From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State turned out in large numbers across the 33 Local Government Areas of the state to elect their local government executives in line with the guidelines released by the national headquarters of the party.
The congresses were conducted in each of the council areas by a three-man ad hoc congress committee sent by the leadership of the party in the state.
The congress was also monitored by representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Department of State Security Service(DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies.
Party leaders at various local government headquarters described the exercise as peaceful, saying it was purely a family affair. They advocated peace and unity in the party ahead of the 2023 general elections. But there were reports of parallel congresses in some councils, including Ibadan North-East and Ibadan South-East Local Government Areas of the state.
Briefing reporters at the state secretariat of APC, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, at the end of the congress on Saturday, chairman of the congress committee, Chief Hilary Amodu, described the exercise as peaceful, saying: ‘What I saw was a good turnout and peaceful congress; the delegates were there and exercised their franchise. I was impressed. For the first time, I must commend the party and its members for a job well done. I also commend the security agencies for also standing by the party.’
Fielding question on the parallel congresses, Amodu said: ‘With what we discussed at the stakeholders’ meeting that we held on Friday, the entire stakeholders know that there is an agreed and approved venue for the congress in each local government. So, if you take the congress outside the approved venue, I don’t think that is a congress. Whatever you did there will be declared null and void.’
Meanwhile, Minister of Youth and Sports Development Chief Sunday Dare has said results of the local government congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Oyo State on Saturday will show where the party is going during the 2023 general elections.
Speaking in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, during the exercise on Saturday, the Agbaakin of Ogbomoso stated: ‘The local government congress in Oyo State should be that of working together and ensuring all interests are accommodated. Let us use the local government congress to lay a solid foundation for the success of the APC in the 2023 polls.
‘All stakeholders and party members must unite in a bid to build a strong and vibrant opposition in Oyo State. The local government congress is key to the success of the APC in the forthcoming 2023 general elections. All interests must be accommodated to avoid disharmony in the party. We must build a robust and acceptable team across the 33 local government areas in Oyo state to steer the affairs of the party at the grassroots.’