Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State have expressed satisfaction over the conduct of the ward congresses in the 16 local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the party trooped out in their hundreds to elect ward executives of the party.
NAN correspondents that went round some wards in Ilorin West, Ilorin South, Asa, Ifelodun and Irepodun Local Government Areas report that the exercise went smoothly without rancour.
NAN also reports that the two factions of Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, and Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq adopted consensus arrangement for the congress.
Prof. Shuaib Abdulraheem of the Loyal APC said the group was yet to receive any correspondence from the national headquarters of the party suspending the congress in the state.
Abdulraheem said: “We did not see any document from the national headquarters of the party to that effect, but all we know is that in our very serious preparation, we have made all arrangement to do it according to the guidelines of the party.”
According to him, members of APC Loyal Team, which constituted the majority of membership of APC in Kwara State, opted for full fledged congress.
He said: “You must know that this team represents three quarter of the total population of APC membership in Kwara.
“You will recall that there were four tendencies in the party, the least populated of the tendencies is one belonging to the governor.
“It is the one that has stood alone.
“As far as we are concerned, the majority will have their way in the way we are doing it.”
Abdulraheem expressed satisfaction in the turnout of members of the group for the congress.
He said: “I am very satisfied with the turnout of our members.
“We have digital video recordings of events from many wards and people came out enthusiastically to support our party, and we are happy about the turnout.”
Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo also said that members of the Loyal APC came out en-masse all over the state for the congress.
Oyedepo said although officially the congress had been suspended in Kwara State, but they did not want to be taken unaware.
According to him, his group cannot fold its arm and comply with the suspension of the congress only to realise that it was not suspended after all.
On his part, Abdulrahoof Bello, spokesman for the Integrity Group in the APC, said the congress was orderly in his Omupo Ward of Ifelodun Local Government Area.
Bello said: “It went on smoothly; we were protected by the police and the civil defence.
“We have to take part in the congress because we don’t trust them in Abuja; it may be a trap, so that we withdraw and later they accept the list submitted by the other group.
“We don’t want to leave anything to chance.”
In Akanbi Ward IV of Ilorin South Local Government Area, the faction loyal to the state Caretaker Chairman, Bashir Bolarinwa, elected the executives at the congress through consensus.
All the 27 ward executive positions were duly elected by hundreds of party members present at the congress.
The newly elected ward officials therefore declared their unalloyed support to the party led by Bolarinwa.
The new executives that emerged were: Ward Chairman, Mallam Abdullah Abubakar Dare; Vice Chairman, Owolaumi Alimoh; Secretary, Folorunsho Yahya; Youth leader, Idris Tunde Hamed; Woman Leader, Ibrahim Silifat; and Treasurer, Oluwatiyin Shitu.
The Special Adviser on Strategy to the state Governor, Mallam Sa’ad Salawudeen, told newsmen at his Ibagun ward in Okelele area of Ilorin East Local Government that the congress was by consensus.
This, Salawudeen said, was in line with directive of the national caretaker committee and that of the state governor after a stakeholders’ forum on Friday.
He also said the large turnout was in appreciation of the governor’s exemplary leadership.
He said: “In our ward, Ibagun ward, Okelele, Ilorin East Local Government, we did affirmation of all the names in our list that we unanimously adopted.
“There was no disagreement.
“This is a clear indication to all that APC members are in support of the governor.
“The congress had taken place without any hitch or disagreement.
“We’re unanimous in our support.”
A chieftain of the party at Adewole Ward in Ilorin West Local Government Area, Isiaka Olorundare, attested to peaceful conduct of the exercise.
Olorundare said there was “no dissident voice as we agreed to adopt consensus arrangements”.