Violence Mars Exercise In Oyo, Lagos; Peaceful In Adamawa, Kwara
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday held congresses to elect executives in some states, among them, Adamawa, Oyo and Kwara.
While the exercise was peaceful in Adamawa and Kwara states, there were some skirmishes in Oyo State, where a member the party, identified as Omolaja Alao, was attacked by suspected political thugs during the factional congress of the party at Jogor Centre, Ring Road, Ibadan, the state capital.
The victim, a septuagenarian, who is also the chairman of ward 1, Ibadan Northeast Local Government Area, was attacked at the main entrance of the venue of the congress.
Our correspondent reports that Michael Okunlade emerged as chairman in a congress conducted by a faction loyal to a former majority leader in the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande-Adeola.
Okunlade, in his acceptance speech, promised to pacify all members and work towards the development of the party.
Also, the faction led by Governor Seyi Makinde, Senator Hosea Agboola and Ogunwuyi held their congress, which produced Mr Dayo Ogungbenro as chairman.
In his acceptance speech, Dayo Ogungbenro thanked all the members for giving him the mandate, promising that there would be no leader nor servant during his tenure.
In Lagos, our correspondent reports that the exercise was cancelled following violence that broke out at the venue of the congress which held at the popular Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island.
It was learnt that voting was about to commence when some thugs allegedly invaded the venue and disrupted the exercise.
As a result of the melee, the electoral committee chairman, Engr. Johnson Abounu announced the cancellation of the congress.
However, the party through a statement by its outgoing publicity Secretary, Taofik Gani blamed the ruling APC in the state for the botched congress.
He said the PDP was having a unity congress with all interests converged at TBS when the disruption happened.
Peaceful exercise in Kwara as former speaker emerges chairman
Meanwhile, the Kwara State chapter of the PDP has elected a former Speaker in the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Babatunde Mohammed as the new chairman of the party in the state.
Mohammed replaced Kola Shittu, an engineer, who has served over three years in office.
The party adopted consensus to elect the new party executives.
Mallam Shehu Abdulkadir led the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) team to the event.
A former commissioner for communication in Kwara State, Alhaji Babatunde Ajeigbe, administered the oath of office on the new party leaders.
In his remarks, the national leader of the PDP and former Senate president, Bukola Saraki, said the peaceful congress was a sign that the party was ready to lead and take back power in the state.
He congratulated the leaders and followers for making the peaceful event possible by agreeing to the consensus approach.
Earlier, the chairman of the electoral committee from Abuja, John Aparachi, said, “It is good that the Kwara people are in tune with what the national leadership has called for to have a peaceful congress.”
2,614 delegates participate in Adamawa congress
In Adamawa, 2,614 delegates took part in the congress that produced new executives of the party in the state.
Tahir Shehu, a lawyer, was re-elected as the chairman of the party in Adamawa.
Shehu and several members of his executive were returned by delegates during the exercise, which was rancour-free.
Delegates adjudged yesterday’s party congress held at the Ribadu Square in Yola as the most orderly since the advent of democracy in 1999.
The chairman of the PDP Congress Committee and Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri, said the enthusiasm with which party members greeted the congress proved the quality of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s leadership in the state.
He expressed confidence that the party would extend its performance in Adamawa to the national scene to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the presidential election in the next general elections.
In his remark, the PDP presidential candidate in 2019 and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar extolled Fintiri’s performance as governor and party leader, expressing confidence that the PDP would wrest power from the APC in 2023.
Also speaking, Governor Fintiri promised to remain committed to improving the lives of the people and the development of the state, saying the impressive conduct of the congress showed that the PDP is in control.