Our Correspondents 

Former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, yesterday congratulated the newly-elected state executives of the party.

Speaking with the leadership who paid him a courtesy visit at his Bourdilion, Ikoyi residence, he urged them to rededicate themselves to promoting unity in the party.

He also enjoined the team to work to take it to a new level, noting that winning all political contests is the hallmark of the party in Lagos State.  

Tinubu eulogised the outgoing Chief Henry Ajomale-led executive for what he described as “unparalleled stewardship that saw the party grow stronger, broader and more relevant.”

He commended them further for the stability entrenched in the party and for maintaining party discipline and cohesion.

“The outgoing executives led by Ajomale did a wonderful job. He led the party with a unity of purpose underpinned by the spirit of inclusiveness and purpose. Under them we never lost any election. We will not lose any election but this depends on how you handle your new responsibilities,” he said.

On the issue of the congress conducted, Tinubu said it was conducted in line with the guiding laws of the party.

He said the new chairman of the party in the state, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, was no stranger to him and no stranger to responsibility, adding that as commissioner under his administration, he performed well.

Uncertainty after APC Parallel Congresses in Bayelsa

Supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State are still uncertain of the future of the party in the state after members of the congress committee from Abuja sharply disagreed over which of the separate exercises to attend.

Following the drama that ensued, members of the committee split, with some of them backing the mainstream faction led by former Governor Timipre Sylva and the other sponsored by Nestor Binabo, a former acting governor and Speaker of the state House of Assembly.

It was gathered yesterday that the rift became pronounced when one of the contending APC factions in the state went on with the exercise against a purported directive from Abuja that both groups should reconcile their lists and reschedule the election for today (Monday).

While the Sylva faction had the backing of the congress committee Chairman, Col. Ahmed Usman, a former governor of Ondo and Oyo States,  Binabo group’s congress  was attended by the committee Secretary,  Soni Abang, thereby causing confusion among party loyalists as to which list will be authenticated by the party leadership.

Abang who denied knowledge of a parallel congress, also had with him a member of the congress committee, Prisca Onwumere, in an election that returned Joseph Fafi, erstwhile acting chairman of the party in the state along with his entire executive.

Fafi insisted that if anything, he was the right person to work with by the committee sent from Abuja to conduct the congress.

The Sylva-backed congress took place in a fully packed venue at the state APC secretariat in Yenezue-gene, while the parallel held simultaneously at the Azikoro Primary School, Azikoro Village in Yenagoa.

Mr. Jonathan Amos was returned unopposed as party chair; Ogeibiri Orubebe, emerged as Vice Chairman, Martin Alabo as Secretary, while Mr. Doifie Ola, a journalist and long-time Sylva’s Spokesman was picked as the state publicity secretary.

Both congresses were well attended and conducted under heavy security presence by all the security agencies in the state.

Sokoto Commissioner Emerges APC Chairman through Consensus

Sokoto State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Isa Sadiq Achida, has emerged the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) through consensus.

  Achida replaced Usman Danmadamin Isa whose name was forwarded by Governor Aminu Tambuwal to Sokoto State House of Assembly for confirmation as a commissioner in the state.

The adoption for endorsement of the consensus followed a motion moved by member representing Yabo/Shagari Federal Constituency, Aminu Shehu Shagari and seconded by the Speaker of the State Assembly, Hon. Salihu Maidaji.

Affirming the adoption by the delegates at the Giginya Memorial Stadium Saturday night, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the congress from the APC national headquarters, Brig- Gen. Joseph Okonkwo Jude (rtd), described the congress as unique devoid of acrimony and violence.

Jude described the process as transparent and commended the absolute control and exemplary party leadership in the state.

To this end, he declared all candidates for the various positions as duly elected having unanimously been elected through consensus by the delegates from 244 wards of the state.

In his remarks, Governor Tambuwal, acknowledged the support and cooperation of stakeholders and expressed gratitude to them for the peaceful conduct of the congress.

Enugu APC Congress was Violence-free, Says Foreign Affairs Minister

Amid the controversy trailing the congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday dismissed reports that political thugs disrupted the state congress of the party held at the weekend.

   Onyeama said the congress which took place at the gymnasium section of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu was violence-free and was conducted in strict compliance with the party’s constitution.

The minister spoke as the faction loyal to the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu returned Ben Nwoye as the party’s chairman in a parallel congress held in the early hours of yesterday.

Nwoye was returned unopposed alongside other officials of the party loyal to him. They included the state Secretary of the party, Mr. Robert Eze, and the state Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Kate Ofor. Others include Mr. Chikwado Chukwunta, Deputy Chairman, Mrs. Oby Nwofor as state woman leader and Mr. Chuks Adibe as Treasurer.

