From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has hailed chieftains and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the peaceful conduct of the state congress of the party in the state.
Governor Abiodun, who spoke after the election of 37 state officials of the party at a congress held on Saturday at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, described the exercise as transparent and inclusive.
He declared the congress which was conducted by the 7-man State Congress Committee led by Hon Bayo Ohu and witnessed by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ogun, Olusegun Agbaje, was free and fair.
The governor urged the new executive committee which had Yemi Sanusi, Aderibigbe Tella and Tunde Oladunjoye as chairman, secretary and publicity secretary, respectively, to work assiduously for the party and position it for victory come 2023.
Addressing the earlier, the chairman of the congress committee, Bayo Ohu, informed that all aspirants for different elective positions of the party were duly screened on Friday.
He maintained that any congress held outside the MKO Abiola Stadium was nothing but an ‘exercise in futility.’
Ohu said the committee had the mandate of the National Working Committee of the party to monitor the exercise.
He submitted that 1,730 delegates participated in the congress which was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.
Ohu said the congress monitored by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which included the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, was in line with Article 12.7 of the party’s constitution.
Meanwhile, a faction of the Ogun APC loyal to the immediate past governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, held its state congress at the Ake Palace Ground, which had in attendance the Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Olalekan Adegbite; the Senators representing Ogun East and West in the National Assembly, Lekan Mustapha and Tolu Odebiyi; the governorship candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Hon Abdulkabir Akinlade.
The faction, however, had Derin Adebiyi elected as the state chairman of the party.
Jide Ojuko and Toyin Adesiyan were also elected as State Deputy Chairman and State Secretary respectively.
The congress was equally monitored by Mr Gbenga Opaleye as the Chairman State Congress committee.
The election was conducted with voice votes.
Earlier, there was pandemonium at the Ake venue of the Congress as hoodlums suspected to be political thugs attacked loyalists of Amosun.
The venue was reported to have been locked but later reopened for the conduct of the exercise.
Many vehicles were destroyed by the thugs before the situation was brought under control by the Police and other security agencies on the ground.