The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday, held its ward congress in some states with reported cases of parallel and consensus arrangements.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party had approved Sept. 25, to elect ward executives in Borno, Lagos, Oyo, Adamawa, Kogi, Osun, Kebbi, Kwara and Ebonyi States.
Mr Kola Ologbondiyan said the excos of eight of the states, which were elected in 2017, would expire then, adding that the party would elect new executives to replace them.
“In the case of Lagos, Oyo, Adamawa, Kebbi, Borno, Kogi, Osun and Kwara states, the tenure of the excos by Section 47(1) of the PDP Constitution (as amended) would be expiring, having been elected in 2017.
“For clarity, in Kogi state congresses are to hold only in Wards and Local Governments, while in Osun, congresses are to hold in some respective wards only.
“However, in the case of Ebonyi, congress would be conducted to elect new EXCOs following the dissolution of the state structure due to political realignments occasioned by the defection of the state governors and others to another party,” he had said.
Our correspondents report that contending factions of the party in Osun and Oyo states held ward congresses as crisis in those chapters deepened.
There were however, consensus arrangements in Borno, Kogi, Ebonyi even as the Saturday exercise was peaceful in Kwara.
In Osun, the peace deal brokered by the Congress Committee led by Senator Emmanuel Aker-Jev to bring two warring factions together, ended in deadlock.
The groups include party members loyal to the state party Chairman, Mr Sunday Bisi and the faction led by Mr Soji Adagunodo.
Leader of the factional group, Adagunodo alleged that the Congress Committee had compromised.
He said, “The National leadership has taken sides with the other faction because on Friday night, the leadership of the party in Abuja, wrote to INEC, Police and DSS that the only party chairman they recognise is Sunday Bisi, against everything they promised us.”
However, the state chairman said he has the right to receive the committee and supervise the exercise, noting that he didn’t hijack the process.
“We did not hijack the process, as the Chairman of the PDP in Osun I have to make provision for their stay in the state. We only accommodated the panel that came from the National Secretariat,” he explained.
Our correspondents report that Governor Seyi Makinde’s group and the other led by Alhaji Nureni Akanbi held parallel exercises in Oyo State.
The home of the Akanbi, the leader of the parallel group was also reportedly attacked.
However, Mr Phillip Shaibu, Chairman of the Congress Committee claimed that no parallel congress took place.
Shaibu is the deputy governor of Edo State.
He said, “So far, so good, all the talks of having parallel election have not been noticed and what is important today is that the process has been peaceful.
“No report of any violence anywhere and that is one thing we have been afraid of since yesterday,” he said.
In Borno, the State chapter of the party affirmed all the ward officials during the exercise.
The Organising Secretary of the party in the state, Malam Umar Bello, said that the party adopted affirmation because all the candidates were unopposed.
The Ebonyi State chapter of the party also adopted consensus arrangement in some wards during the exercise.
The state Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Fred Udeogu, in an interactive session with journalists before the exercise, assured that the process would be transparent.
In Kwara State, the exercise was rancour-free across the three senatorial districts.
The party’s publicity secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, commended members for the successful and peaceful conduct of the ward congress across the 193 wards in the state.
He said the leadership of the party was impressed by the turnout and conduct of members during the exercise.