Party Holds Parallel Congresses in Oyo as Communication Minister Chides Ajimobi

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The internal strife within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) continued yesterday in Oyo State as a faction loyal to the state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and another group ‘Unity Forum’ conducted parallel local government congresses across the state.

Though very peaceful, both camps, for the second time in one week, again claimed victory in the local government Congresses like the ward congress held last Sunday.

This development also coincided with the weekend’s council polls conducted by the state Independent Electoral Commission. As at 7 p.m. the ruling party was still winning in about 50 local governments and LCDAs where the elections held on Saturday.

While the faction loyal to governor of the state held its congresses at local government secretariat across the state, the aggrieved faction (unity group) had its own in school premises and party secretariat in their various communities.

The Secretary of the Unity Forum, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, who spoke with journalists on why the party held parallel congresses said the unity forum decided to hold its congress because it is the one that has legal right to partake in the election.

Olatunbosun said “I don’t know where they generated their delegates’ list because they did not buy forms for ward congress last week. As at May 4, they have not paid for the forms. They did not have tellers, so where did they generate their own ward and local government delegates’ list?  As at Saturday, May 5, they could not produce the tellers for the forms.

“So, where did they get the tellers and forms? It is the APC Unity Forum that has the right to conduct APC ward congress because we bought forms. That is where we have delegates list for the local government congress. What matter to us is that we have our own congress,” Olatunbosun said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has chided the governor for the crisis plaguing the party, just as he alleged the congresses committee from Abuja of bias and compromise.

The minister who spoke at a press conference held at the secretariat of the correspondents chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Ibadan on Saturday said the forms purchased by his group were not accepted for submission by the congress committee from Abuja.

Shittu said the committee however received 700 forms allegedly purchased illegally by the group loyal to the governor.

The minister, who noted that his group had petitioned the national secretariat of the party on the development, added that the state chapter of the party would not know peace until justice is done.

Shittu threatened that if impunity continued in the party, the group may not have option than to approach court to resolve the crisis.

“The Ajimobi group eventually paid for 700 forms out of about 9,600 forms and they backdated the tellers. Most of the forms were bought from Ajimobi’s senatorial district.

The committee were thoroughly compromised and we have all the figures but I would not disclose them now because people around them will always give us information about them.”