Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State on Friday agreed to adopt consensus candidates for ward congresses slated for Saturday across the 16 local government areas of the state.
This comes as the chairman of the Kwara APC Ward congress Prof Jonathan Ayuba urged all the stakeholders to ensure that the process is peaceful and orderly.
“The national secretariat of APC has taken these congresses very seriously because the foundation of the success of the party at the national level depends on the foundation that we laid that the construction will continue,” he said.
“I was given a list of stakeholders and I personally made contacts with some of your critical stakeholders. With what I have done I feel confident that I can convey the message which I am brought here to do.
“The congresses are supposed to be done tomorrow and the party says you have to decide either you go for consensus or election. So, mine is not to decide for you but to listen to you and take your decision. So, your decision is what I will work with.
“I have held meetings with security agencies and I will hold any of the stakeholders in various wards responsible for any misconduct. I will hold any of the stakeholders responsible for any breach of the peace. I will also include in my report to the headquarters of any misbehaviour. Let the interest of the party and not any individual interest supercede our decision in these congresses.”
At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting called by the APC National Headquarters’ Congress Planning Committee in Ilorin, members of the party unanimously settled for consensus candidates across the 193 wards.
The pre-congress stakeholders’ meeting was attended by top party chieftains from the state, including Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq; Speaker of the House of Assembly Yakubu Danladi Salihu; Senators Yahya Oloriegbe (Central); Lola Ashiru (South); House of Representatives members; House of Assembly members; Kwara APC Caretaker committee chairman Abdullahi Samari; and many others.
Governor AbdulRazaq said the party congress is a democratic process designed to ensure smooth running of the party.
He reiterated the commitment of the APC administration to serve the masses.
“We are here only for Kwarans. They voted for us and we must continue to think about our people. We must not disappoint our people. We know what we are doing tomorrow. Speakers have spoken and I wish everyone safe journey to our respective places. May we have a successful outing tomorrow,” according to the Governor who was represented by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi.
Senator Oloriegbe said: “We are a united family as a party in Kwara. APC in Kwara is the party in government and no king will constitute an enemy against himself. What brought (to the people of) Kwara is ‘Otoge’ and change that we promised our people. And what we said Otoge for is bad governance. We promised good governance and that is what the governor and all of us elected under the party have been delivering.
“There is no household or community without a leader and only God appoints leaders. Anybody God has appointed, we should all cooperate with him. That is the person’s time. We should all cooperate as one family. What we want and what we need is unity of purpose. We shouldn’t be fighting ourselves. We should come together to deliver what we promised the people of Kwara State.
“I want to assure the chairman (congress committee) that we are known for peace because Kwara is not known for thuggery. The congress will go peacefully tomorrow. It is through dialogue and consensus that we will arrive at conclusion.”
Chairman APC caretaker committee in the state Abdullahi Samari said: “The purpose of this meeting is to take briefings on the ward congresses that will take place tomorrow. The national secretariat of our great party has sent a team to conduct the ward congresses and that team is led by Prof Jonathan Ayuba. I want all members here (as representatives of various communities) to take back the correct position of how the exercise is going to be conducted.
“With the collation of ideas we have this evening it is agreed that we are going home for consensus candidates.”
The Speaker, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker Raphael Adetiba, said members of the House have agreed to consensus arrangement.
“What we are saying is that we have only one leader per term. God has given us Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at this time and if anybody has a dissenting voice, may be he is not a citizen of this state. As far as we all know from the leadership of the party in the state, we are prepared for discussion and dialogue. That is consensus. Our assurance to the national headquarters of APC is that it is consensus for Kwara,” he added.