The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday succeeded in staving off a major crisis that had threatened to factionalise it as a last-ditch effort averted the holding of parallel congresses to elect State executives of the party.
TELL gathered that the party was able to placate its aggrieved members after series of meetings thereby forging a consensus arrangement which saw a majority of members of the former executive retaining their positions.
There had been palpable tension in the party ahead of Saturday’s exercise as one of the aspirants to the state chairmanship position, Francis Inegbeniki, Vice Chairman of the party for Edo Central Senatorial district, insisted on contesting the number one position despite being zoned to Edo South.
Inegbeniki had threatened to hold a parallel congress if the party went ahead with the consensus arrangement it had adopted for its congresses. He however agreed to step down after intense engagements.
At the end of the exercise, David Imuse, a medical doctor, retired army colonel, and erstwhile caretaker committee chairman of the party was returned, while Lawrence Okah also retained his position as secretary of the party.
Addressing party delegates earlier, the Chairman of the Congress Committee for Edo State, Ahmed Tijani Ramalan, said their mandate was to conduct a free and fair state congress to elect state executives to run the party for the next four years, and urged them to put the party first. Ramalan noted that the primary task was to return the party to power in Edo State.
Reacting to the development, Inegbeniki explained that he decided to drop his ambition in the interest of the unity of the party after series of meetings, stating that the party was ready to win back power in the state.
Imuse thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed in them, as well as for their support.
Recalling the challenges the party faced in the past, Imuse assured that the party was prepared to surmount the challenges ahead, assuring that it was fully prepared to play the role of a credible opposition with constructive criticism.
Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, former governor of the state, said the party would continue to wax stronger and stronger, and was prepared to win the next election.
In his remarks, former National Chairman of the APC, and immediate past governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole on behalf of party leaders in the state, commended the Congress Committee for the manner it conducted the Congress.
Oshiomhole also appreciated Inegbeniki and others who stepped down, as well as those elected.
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