By Emmanuel Oladesu; Jide Orintunsin,Sanni Onogu, Abuja; Rasaq Ibrahim,Ado Ekiti; Nsa Gill, Calabar; Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin; Toba Adedeji, Osogbo; Simon Utebor, Yenagoa; Bassey Anthony, Uyo; Augustine Okezie,Katsina; Kolade Adeyemi, Jos; Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi; Chris Njoku, Owerri/Osagie Otabor, Akure; Fanen Ihyongo, Kano; Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta; Okungbowa  Aiwerie, Asaba; Bisi Olaniyi; Oghochukwu Anioke,Abakaliki
Violence erupted in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital yesterday as the ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got underway across the country.
One person was killed in the Ekiti violence while several other people were injured.
There was also shooting during the ward congresses in some parts of Ebonyi State.
Some party members in Ogun State held parallel congresses in defiance of the threat by the party to sanction offending members.
There were protests in Osun and Akwa Ibom states over alleged exclusion of some members while a court order prevented the congresses from taking place in Bayelsa State.
The exercise went fairly well in other states, with the secretary of the party’s Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Dr. John James Akpanuoduedehe, rating them “successful and peaceful.”
Killed in the Ekiti violence was a man identified simply as Jide. He was allegedly stabbed by suspected thugs in Ado Ekiti Ward 8.
Sporadic shootings were also reported in other parts of the state.
The bone of contention was the mode of picking party officials. While one group loyal to Governor Kayode Fayemi rooted for consensus, the SWAGA group called for direct election.
The state chairman of SWAGA, Senator Tony Adeniyi, decried the widespread violence which marred the process, saying that there was no congress in the state.
Adeniyi said: “There was no election today in Ekiti because there was no accreditation across the wards. The Fayemi Tokan Tokan (pro-Fayemi) people manipulated the process and prevented people from voting for their preferred leaders, especially SWAGA members.
“I can confirm to you that there was violence in Ikere-Ekiti. Virtually all the wards in Ado-Ekiti, we had violence and several people were wounded. Also in Ward 10, someone was killed. Is that how to do a congress?”
However, APC spokesman, Ade Ajayi, denied the allegations by the leaders on the process of the congress, saying every member of the party was allowed to participate in congress.
Gunshots mar Ebonyi APC ward congress
Shooting was reported during the ward congresses in some parts of Ebonyi State yesterday
Though the exercise was largely peaceful in most parts of the state, The Nation learnt that gunmen invaded Ugwuachara Central School, Ebonyi Local Government Area, shooting sporadically.
Many persons were said to have sustained injuries from the gunshots while others took to their heels to avoid being killed or injured.
It was gathered that the gunmen, believed to be working for a top politician in the state, allegedly carted away the electoral materials.
The local government had been identified as a flashpoint before the exercise as major stakeholders from the area failed to agree on consensus candidates for the election.
Police spokesman, Loveth Odah, did not respond to requests for reaction.
Commissioner for Internal Security, Stanley Okoro Emegha, said he was not aware of the shooting.
He said the congress was largely peaceful and successful in most parts of the state.
Youths go on the rampage in A’Ibom
Some APC youths in Akwa Ibom State yesterday set parts of the state secretariat of the party ablaze to protest alleged interference of the National Secretary of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in the ward congresses.
They accused him of imposing consensus arrangement on the state.
The congresses did not take place in the 329 wards in the state due to the absence of election materials.
The Nation gathered that materials for the congresses did not arrive at the state party secretariat even as national officers from Abuja were not sent to conduct the congresses.
The youths carried placards with the inscription ”Udoedehe, you can’t hijack our party”, ”We want free and fair congresses not consensus” among others.
Abiodun, Amosun supporters hold separate congresses
Supporters of Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and those of his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, organised separate congresses across the state.
Leaders from both camps went with prepared lists of their supporters accredited for the congresses.
Governor Abiodun was part of the exercise in Iperu Ward 3 in Ikenne Local Government Area, which was done by consensus.
He described the exercise as peaceful, saying: “What we are doing is the beginning of the house keeping exercise to ensure that we have people who are properly voted into office that will now become substantive office holders from the ward levels and up.”
Chief Wale Ohu, chairman of the seven-man APC Congress Committee for the  state, supervised the exercise, describing it as a huge success with “massive” participation by party members and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) present.
The Publicity Secretary for the Caretaker Committee, ‘Tunde Oladunjoye, said the party was not aware of the conduct of parallel congresses.
Aregbesola’s loyalist kicks as Osun APC adopts consensus candidates
The congresses in Osun State were also by consensus. But the decision did not appear to go down well with supporters of Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola.
A strong member of the group and former Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Najeem Salam, blamed Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for the situation, saying the governor was opposed to internal democracy.
He claimed the governor was not ready for next year’s election.
However, the Chairman of the National Congress Committee, Gbenga Elegbeleye, said the exercise went very well.
He said: “Members conducted themselves in a very free and fair atmosphere. Officers were elected in our presence. We saw pure consensus. They all agreed that these are the officers we want to handle the affairs of the party in our wards, and there is no crisis about that.
