APC ward congress: Aggrieved members flood panels with petitions
Aggrieved party members over the conduct of the recent ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are set to present their complaints before the various appeal panels across states of the country.
Tens of petitions centre round allegations that the congress was not all-inclusive such that some factions of the party hid under the guise of consensus to corner the process and send only names of “their own people” to APC national secretariat.
Some APC members are calling for a total cancellation of the ward congress and the conduct of a fresh exercise in some states.
The Mala Mai Buni led committee, had last week inaugurated ward congress appeal committees for various states across the country.
In Sokoto state, the dust over the ward congress is yet to settle as a source within the APC disclosed that the camp of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Aminu Achida is unhappy for allegedly not being included in decisions taken during the ward congress.
The source said that the speaker has petitioned the national leadership of the party on why he was schemed out of events in the state.
Similarly, a member of the House of Representatives from the state, Honourable Abdullahi Salame, expressed his disappointment in the outcome of the Congress.
Salame who represents Illela/ Gwadabawa federal constituency accused the caretaker leadership of the party of working for a particular leader of the party in the state.
The Appeal committee for Akwa Ibom State is to deal with the rejection of the outcome of the congress, especially by the faction loyal to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
A former military governor of Ogun and Rivers states, Sam Ewang had led others loyal to Akpabio in denouncing the contest, alleging that the National Caretaker Secretary, Senator John Udoedehe, working with the state’s caretaker chairman, Dr Ita Udosen, deliberately manipulated the process to favour Udoedehe’s loyalists.
In the same vein, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Buhari, Senator Ita Enang, is seeking the cancellation of the entire exercise and another one conducted for a ward in Okobo Local Government.
No fewer than five local government areas of Benue State have petitioned the ward congress appeal panel over the APC congress in the state.
The state caretaker publicity committee, James Orgunga, disclosed this to Nigerian Tribune on Sunday, stating that the panel would start sitting today.
Orgunga said that the panel had received petitions from the party in Gwer East, Gwer West, Ogbadibo, Obi and Vandeikiya local government areas.
In one of the petitions, sighted by the Nigerian Tribune, the APC Gwer-East Chapter complained that no ward congress held in 12 of the 14 council wards of the local government.
The petition signed by 11 elders in the council area, held that false returns were made for 12 council wards, noting that congresses were duly held in only Akpachayi and Mbabur.
No fewer than 10 petitions are expected to be filed regarding the congress in Kano State.
Among those who are billed to drop a petition before the Kano Appeal panel is Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on National Security
and Intelligence, Honourable Sha’aban Sharada.
Sha’aban also rejected the consensus method of electing officers of the party.
Aside from Sha’aban, member of the APC from Tarauni Ward, Tarauni local Government Area of Kano state, Ahmad Mansur Ali Tarauni, who is aspiring for the position of National Party Chairman of APC has also said that due process was not followed during the APC ward congress in Kano state.
The Chijioke Ozoemena-led panel for Oyo State will be receiving petitions from those displeased about the ward congress in the state, from Monday.
In a statement issued, Ozoemena invited APC members with genuine complaints to come up with a petition attached with relevant documents, evidences to prove their grievance or grievances.
Among the first set of petitions that the panel is expected to deal with is that of former state Commissioner of Health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan alongside party leader, Lamidi Adebayo and three others over what he called, “Electoral Fraud and Subversion of the People’s Wishes.”
In a petition addressed to the ward Congress Appeal Committee, Adeduntan and the four others, through their legal representatives, Akinjide Sadiq Esq, are alleging that after arriving at consensus candidates, some other persons released another list of candidates that was handpicked with intent to impose same on the ward.
Members of the APC in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo state have maintained that there is no going back on the legal action instituted against the party in the state over the outcome of the ward congress.
Speaking, the leader of the aggrieved members in the area, Honourable Idowu Adebusuyi, said the party leadership in the state had not deem it fit to call a peace meeting to settle the differences between the members of the APC of the local government and the party in the state.
However, Adebusuyi said the aggrieved members would be ready to give room to peace move by leaders of the party in the state anytime it is initiated.
Some aggrieved APC members from Ifedore local government area dragged the party to court, alleging that they were being shut out and denied participation in the process.
10 petitions have been received in Adamawa state, according to a member of the appeal panel, Alhaji Saidu Naira.
The petitions came from Demasa local government area of Senator Grace Bent; Yola North, Yola South Girei and Michika, the local government areas of the acting state chairman of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Belal.
There were also reports that in Demsa local government area, some members resisted attempts to impose candidates on them.
They held that since the joining of the party by Senator Grace Bent, the party had been having issues on who is the leader of the party between Hon. Wake Fwa and Senator Bent.
The Appeal committee for Jigawa said it was yet to receive any complaint regarding the ward congress in the state.
Speaking to Nigerian Tribune in Dutse the state capital, the chairman APC appeal committee for Jigawa State, Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar said: “There is no any petition from anybody, as individuals or group, on the ward congress held last two weeks in Jigawa state.”
Also speaking, the deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Umar Namadi said, “Jigawa APC is one family and all were given deserving rights and privileges which gives us peace and unity in the party”.
“As you witnessed the congress held in all the 287 political wards in the state, it was all free and peaceful made all the members to accept it. And the same thing is going to happen in the local and state congresses,” the deputy governor said.
The Osun State APC congress Appeal committee, on Sunday, stated that during its sitting, petitions submitted from two local governments; Atakumosa West and Ede North were withdrawn, owing to the discoveries of alleged forged signatures of members of the party used in forwarding the petition, as those named as the author of the petitions denied having anything to do with it.
The committee said in a statement by its secretary, Femi Odufowokan that the authors, however, pleaded to withdraw the petitions and their wishes were granted.
Some stakeholders in the Ekiti chapter of the APC have petitioned the national appeal committee over the congress, calling for the cancellation of the exercise.
The stakeholders under the auspices of the South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 (SWAGA), said the July 31 exercise in the state fell short of known democratic tenets where people would be allowed to file out and elect the executive of the party at the ward level.
Speaking with Nigerian Tribune, a prominent member of the group in the Ekiti APC, Honourable Femi Adeleye, disclosed that the aggrieved leaders would be expecting the committee members in the state on Monday to present its petition.
He explained that the appeal committee should listen and agree with the group on the need for a fresh ward congress in the interest of peace and unity of the party, noting, “we are in the clear majority and that is why they don’t want election.”
Factional chairman, APC, Democrats in Lagos State, Honourable Fouad Oki condemned what he described as deceit of the newly appointed members of the APC ward congress committee for the state who, he said, remained incommunicado since their appointment on Thursday.
When chairman of the committee, Alhaji Ibrahim Akaje was contacted through his phone line contained in the appointment letter for the timeline and schedule of his committee, calls to his phone line was responded to by a female voice who said the call was a wrong dial.
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