by Sunday Aborisade and Mike OdIegwu
The local government congress of the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party was held on Saturday in controversial circumstances.
Scores of the party members besieged various designated points to participate in the poll despite a court order which restrained its officials from conducting it.
The Director of Publicity of the party, Mr. Ayo Fadaka, said the party went ahead with the congress because the order of the court was not binding on the members.
Fadaka, in a statement in Akure, explained that those who were affected by the order had resigned earlier in the week.
He said, “Technically, the people were no longer in the office when the order was granted.”
According to him, the party had already written a letter to the National Judicial Council accusing the Chief Judge of the state of “attempting to stall the peace in the party through a frivolous injunction against members and leaders of the party.”
An Akure High Court presided over by the CJ, Justice Olaseinde Kumuyi had on Friday granted an ex-parte order restraining members of the Transition Committee of the party from participating as candidates, controlling, directing and appointing ad-hoc electoral officers in respect of the state and local government congress of the party.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan did not participate in the local government congress of the Peoples Democratic Party which took place across the country on Saturday.
Although there was no official explanation on why Jonathan stayed away from the local government congress, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Ene Ketebu, blamed it on some exigencies of his office.
In Sagbama Local Government Area where the Governor of the state, Mr. Seriake Dickson, participated, the party used option A4 to elect its delegates and its executive committee members in the area.
But some party members were seen grumbling at the method adopted by the party’s caucus committee to elect delegates and officials of PDP in Yenagoa Local Government Area.
The committee only mentioned the available positions and called for voice votes from delegates.
Some aggrieved members of the party complained that they were compelled by the party to affirm positions already allocated to unidentified persons.
“We don’t know the persons we have voted for. We only voted for positions. It is obvious that the positions will be filled by persons already chosen by the party,” one of the members who craved anonymity said.
The deputy Chairman of the committee, Mr. Banton Akporoko, however, described the exercise as peaceful.
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