Governor Oyetola said the congresses across the state were peaceful.
“You can see that members of the party are here in their large number to endorse the congress done in line with the directive of the national secretariat. It is free. Everybody has been allowed to express their wish, and you’ve seen it,” he said.
Lagos APC hails ‘peaceful congresses’
The Lagos State chapter of the party said the conduct of the ward congresses across the state was peaceful.
Publicity Secretary Seye Oladejo congratulated members for the success of the congresses of consensus, as provided for by the party’s constitution and encouraged by the national headquarters.
He said it was affirmed at the various venues of the ward congress across the state and witnessed by INEC, security agencies and other stakeholders.
Oladejo added: “The success of the congress will no doubt reposition our party and promote unity of purpose as we look forward to the state congresses and the national convention.”
Ondo holds peaceful ward congresses
The ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State were also relatively peaceful.
Chairman of the Ondo Ward congresses committee, Mr. Gboyega Isiaka, who went round many centres in Akure and environs, hailed members of Ondo APC for conducting themselves peacefully.
“You see some few skirmishes here and there, but the essence of leadership is to make sure that some of these skirmishes are settled, and I see that happen at the end of the day. There are a few who are still not happy,” he said.
“What we preach in the party generally is that there are only a few people that can go into the executive position of the party at the ward level, and in each of these wards, we have hundreds of people and we can only accommodate a few people.
“But we will always try to talk to everybody and along the line if there is an opportunity for one committee or the other within the party, we will also provide the opportunity to accommodate them.”
Edo APC opts for consensus
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State adopted consensus to elect its executives in the 192 wards across the 18 local government areas of the South-south state
Chairman, Ward Congress Committee of APC, Edo State, Dr. Chris Oghenechovwen, while speaking with reporters in Benin after visiting wards 5, 6 and 7 of Oredo Local Government Area of the state, asked leaders of other political parties in Nigeria to emulate the Edo chapter of the party.
Oghenechovwen stated that the social space had been engulfed with tales of woes and disharmony among members of political parties across the country in view of their inability to come to terms with one another in choosing their executives.
Court stops Bayelsa APC from conducting ward congresses
There were no ward congresses in Bayelsa State following a court order restraining the party from conducting such.
Justice Iniekenimi Uzaka issued the order pending the determination of a motion on notice before the court.
Justice Uzaka adjourned the matter until August 9, 2021 for hearing.
The APC in Bayelsa State divided along two factions. One is loyal to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the other is loyal to a former Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri.
Chieftains affirm consensus lists in C’River
Chieftains of the APC in Cross River State endorsed the lists of ward executives that were decided by consensus.
Governor Ben Ayade had pleaded for the application of concession and consensus by stakeholders across the wards.
The Chairman of the State Caretaker Committee, Senator Mathew Mbu Jnr, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the ward congresses in the state, saying the consensus/affirmation approach “has gone down well without any hitch.”
Officials bicker in Delta
There were also no elections in Delta State. The state secretariat was under lock and key and policemen deployed there.
The Nation reporter who monitored the elections reports that no election took place in Oshimili South LGA, including Asaba, the state capital.
APC State Organising Secretary (Caretaker), Sir Amorighoye Mene, denied that additional forms for the ward elections had been sent to the state, stressing that payment for and submission of forms had lapsed.
But Delta APC publicity Secretary (caretaker), Slyvester Imonina said ward congresses held peacefully across the state.
His words: “Ward congresses held and it was peaceful from the reports at our disposal.”
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, described the ward congresses of the APC as the foundation of its victory in 2023.
Omo-Agege in a statement said: “Today, our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), conducted our Ward Congress across the nation. It is heart-warming that our leaders and members in all 25 local government areas of Delta State participated actively, responsibly and peacefully in this internal exercise of our party.
“The keen grassroots interest in the congress and massive turnout everywhere are particularly encouraging.
“Our people simply reaffirmed the reality that the APC has truly attained new, robust strategic electoral strengths to dominate the politics of Delta State.”
Ganduje says process faultless
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, allayed fears over the ward congress of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying perceived legal fear is about the executive, not extraordinary convention and congress committees.
“There is nothing to fear, because the Supreme Court ruling is referring to the executive of our party at the national level. But we do not have executive. What we have is Extraordinary Committee on Convention and Conferences all over the country,” the governor said.
Ganduje spoke immediately after the Ward Congress was held at his Ganduje Ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of the state, in which the new APC leaders of his ward were affirmed on Saturday.
“What we have in place is an ad hoc committee in charge of making arrangement for convention and congresses. Like what we have seen going on now.
“So, this is not an Executive National Committee of the ruling APC but an extraordinary arrangement in order to ensure peaceful conduct of convention and congresses of our great party. So we have no fear at all.”
He described the conduct of the ward congress as “democracy in action.”
APC ward congress peaceful in Kogi
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Mopamuro LGA of Kogi State and Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, hailed the peaceful conduct of the party’s ward congress in the area, which, according to him, is an indication of good leadership in the state and at the council levels.
Fanwo stated this in Mopa while fielding questions shortly after the conduct of the Congress.
