Ward congress: Osun panel dismisses petition by Aregbesola faction

August 20, 2021
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Efforts by a faction loyal to former Osun state governor and Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola to take over the All Progressives Congress structures in Osun State ahead next year governorship election appears to have been dashed.

Nigerian Tribune checks revealed that Ambassador Obed Wadzani led five-man Ward Congress Appeal panel put in place by the ruling party national secretariat has dismissed the petition filed by the Osun Progressives, (TOP).

The group led by former Chairman of the party in the South West state,  Reverend Adelowo Adebiyi, has the Minister of Interior as its patron.

The Appeal Panel in its report sighted by Nigerian Tribune which has since been submitted to the APC Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee dismissed the petitions filed by the TOP, as it noted that they could not be substantiated.

The Ambassador Wadzani Panel in its report maintained that the Ward  Congress Committee led by Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye complied with the party guidelines in the discharge of the assignment it was saddled with by the Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni led CECPC.

“The positions canvased by the petitioners are considered by this committee to be unfounded. The guidelines issued by the National Secretariat were complied with by the ward congress committee and the Osun State Caretaker committee. Therefore, all the petitions should be dismissed.”

The five-man Appeal Panel equally frowned at what it called duplication of a petition by the leadership of the TOP group.

It observed that “All the petitions submitted are the same in wordings, contents, and structure except local governments and wards,” thereby giving the impression that “all the petitions are written by one person. “

In a startling revelation, the report disclosed that a serving lawmaker representing, Atakumosa West LG told the panel that there was no petition that emanated from his council faulting the conduct of the Ward Congress.

It read in part: “Hon. Babajide Festus Komolafe (member representing the LG in the state House of Assembly) came in while Rev. Adelowo Adebiyi was present, to testify that all the petitions from the LG were forged, that no one sent a petition from Atakumosa West LG (and) he went further to allege that one of the supposed petitioners, Olayinka Folorunsho died six months before the Petition was written.” 

The panel further noted that all the petitions submitted “are from ten local governments – thirty wards (submitted to the national secretariat of the party), four wards submitted to the congress appeal committee in Osogbo. It follows therefore that twenty local governments (out of thirty local governments),  two hundred and ninety-eight wards (out of three hundred thirty-two wards) are not contested.”

In addition to asking the CECPC to dismiss the petition by the factional group, the Appeal Panel however urged the national Secretariat of the APC to“set in motion the process for reconciliation of all those that are aggrieved within the party in the State in view of the elections coming up in the State next year, which is a forerunner to the Presidential election in 2023.”

Checks by Nigerian Tribune revealed that the Ward Appeal Panel had disclosed in the course of its assignment that it received 32 petitions from party members across the state.

Further checks by Nigerian Tribune revealed that the Ambassador Wadzani Committee was almost undermined last weekend as thugs stormed the party national secretariat to disrupt the Committee from executing its assignment.

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