In Edo State, the APC adopted a consensus arrangement for the congresses, with the option of conducting elective poll, where necessary.But the exercise could not hold in Owan East Local Government Area, following a disagreement over zoning arrangement.
The Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase, declared that the party could not go contrary to the directive of the National Executive Committee.He pleaded for the retention of the party’s zoning arrangement, as adopted in 2014, while promising to meet with other leaders of the party to reach agreement in areas of conflict.
He added: “In our own specific case, a very large group said we could not continue on the path of impunity. The retaining of zoning formula worked out in the ward congresses and there was peace.
“Our merry-making gathering was to heal the wounds that arose from the way that the local government congressed were held. You could see that those who do not want this party to grow in peace had turned it to something else.” He said the contentious issue in Owan East was that the party’s NEC maintained that zoning should remain and be used at all levels.In Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, The Guardian leant that two list of executives were presented.
While the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto, supported the first one, the member representing the area in the House of Representatives, Peter Akpatason, masterminded the other. It was leant that consultations among the stakeholders, including the governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole were still on. The Guardian further leant that the party has rejected the results of three local government areas where parallel congresses were held.
In Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, the lawmaker representing Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Johnson Agbonayinma, said: “Members of the APC have spoken, and that is consensus arrangement is what they wanted without fighting, or firing gunshots. Having a consensus arrangement is also acceptable in a democracy and this was what happened.
“We accepted it in good faith and we appreciated our leaders, even as we know it to be a step in the right direction.”The party’s state Publicity Secretary, Chris Azebamwan, explained that the method was employed to maintain the cohesiveness of the party.
Howver, parallel congresses were reportedly held in Owan West Local Government Area due to a tussle between factions loyal to Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, and a former Deputy Governor, Rev. Peter Obadan. Also involved in the conflict were Ojo Asein and Frank Ilaboya.