From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, has decried the reports that last Saturday’s ward congresses in the state were marred by violence.
Media reports had trended that violence had characterised the July 31st ward congresses across the state and had led to the demise of one person identified as Jide in Ado-Ekiti Ward 10.
A statement signed by the party’s Director, Media and Communications Caretaker Committee, Elder Sam Oluwalana, and made available to reporters in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, said the exercise was peaceful across the state.
Oluwalana explained that the death of one person in Ado Ward 10 was totally unconnected to the congress, saying the incident occurred long after the congress had been concluded.
According to him, the deceased (Jide) had died following a disagreement that led to a fight between two individuals around the venue.
The statement, entitled “RE: APC CONGRESS IN EKITI”, reads :
” The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State (Ekiti APC) is obliged to respond to misleading media reports that there was violence in Ekiti state during the APC Ward Congresses held on Saturday. We would like to state categorically that the exercise was overwhelmingly peaceful across the state, and was a demonstration of our commitment to the principles and practice of democracy, as our members trooped out peacefully to elect executives of the party in the 177 wards in the state.
“Without prejudice to ongoing investigations by the Ekiti State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, we would like to clarify issues around the isolated case of violence that occurred around the venue of the congress in Ward 10, Ado-Ekiti, which sadly resulted in the death of one person.
“It is incontrovertible that the congress in the ward was peacefully concluded, followed by a celebration. Afterwards, there was a disagreement between two individuals around the venue on a matter totally unconnected to the congresses, which led to a fight and the unfortunate demise of one of them. We have it on good authority that the incident happened long after the congress had been concluded and was not connected to the conduct nor outcome of the exercise.
“We commiserate with the family of the deceased and assure the authorities of our cooperation in their investigations.
“In most of the wards across the state, the members and stakeholders of the party chose their leaders by consensus after extensive consultations and came out to affirm their choices at the designated congress venues. In other wards where consensus could not be reached, there were free and fair elections in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution. There were no instances of parallel congresses anywhere in the state, and the entire exercise was conducted under the supervision of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and security agencies.
“Elections are naturally contentious, and there would always be differences in opinions and choices. The most important thing is that a level playing field was provided for all interested parties to freely exercise their franchise without let or hindrance. This is what we have done, and we congratulate all members of APC Ekiti for an overwhelmingly peaceful and successful exercise as we begin to prepare for the subsequent stages.
“Further, we would like to disabuse the minds of the public on insinuations being peddled about a purported clash between supporters of Governor Kayode Fayemi and supporters of H.E. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the state. Our respected national leader is well known to have contributed to the growth of the party in Ekiti State and the entire country, and we as a party are aware of the very cordial relationship between Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor Fayemi. Conflict entrepreneurs are advised to look elsewhere for a different narrative to bolster their divisive tendencies, and not fan embers of discord where there is none. We encourage any genuinely aggrieved party member to seek redress through the party’s internal conflict resolution mechanisms, and to desist from sponsoring false media narratives that are injurious to our collective interests.
“Together we are greater than the sum of our individual parts.”