All Progressives Congress, APC, across the country on Saturday, held its state congress to elect new executives to steer the ship of the party in the next three years.
In Lagos State, the exercise was held in an atmosphere described as; “seamless and peaceful.”
A former Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr Cornelius Ojelabi emerged as state Chairman, while Mr Sunmi Odesanya was elected as party Secretary in a consensus arrangement.
The exercise which was held at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly Onikann Stadium, Onikan, had 1,615 delegates participated in the voice election.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, led other personalities at the event held under the supervision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Electoral Committee members appointed by the party’s National Caretaker Committee of the APC in Abuja.
Notable APC stalwarts at the congress included the Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, lawmaker representing the Lagos Central in the Senate, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (Lagos West), Senator Rotimi Abiru (Lagos East), Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Tayo Ayinde, the immediate past caretaker chairman of the party in Lagos, Hon. Tunde Balogun, all serving members of the national and state assemblies, chairmen of local councils and party supporters.
The congress commenced at 11 am, following the opening speech of the chairman of the State’s Congress Electoral Committee, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, who promised objectivity, fairness and equity throughout the process.
The congress committee members adopted voice voting, requesting card-carrying members to nominate each of the eligible aspirants for members’ approval. The exercise was supervised by the Secretary of the State Congress Committee, Ambassador, Anthony Ogba.
Sanwo-Olu described the exercise as “fair, non-controversial, seamless, credible, devoid of acrimony and violence.”
He commended leaders of the party, led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who he said was in communication with him during the exercise to know how it was fairing “and assured him it was moving well.”
Sanwo-Olu, also commended Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC officials, led by observers, outgoing executive, led by Tunde Balogun for leading the party to the present stage.
He said: “We have come to the end of the State congress. All party members are happy with the peaceful conduct of the process and the outcome. I’m certain that the leadership that emerges from this exercise is a round peg in a hole.
The man (Ojelabi) that will be leading the team has a brilliant resume as a trusted hand, at the National Assembly level, State Executive Council level, political and community leadership level. He has over 20 years of political experience.”
Sanwo-Olu dismissed parallel congresses allegedly held by some elements as “mere naming ceremonies”, saying the authentic congress was the one attended by card-carrying members of the party at the venue announced by the State Congress Committee and supervised by INEC and the party national executive committee.
The Governor said the new chairman had the mandate to reach out to aggrieved party members and bring them back to the fold in order to move the party forward.
“It’s a big shoe left behind. On behalf of all, I formally congratulate the new chairman and able team. The female gender is well represented, it shows the quality of our party.
“Indeed the team will take everyone to enviable national level. God will help you all,” he said.
Chairman of National Congress Committee, Mr Bayo Adelabu commended the delegates for conducting themselves in an orderly manner during the conduct which elected Ojelabi as chairman and other 35 executive members after delegates ratified their nominations.
In his acceptance speech, Ojelabi promised to consolidate the achievements of his predecessor with the promise to set the party on a higher pedestal.
While praising Tinubu and other leaders for counting his team worthy, gave assurance that he would work along with other executive members to mobilize members of the public to register in the ongoing Continuous Voter’s Registration in order to boost the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections.
He said: “On behalf of all new executive members of the party, I give our commitment to setting our great party in a higher pedestal. All hands must be on deck, as this is a crucial moment in our political endeavours in Lagos. It is a moment other States are looking forward to.”
Ojelabi thanked the past caretaker committee members for their service, especially their effort to grow the party membership and its reach.
Ogba, however, commended the party in Lagos for solid organisation, urging other states to emulate the Lagos example.
Also elected into the party’s executive is Deputy State Chairman, Hon. Moshood Maiyegun; State Secretary, Hon. Sunmi Odesanya; Assistant State Secretary, Hon. Mariam Animashaun; Publicity Secretary, Hon. Seye Oladejo; Legal Adviser, Barr. Folashade Bakare; Assistant Legal Adviser, Barr. Adebola Adewunmi-Ladigbolu, and State Women Leader, Hon. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas.
The State Vice-Chairmen are Hon. Tunde Aboyade (West), Mrs. Oladunjoye (East), Hon. Daramola (Central).
State Treasurer, Biodun Aigbe; Assistant State Treasurer, Oludele Sonola; Financial Secretary, Doyin Banjo; Assistant Financial Secretary, Alhaja Funke Olaleye; Organising Secretary, Comrade Ayodele Adewale; Assistant Organising Secretary, Mr. Bayo Sanwo-Olu; Assistant Publicity Secretary, Yesiru Karamo; Welfare Secretary, Kehinde Adeniyi; Assistant Welfare Secretary, Akinola Idowu.
Auditor, Doyin Pikuda; Assistant Auditor, Salisu Elegushi; Assistant Women Leader, Hon. Kehinde Babalola; State Youth Leader, Dr. Muritala Seriki; Assistant Youth Leader, Prince Rasak Omoloja; Special Physically Challenged Leader, Hon. Israel Akiode, and State Youth Organising, Hon. Idris Aregbe.
The Senatorial Youth Leaders are Rasheed Gbose (West), Gbenga Balogun (East), and Sulaiman Animashaun (Central). The Senatorial Women Leaders are Bola Badmus-Olujobi (West), Wonuola Aje-Osinowo (East) and Modupe Olawoyin (Central).
The ex-Officios are Abu Oriyomi (West), Babatunde Olaoluwa (East), Alhaji Kpapiko Mohammed (Central 1), and Mrs. Ngozi Chinweuko (Central II).