The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State held its local government congresses on Sunday at the secretariats of the 33 local government areas in the state.
But a factional group in the party, Unity Forum, held parallel congresses at various venues across the state. In some local governments, the congresses were held at the party secretariats across the state.
In Ibadan North West Local Government area w the Unity Forum held its congress at Zonta Hall, Jericho while it used the party secretariat located at Yemetu Oja for the exercise in Ibadan North Local Government.
In Ibadan North East, the forum held its congress at the premises of Christ the king School, Agugu and used the l.D.C School, Olunloyo area for Ona-Ara Local Government.
Members of the Unity Forum include Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Hon. Dapo Lam-Adesina, Prof. Adeolu Akande and several other party leaders opposed to Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The National Congress Committee only participated in exercises conducted by the party at the 33 local government secretariats. While the committee is expected to declare results on Monday, the Unity Forum declared its own results on Sunday.
A statement by the Forum listed the elected chairmen to include: Adetoro Mathew (Saki East), Elder Olu Opawale(Egbeda), Alh S.T. Opadeji(Akinyele), Adegboyega Aderemi(OgoOluwa), Oguntoye Michael Asamu*Ogbomosho South), and AlhAjibike Rasaq(Oyo West).
Others are S.Ayanlola (Ogbomosho North), Ganiyu Mumonu (Oriire), Kazeem Azeez ( Ibarapa Central), Mrs Tinuade Adigun(Ibadan North), Alh Kareem Adebayo(Saki West), Pastor Samuel PopoolaAkintokun, Alh Lateef Akinsanya,Amusat Tawaliu OlawaleAlhRaimi Adeniyi, Waheed Akinyele, Owolabi Banusomo (Itesiwaju, Hon. Muniru Elegbede(Kajola) and Layi Omokunmi (Iseyin).
Speaking on Sunday however, the State Chairman of the APC, Chief Akin Oke, cautioned the party does not recognise parallel congresses as there are stipulated guidelines to be followed.
His words: “The constitution of our party is clear. There can not be any parallel congress. As far as the National leadership is concerned, Party congress is an internal affair of the party. The Executive (of the party at state level) was directed to conduct the congress. So, congresses are only organized by the party. So, if anyone goes against the guidelines of the constitution of the constitution it is not recognized.
“The dissidents felt we never bought form for the election they forgot that materials for the congresses were delivered to the party. So, as far as I’m concerned, there is no parallel. Going to organize the so-called parallel is unconstitutional. The congress committee is here and it will turn in its report after the exercise.”
But countering Oke’s position, the Secretary of APC Unity Forum, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, told reporters that the group members were duly registered to participate in the congresses it held.
Doubting the legality of the exercise conducted by the Oke-led party, Olatunbosun said: “I don’t know where they generated their delegates list. As at May 4, they had not paid for the forms. They did not have the tellers. So, where did they generate their own ward and local government delegate list? As at Saturday, May 5, they could not produce the tellers for the forms.
“So, where did they get the tellers, where did they get the forms?
“It is the APC Unity Forum that can conduct APC ward congress. It is there that they will generate the delegates list for the local government congress. What matters to us is that we conducted our own congress.”
Prof. Adeolu Akande, speaking on a live radio programme on Fresh FM Ibadan on Sunday, stated that the Unity Forum consucted its congresses at the secretariats of the party in some local governments in order to prove that it was in control of the party’s structures.