From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) across the 351 wards of Oyo State on Saturday participated in the party’s ward congress held nationwide.
Though there were no reported cases of violence in many parts of the state, parallel congresses were also held in some areas in the state by a breakaway group within the party.
The home of a factional leader of the party, Alhaji Nureni Akanbi, was attacked in the early hour of Saturday, but it could not be ascertained immediately the masterminds of the attack.
The Chairman of the Ward Congress Committee and the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, had on Friday addressed electoral officers for the exercise on the need to conduct the congress in line with provisions of the party constitution. He, however, declared the congress as peaceful after the exercise on Saturday.
At ward 5, Agodi Ibadan, the exercise was peaceful, while security men were on the ground to ensure ordinariness. Also, at ward 11 in Ibadan North East, which is the ward of the state governor, Seyi Makinde, party faithful trooped out for the exercise.
Addressing party members, Governor Makinde advised the party loyalist to remain calm adding that his administration has good intentions for the masses. He described the exercise as largely peaceful as he called on the aggrieved members of the party to calm down and give peace a chance.
Meanwhile, the breakaway faction that held parallel congresses has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of supporting the PDP faction that is loyal to Governor Makinde.
The faction, “Oyo PDP Like-minds”, has spoken through its coordinator, Adewale Kolawole, saying: ‘We wrote a letter to the INEC on the congress and it was acknowledged. But to our surprise, Agboke ordered all his staff not to sign our results from all the wards across the state.’
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