Plans by supporters of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Chief Great Ogboru to hold a parallel local government congress of All Progressives Congress in Delta State was frustrated on Saturday with the adoption of a 'unity list' of delegates by leaders of the party.
It was gathered that the acceptance of a 'unity list' the of delegates by the leaders and stakeholders of the party was to avoid a replication of the bloody crisis that characterized the party's ward congresses held last weekend.
SaharaReporters correspondent who monitored the local government congresses in some parts of the state observed that the exercise was conducted peacefully contrary to the violence which characterized the ward the congresses of last week in which a ward chairmanship aspirant in Jeremi unit III, ward 10, Ughelli South local government area was stabbed to death.
Our correspondent reliably learned that the decision to adopt the 'unity list' was taken in Abuja at a meeting attended by prominent stakeholders of the party and was approved by the APC National Working Committee for the local government congresses.
In Asaba, the state capital, chairman of the local government congress committee, Mr. Emmanuel Chindah, who also supervised distribution of electoral materials to the local governments told journalists that measures have been put in place to avoid a replication of the violence which characterized the ward congresses.
He told journalists that materials for the congresses were distributed between 10:30am and 11:30am on Saturday morning without any rancor.
Mr Chindah therefore assured that the exercise would be peaceful, accepted, free and fair as planned.
He added that the distributed ballot materials will be used to conduct elections where stakeholders failed to agree on a candidate for a particular position with option A4 being adopted if there are more than one contestants for any position.
At Aniocha South local government area, the congress was held at the party's secretariat in Ogwashi-Uku in a peaceful atmosphere.
At Oshimili South local government area, the congress also held peacefully at Ogwa Umuagu. The chairman of the congress committee for Oshimili South, Mr. Festus Oyibo , adopted option A4 for some of the positions, while some persons were returned unopposed.
At Aniocha North local government area, the congress was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere at Issele-Uku.
Former speaker of the Delta state House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Ochei, described the congress as one of the most peaceful ever held in the area. He commended the delegates and party members over the maturity they displayed during the exercise.
The former lawmaker also noted that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security personnel who witnessed the congress played their respective roles professionally.
At Ughelli, Udu, Sapele and Uvwie local government areas all in Delta Central senatorial districts, the congresses were adjudged peaceful at all the approved venues. Our correspondent saw delegates voting while in some areas, contestants were being returned unopposed by delegates.
Speaking shortly after the exercise in Ughelli, the leader of APC in the state, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, said the congresses were held in peaceful atmosphere.
“You could witness that the congress was peaceful and the reason for the peaceful congress was because the leaders harmonized and came up with a unity list to organize the congress. In Ughelli north, we reconciled all interest and we came here to just do an affirmation and that is what is taking place all over the state”.
APC officials sent from Abuja to conduct the Ughelli local government congress, Mr. Daniel Ekori, Mr. Wisdom Ghaghara and Mr. Francis Okolosi, also described the congress as generally peaceful.
However, Omo-Agege representing Delta central senatorial district in the national Assembly and Ogboru, shunned the congress.
It was gathered the two had planned to organise a parallel congress which result would be submitted to APC national secretarial in Abuja.