Members of the All Progressives Congress APC in the State of Osun on Saturday trooped out to participate in the ongoing Ward congresses of the party.
Across the state, the party members in their numbers came out to elect those to steer the affairs of the party at the ward level. Members of the party were seen displaying their membership registration cards showing excitement as they proceeded to elect their ward executives.
This is just as a faction of the party in the state, the Ilerioluwa Political Group who are loyal to Governor Gboyega Oyetola largely boycotted the direct primaries mode of electing ward party executives.
In some parts of Osogbo, Ilerioluwa members read out a list of executives handed to them from the government house, however in Egbedore Local Government, attempts to read such list was rebuffed. The group members later retired to the house of their leader, Baba Ajao to affirm it executives there.
Meanwhile, the congress was peaceful in Ward 9, Ilesa East Local Government, Wards 2, 7 and 11 in Erin Osun in Irepodun Local Government, Wards 2 and 4 in Ejigbo Local Government and Ward 8, Isokan Local Government where direct primary election were held.
Though members of the Osun State National Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ward Congress have applauded the peaceful conduct of the exercise in the entire State, the exercise witnessed one or two skirmishes around the state.
In Ward 4, Olorunda Local Government where the election was monitored, A Special Adviser to Governor Gboyega Oyetola (name withheld), invaded the voting arena with heavily armed Amotekun Militia and attempted to read a list of Ward Executives, but majority of the party members present demanded they want to vote for their candidates. Subsequently, the Amotekun Militia started shooting to dispatch party members who had rejected what they called imposition.
However, addressing journalists shortly after the tour to some of the wards in the State, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, expressed delight at the way and manner the members of the party conducted themselves.
He noted that the reports gathered so far had reflected the peaceful conduct of the members of the party as demonstrated to elect new party’s officers.
“So far so good, the Congress has been conducted in a free, fair and credible atmosphere. The wards visited so far have been very peaceful as members of the party conducted themselves in a peaceful manner to elect their new officers across the registered 332 wards in the State.”
The congress was however disrupted in Ward 4 in Osogbo Local Government where thugs allegedly loyal to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola took over the collation centre.
According to the party members, the hoodlums had arrived the venue of the congress, Union Baptist Primary School, Odi-Olowo, Osogbo before them around 7am in a bid not to allow the congress.
The congress according to reports later held at the ward under the supervision of the Police.
Speaking on the conduct of the elections, former speaker of the State House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam noted that the exercise was conducted freely in all the Wards in Ejigbo Local Government.
“Though we came prepared for an election, none of the contestant on the other side showed up. Subsequently, the contestant for the different positions were affirmed by those present.”