Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the rescheduled ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held across the state, on Sunday.
A statement by the Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy to the Governor, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, quoted the governor as saying that feelers from the five zones of the state suggested that the exercise went without hitches.
Ajimobi described Saturday’s disturbances at the APC state secretariat, which forced the postponement of the congress till Sunday, as one of those things expected in a political gathering of highly placed political leaders with vested interests.
According to him, followers and supporters of such leaders have been known to instigate crisis in their bid to outdo one another and to impress their principals, who often time were never in support of such violent conducts.
The governor said: “The reports I have heard so far across the state indicate that the congress went peacefully without any form of acrimony or rancour. That is what we have been preaching and I’m happy that the players have embraced peace.
“As the leader of the APC in the state, I’m also father to all and that informed my conciliatory moves. No good father will stand aloof while his children are at loggerheads. Thank God all have been settled now and we have had a peaceful outing today (Sunday).
“As the leader and father to all, I was able to douse the tension that enveloped the party secretariat on Saturday when our supporters were trying to outdo one another. All the APC leaders that came for the stakeholders’ meeting were well protected.
“I even shielded one of our honourable members from the House of Representatives from reprisal attack from those who attempted to assault him. APC is one large family. There may be diverse interests, but we are one.
“I will continue to sue for peace among our leaders and followers, because that is the cardinal programme and achievement of our administration. Our party and administration are known for peace and that must be sustained.”
The governor debunked some newspapers report, which claimed that the incident at the APC secretariat was a ‘bloody violence,’ describing it as exaggeration.
Ajimobi said that none of the security agencies reported any case of bloody violence, advising political leaders to refrain from heating up the polity with their utterances.
Meanwhile the APC in the state has commended the Ward Congress Committee led by Alhaji Musa Halilu Ahmed for the professional way it conducted its task.
In a statement issued by Hon. Mojeed Olaoya, the party Secretary, members across the 351 Wards of the state were also commended for their orderliness in the discharge of their onerous responsibility to elect new executives that would pilot the affairs of the Party for the next four years.
“It gladdens our heart that the Congress went smoothly and was very successful across all the 351 Wards without any skirmishes or violence against the wish of the so called Unity forum,” he said.
Olaoya said all the 351 Wards Congresses were monitored by INEC officials and all the security agents to authenticate the exercise.
The Party Secretary advised members of the Unity Forum to always embark on moves that would promote the unity of the party instead of being divisive.
He said, “ It is surprising that they could be passing on lies that some aspirants did not pay for nomination and that there were fake nomination forms in circulation.
“The claim is spurious and unfounded. They are calling the integrity of top APC members deployed in Oyo for the exercise to question. This is not good for the image of our party in Oyo State. “