Despite the Riot Act read Friday to all its chieftains in all the states across the country, violence, protests and boycotts marred Saturday’s ward congresses in several state chapters of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Against the directive of the party leadership, parallel congresses were also held in many of the states. Some of the states where chaos was recorded include Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, and Imo.
In Ekiti State, violence in Ikere-Ekiti allegedly led to the death of a party member, while several others were allegedly injured when supporters of Governor Kayode Fayemi and those of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, reportedly clashed.
The APC national leadership had, in a preemptive move Friday, read the Riot Act to its chieftains against the conduct of parallel congresses in the states, threatening to sanction members who do.
Secretary of the National Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in a notice, said the party would invoke necessary disciplinary measures against those who hold parallel congresses.
He reminded party members of the National Executive Committee’s resolution of December 8, 2020, which directed members not to take the party to court unless they have exhausted “the internal mechanisms for conflict resolution, as enshrined in the party’s constitution.”
Akpanudoedohe said, “For the purpose of clarity, may I restate the relevant point in the resolution to wit: All pending litigations instituted by members against the party should be withdrawn forthwith, and going forward, no member should institute matters against the party, without exhausting the internal mechanism for conflict resolution, as enshrined in the party’s constitution.
“Consequent upon the above, party members should please note that all activities that may be carried out by persons to put the party and its officers in a bad light, before, during and after the congresses should be jettisoned; all activities or processes leading up to the congresses and thereafter, which do not have the approval of the CECPC are exercises in futility. This is to say that any purported parallel congress, parallel party organ and or parallel party office, is, to say the least, a nullity. These divisive activities will not be tolerated.”
He added, “For the avoidance of doubt, the party shall deploy the full weight of the law as stipulated in section 21(D) of our party’s Constitution on anyone who perpetrates such unlawful Act(s) and also on their sponsors.”
However, several state chapters of the party Saturday defied the party’s directives, conducting parallel congresses marred by violence and boycott.