The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Committee for Osun State Ward Congress, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, on Friday announced the arrival of the members of the Committee to the State, just as he said the news of his kidnap was a ruse.
Elegbeleye said the members of the Committee just arrived the State on Friday contrary to the insinuations being peddled around that they had been in the State for days.
The APC Ward Congress Committee Chairman who disclosed that none of the members of the Committee was neither kidnapped nor abducted by anyone as being speculated, said they arrived Osun late due to logistics needed to ensure smooth process.
He also promised that the Committee would do everything possible to champion transparency, accountability and fairness before, during and after the Congress.
Elegbeleye stated these while addressing the people during the Osun State Congress Committee Stakeholders’ Meeting on Ward Congress, held at Government House, Osogbo.
He said the Committee would deploy necessary mechanisms to conduct free and fair Ward Congress across the 332 wards in the State.
This is even as the Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, stressed that the need to ensure that the congress is not used to create problems in the party informed the decision of the National Secretariat of the party to advise that states should consider consensus among the various options.
He promised adequate security before, during and after the whole process, noting that the State would do everything to ensure a credible process.
“Mine is to welcome you to our State and I am happy that you are all here. We have been expecting you since. Congress is a way of electing new officers of the party and it shouldn’t generate any crisis and for the national leadership of the party to have asked us to adopt consensus is to avoid rancour.
“I want our people to ensure that we have a rancour-free exercise. We have provided adequate security for you.
“The presence of all the stakeholders in the party here at this meeting shows that the party is strong and formidable,” he said.
The meeting was attended by all the party leaders in the State, including Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, three former deputy governors -Senator Iyiola Omisore, Prince Sooko Adewoyin and Mrs. Titi Laoye-Ponle – and Osun Speaker, Timothy Owoeye, Senate’s spokesman, Senator Ajibola Bashiru, members of the National Assembly and the lawmakers from the State House of Assembly, among others.
Speaking further, the panel chair said: “As a matter of fact, we got the materials by 5:00pm yesterday (Thursday) at the National Headquarters of our party, Abuja, and as we all know, we have to move down to Osun.
“It was not our fault that we didn’t come here earlier. I want our people to know that I was not kidnapped by anyone. Nobody kidnapped us.
” We are here to do a very good job and we are hopeful that we are going to get the required support from every member of the party. Osun is peaceful and we are confident of the fact that the Omoluabi ethos which the State is known for will be displayed throughout the conduct of the exercise.
“We are going to be transparent, fair and open to ensure that the entire process is free, fair, credible and acceptable to all.
“We have the list of Congress committee with us and that is the list the party gave to us. They are the ones that we will work with. Each local government has a congress committee set up by the party. There is no way we will visit all the wards across the local government but we will try our best. We are here to give you a good job. We can assure the people of the States that they will get the best in terms of support for a successful congress. We are going to be very transparent enough so that we will finalise the congress tomorrow,” Elegbeleye added.
Also speaking, the Caretaker party chairman in the State, Prince Gboyega Famodun, promised the members of the Committee adequate support, saying that no stone would be left unturned to ensure a hitch-free process.
“As recommended by the National Secretariat, we have adopted the ways of consensus in Osun for the purpose of the smooth running of the party. Things have been properly done. Our homework has been done properly. Our fathers and leaders have scrutinised the 332 wards that we have in Osun. We have concluded the exercise that will lead us to a very good congress tomorrow. The state government has provided adequate security across the state. We are peace-loving,” the party chairman said.
Others who spoke are Senator Representing Osun Central, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Bashir; former Osun Deputy Governors, Mrs. Titi Laoye- Ponle; Otunba Iyiola Omisore; and Prince Adeleke Adewoyin. They all commended the party leadership for adopting the consensus arrangement for the Congress.
They assured members of the Committee of adequate support to ensure free, fair and credible process in the State, noting that the State had already adopted consensus to conduct the affair of the Congress across wards in the State.