THE Alhaji Abdullahi Gwarzo led Oyo State All Progressives Congress, (APC) State Congress Committee on Saturday dismissed the parallel state congress purportedly held by a dissident group within the party, labelled ‘Unity Forum’ as party elects new executives.
New executives to pilot the affairs of the party in the state for the next four years emerged through voice vote at the congress conducted by a five-man APC State Congress Committee headed by Alhaji Abdullahi Gwarzo and monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The incumbent Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Akin Oke and the Secretary, Mr. Mojeed Olaoya, were among party executives returned for another term of four years at the party’s state congress.
Others who were also returned at the congress which was held at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, included Dr Azeez Olatunde (Publicity Secretary) and Mrs. Mabel Williams (Women Leader), while Mr. Lekan Adeyemo emerged as Deputy Chairman.
Gwarzo, while addressing delegates, declared that the committee was not aware of any parallel congress, confirming that the only valid congress was the one conducted by the committee and witnessed by INEC officials.
He stressed that the congress was conducted in line with the directives and guidelines of the party, adding that “We did our best. We were able to elect the leadership of Oyo State APC without any rancour. You can see that everybody is happy, including the governor.
“The congress was well-organised and we are not aware of any other congress or faction. APC is one united party. Nomination forms were sold to all aspiring members of the party in the state and Lekan Salami Sports Complex is the recognised venue.
Other members of the committee include, Alhaji Haruna Tilde, Mr. Muhammed Sanni Sidi, Mr. Emeka Okolie and Mr. Ayuba Idria, while the INEC officials were Mr. Olubunmi Ariyo from Abuja and Mr. Ayodele Folami from Ibadan.
Also, the congress was attended by the immediate past governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Olagunju Ojo, a former Senate Majority Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin and Senator Abdulfatai Buhari.
Other APC chieftains in attendance are Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), Mr Sunday Dare, Mr. Zaccheus Adelabu as well as members of the House of Representatives, Hons. Akeem Adeyemi, Jide Olatunbosun, Dokun Odebunmi, Saheed Fijabi and Abiodun Awoleye.
Commenting, Governor Abiola Ajimobi expressed willingness to accommodate all aggrieved party members, adding that the quality of good leaders was determined by their level of tolerance and ability to accommodate opposing views.
“In the spirit of true democracy, aggrieved members would be accommodated but the party won’t tolerate acts of thuggery, brigandage and unnecessary discord,” he said.
The governor, while charging the newly-elected executives to pursue peace and do everything within their means to unite the party, said “politics is about give and take. It is about reconciliation and interest. The most important is to accommodate others”.
Also, Alao-Akala, who expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the congress, volunteered to lead the team that would reconcile aggrieved members in the larger interest of the party.
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