Ijebu North local government area, Kaka urged the national leadership of APC to address the crisis in the state chapter.
“You don’t build something on nothing. The precursor of today’s congress is the last Saturday’s ward congress. It is from there that all the ward executives and the local government and state delegates should emerge. But it was mismanaged. Bonafide candidates were denied access to the nomination forms. Democracy starts with internal democracy,” he said.
Also speaking in Ijebu Ode shortly after the exercise on Saturday, April 12, 2014, a House of Representatives member, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, noted that the ward congresses were a sham that led to the parallel congresses.
Meanwhile, a faction of the party has instituted two suits against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, the State Congresses Committee and five others at the Federal High Court, Abuja and the Federal High Court, Abeokuta over the ward congresses.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/294/2014, the plaintiffs prayed the court to declare the ward congresses null and void.
– DAYO RUFAI