Violence, protests mar APC congress in Ondo
Violence, irregularities and protest marred the ward congress of the All Progressives Congress held in different parts of Ondo State.
Also, parallel congresses were in many areas of the state just as some party members were allegedly prevented from participating in the exercise, which took nationwide.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Sunday Abegunde, and the state Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Mr. Jacob Adebo, popularly called Idajo, were alleged in the alleged irregularities.
It was learnt that Abegunde and Adebo allegedly led the members of the NURTW, who were armed with various dangerous weapons to some centres in various wards in Akure South Local Government Area of the state, to chase out some delegates who were not loyal to him.
In some wards visited by newsmen, many party members were seeing running helter-skelter for safety as they were allegedly chased away by the supporters of the SSG. Some members who were perceived to be ‘enemies’ of the SSG were beaten blue-black in many wards.
In Ero/Ibuji Ward in Ifedore Local Government Area, the Congress did not hold as two factions were claiming to be authentic APC members. It involved the intervention of the men of the police and national security and Civil Defence Corps Commands that prevented the situation from degenerating to serious violence.
A member of the House of Representatives representing Akure South/North federal constituency, Mr. Afe Olowookere, said there was no congress at his ward, saying the SSG led NURTW members to chase APC members away from the voting centres.
His words “What happened in most of the supposed congress centres was that members of the National Union Road Transport Workers in Ondo state led by Idajo took over all the centres armed with different kinds of weapons.
“They wounded some members and did not allow the Congress to hold in all the centres in Akure South. When we discovered that, we appealed to all our members to leave in order to avoid loss of lives.
“We have photo evidence of our claims, of our members who were attacked and wounded. I’ve called the Deputy Governor of the state and reported the development to him. I’ve tried to reach out to Mr. Governor but I couldn’t get him.
“There was no congress anywhere today. The Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde, has said he would impose his list on all of us in the local government area.
“The next line of action is to let the governor and the leadership of the party know about it. We thank God there is provision for appeal, for members to report cases of this nature.
“We are going to approach the committee set up to handle complaints of members about the conduct of the Congress. We are also going to let the leadership of the party aware of what has happened.”
The Chairman of the APC in the state, Mr. Ade Adetimehin expressed satisfaction about the conduct of the exercise. He said the Congress was peaceful.
However, all efforts to reach the SSG on the development proved abortive as calls to his telephone was not successful as he did not pick his calls while the text message sent to him was not replied as at the time of this report but the NURTW chairman denied the allegations.
Adebo said,” It is a lie, I was in my ward in Ward 4, I don’t know anything about it. “