 Nwoye and his group who thereafter moved to the state party secretariat promised to consolidate on the achievements of his first tenure while thanking members of the party for the confidence they reposed in him.

But, speaking with journalists later in the day, the foreign affairs minister accused the party’s national leadership of encouraging a group he described as a cabal to cause crisis in the APC in Enugu State.

He stressed the need for peace, unity and harmony within the party structure in the state in view of the forthcoming general elections. He said the Saturday congress that elected a former Commissioner for Lands, Mr. Okey Ogbodo, as chairman was rancour free and must be respected by the party national leadership.

Akwa Ibom APC Elects 37-man Exco

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, named a 37-member State Executive Committee through consensus arrangement to pilot the affairs of the party.

The election of the state exco of the party confirmed through a voice vote was supervised by a five man national committee of the party headed by Alhaji Ahmed Ashemi.

The new executive committee of the party now chaired by Mr. Ini Okopido, is constituted to accommodate diverse interests in the party.

Ashemi who addressed the delegates described the Akwa Ibom APC leaders as honest, selfless and people-oriented.

“What we have seen today is the change of government in 2019 because if the unity we have seen today is replicated in the 2019 elections, there is nothing stopping us from winning Akwa Ibom State.”

Speaking at the congress, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, expressed delight with the harmonious nature of the congress, describing it as a model in the country.

“We have shamed the opposition,” he declared. “We have shamed the devil. We can announce here today that the Akwa Ibom State APC is totally intact…Today, at this congress, what we have proved to the whole world is that there is no winner or loser. APC is the winner.”

The NDDC boss served the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) quit notice to end its considered misrule and vacate office by May 29, 2019, pledging on behalf of the APC state leadership that the incoming APC government will rule the state with the fear of God and proper utilisation of resources.

He commended the founding fathers of APC in the state, particularly Senator John Udoedehe and the former APC state Chairman, Dr. Amadu Attai, for their sacrifice and contributions to the party over the years, describing them as trailblazers.

Senator Udoedehe, a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, declared that the peace in the party was total.

Udoedehe made it clear that he was “not worried about Udom and PDP because you all know they will vanish.”

He lauded the calibre of politicians present at the congress, describing them as “crushing machines and grassroot politicians.”

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate) Matters, Senator Ita Enang, who presided over the congress and inaugurated the new State Executive Committee, charged the executive to recruit more members to the party and take steps to win all elections in the state in 2019.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari was impressed with the Akwa Ibom State APC for setting the record for the most peaceful congresses in the whole country.

Enang joined Ekere in condemning the non-release of Ibom Hall by the state government for the APC state congress.’

He stressed that all the revenue used by the state government to run the state came from the federal government and not through internally-generated revenue and urged the electorate to prepare to vote out the PDP state government next year.

The Akwa Ibom State APC Caucus Chairman, Don Etiebet, said he was excited and humbled by the consolidation of peace and unity in the APC at the congress.

Others who spoke were the Commissioner representing Akwa Ibom State in the National Population Commission, Ben Ukpong, the Political Leader of Etinan Local Government Area, Otuekong Sunny Jackson Udoh and a former Member of the House of Representatives for Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, Iquo Inyang.

Ebri, Eta, Owan-Enoh, Others Demand Fresh State Congress in C’River

Prominent stakeholders in the Cross River State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by the Third Republic governor of the state, Mr. Clement Ebri, have rejected the state congress of the party conducted yesterday which led to the emergence of a new state executive committee led by Mr. Etim John.

The stance of the stakeholders who are demanding that a proper state congress be conducted for the APC in the state was a clear indication that the crisis that has bedeviled the party in recent times had expanded its margins.

At a press conference in Calabar Sunday evening addressed by Ebri on behalf of the stakeholders, they said no state congress was conducted by the APC on Saturday as claimed by members of the opposing faction believed to be loyal to the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr. Usani Uguru Usani.

Flanked by Senator John Owan Enoh, APC National Vice Chairman, South-south, Ntufam Hilliard Eta; Professor Eyo Etim Nyong, 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Mr. Odey Ochicha, Mr Paul Adah, Bishop Victor Ebong and a host of others. Ebri who read a prepared text, said among others: “It has become expedient that we address you in respect of the recent congress of the APC held in Cross River State on Saturday  May 19, 2018 at the cultural centre Calabar. Most of you would have noticed that majority of the party’s stakeholders representing about 90 per cent of the party’s leaders were absent at the charade tagged a congress.”