The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has inaugurated the elected state chairmen of the party, with a charge to them to ensure victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The event, however, did not start without protests from several stakeholders who wanted the party hierarchy to discard the results of congresses conducted by other factions in their states. Some factional state chairmen and their hordes of supporters had besieged the secretariat and attempted to gain entrance into the inauguration hall. They were however repelled by security operatives on the orders of the National Organizing Secretary of the party, Sen. Osita Izunaso, who said only state chairmen whose names were listed by the party be allowed entry. With the development, the factional chairmen in Oyo, Bayelsa, Enugu and Delta states who had earlier accessed the hall were shown the way out while the Oyo state Unity Forum, led by Communications minister, Adebayo Shittu, were shut out. Among the members of the Unity Forum that were locked out were Sen. Munsorat Sumonu, and some members of the House of Representatives who chanted solidarity songs and who protested the recognition of the faction of Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi whom, they argued, did not buy forms and therefore should not be sworn in. Though the factions loyal to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan, in Taraba state and that of the Imo state Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere were inaugurated, that of Shittu was not so lucky. Performing the inauguration, Odigie-Oyegun said; “You have the onerous task of nurturing the APC. You have to work hard to return the party to its lost glory. Also make sure you work hard for the re-election of our President. We are aware of conflicts, disaffections and bad blood in the party. Put all these aside and work for the victory of our party at the 2019 general elections.” He however asked the state chairmen in Rivers, Taraba, Oyo, Delta, Lagos and others to tarry awhile before inaugurating their own executives. According to him;
“There is serious need for quick reconciliation especially in Rivers, Taraba, Oyo, Delta, Lagos and others. Let the chairmen here wait and not inaugurate their executives like the others until the issues with the Congresses in such states are resolved. I am going to set up a committee headed by the Deputy National Chairman, North to study the situation in such states for possible actions. There will be concessions and harmonizations after the exercise within this week.” Speaking further, he urged the state chairmen to go and tell the people of the great achievements recorded by the APC administration.
“Your Government is on the right course. A firm foundation has been laid for the development of Nigeria. In spite of lean resources, APC has achieved much more in three years. Get acquainted with the achievements put together in a document which I will make available to you. Tell Nigerians the achievements of your government. In infrastructure, a lot of roads have been constructed; agriculture, much rice is produced; transport, rail is there and power we now have 7, 000 megawatts”, he recounted