He assured party members of fairness at all times.
“The strict adherence to the constitution of the party as well as the APC guidelines as laid down by the party shows why it has remained unbeatable in the state,” he said.
Zulum visits hometown for ward congresses
Governor Babagana a Zulum of Borno State travelled to his home town, Mafa, headquarters of Mafa Local Government Area, to take part in the ward congress there.
He expressed satisfaction at the conduct of the congresses across the state.
He commended the Mai Mala Buni led APC national caretaker committee for a job well done.
Poor turnout in Katsina
There congresses in Katsina State recorded low turnout of party members.
A party member at Batagarawa Ward A attributed the low turnout to the consensus arrangement adopted by the party.
Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun (centre) congratulating Fatimo Sosanya, the Ward Secretary-elect for his ward (Ward 3, Iperu, Ikenne LG) and Nojimudeen Awobola, Chairman-elect (right), surrounded by other winners at the end of the Ward Congress held yesterday.
The member, who did not want to be named, said: “Most members were up late last night negotiating and agreeing on consensus candidates.
“So today is only to affirm these choices, and as there will be no voting, some people didn’t consider it necessary to turn up.”
Lalong praises smooth conduct of APC ward Congresses in Plateau
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State commended members of the All Progressives Congress in the state for their peaceful conduct and maturity during the ward congresses of the party held throughout the state.
Governor Lalong, who went round some wards in Jos North Local Government alongside the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Idris Wase, Minister of Women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen, Secretary to the Government of the State Prof. Danladi Abok Atu, state party officials and other political leaders, witnessed a peaceful exercise.
Governor Lalong, in a remark, said he was delighted with the reports emanating from the 17 local government areas of the state where the ward congress elections were conducted peacefully.
He said the fact that most wards reached consensus to elect their leaders showed that there is maturity, tolerance and understanding amongst members of the party irrespective of the various interests prevailing.
He also charged party members to disregard political gimmicks and focus on building the party to bring more dividends of democracy to masses.
Large turnout in Imo
Members of the party turned out in large numbers yesterday in Imo State to participate in the ward congresses despite the initial uncertainties over the conduct of the congresses.
The open ballot arrangement was adopted for the exercise.
Onyeama, Ex-Gov Chime, others extol peaceful conduct in Enugu
Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and ex-Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime applauded the peaceful conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ward congress in the state.
The minister, addressing party faithful in his Eke Ward, Udi Local Government Area (LGA), urged them to vote for candidates of their wards, adding that he would not impose anyone on them
He said that he was impressed with the consciousness and willingness of the party members to participate in the process.
Onyeama called for unity among party members, adding that if the APC would do better in the state, “we must be united”.
Also, former governor of the state, Mr Sullivan Chime, described the process as peaceful.
Chime, who participated in his Udi/Agbudu Ward, in Udi LGA commended the party members for conducting themselves in an orderly manner.
Benue APC holds ward congresses today
The Benue State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) will hold its ward congresses today following the screening of candidates for the various positions.
Publicity Secretary James Ornguga told The Nation on the phone that the party constitution forbids holding of screening and election on the same day.
Kwara APC faction settles for ward congress consensus  
Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State loyal to Governor AbdulRaman Abdulrazaq yesterday agreed to adopt consensus candidates for ward congresses slated for today in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
This comes as the chairman of the Kwara APC Ward congress Prof Jonathan Ayuba urged all the stakeholders to ensure that the process is peaceful and orderly.
“The national secretariat of APC has taken these congresses very seriously because the foundation of the success of the party at the national level depends on the foundation that we laid that the construction will continue,” he said.
“I was given a list of stakeholders and I personally made contacts with some of your critical stakeholders. With what I have done I feel confident that I can convey the message which I am brought here to do.
“The congresses are supposed to be done tomorrow and the party says you have to decide either you go for consensus or election. So, mine is not to decide for you but to listen to you and take your decision. So, your decision is what I will work with.
“I have held meetings with security agencies and I will hold any of the stakeholders in various wards responsible for any misconduct. I will hold any of the stakeholders responsible for any breach of the peace. I will also include in my report to the headquarters of any misbehaviour. Let the interest of the party and not any individual interest supercede our decision in these congresses.”
At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting called by the APC National Headquarters’ Congress Planning Committee in Ilorin, members of the governor’s faction unanimously settled for consensus candidates across the 193 wards.
We’re satisfied with conduct of ward congresses, CECPC Secretary
The Secretary of the APC National Caretaker Committee, Dr. Akpanuoduedehe, has rated the conduct of the exercise across the country high.
Speaking in a telephone interview in Abuja, Akpanuoduedehe said reports from across the country showed that the exercise was a huge success.
“The Congress was very successful. God is awesome. The exercise was very successful, peaceful, and orderly everywhere across the country. INEC officials, police, and DSS were at every point to monitor what we are doing,” he said.
Told of pockets of crisis in some states, the Secretary quipped: “I don’t know about that. The reports I have showed that the exercise was very peaceful and successful everywhere.”
He attributed the success of the exercise to the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and the doggedness of the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni.

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