The nationwide state congresses of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, which was held on Saturday, experienced a huge setback as a result of divisions within the party.
SaharaReporters learnt that in Lagos State, the ruling party APC had three parallel congresses with one of the factions led by a former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
SaharaReporters gathered that the national leadership of the party under Yobe State Governor, Mala Buni, recognised Ambode’s faction and his list of executives which is part of a coup and ongoing efforts to weaken the influence of the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.
Top sources revealed that Ambode's faction was sponsored by Buni, who is the Chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee so as to weaken Tinubu in his perceived stronghold.
“Lagos APC had three separate congresses; the people elected in Ambode’s faction and congress are backed by Buni. It is a coup against Tinubu,” a top source revealed.
SaharaReporters obtained the list of the state executives elected by Ambode's faction; they are; Beatrice Omotayo Tugbobo, Chairman; Alhaji Dauda, Vice-chairman; Hon. Prince Adedeji Osho, Secretary; Hon. Akewushola Onoyemi, treasurer; Balogun Adekunle Hameed, Publicity Secretary; Youth Leader, Buhari Babajide Jimoh and Woman Leader, Ashafa Salawat.
Others are: Financial Sec, Prince Moruf.A. Anibire; Organizing Sec., Olamiji Alilu; Auditor, Adeosun Iyiola Abiodun; Legal Adviser, Wasiu Adeyemi Sulaimon; Youth Leader, Adelaja Moruf; Welfare Officer, Olusegun Moruf Bello; Ex-officer 1, Ibrahim Misbau Omoniyi; Ex-officer 2, Babatunde Collins Davies.
SaharaReporters had last weekend reported how ailing Tinubu quietly returned to the country after months of extensive medical treatments in the United Kingdom and the United States.
It had also been reported that the APC in Lagos State had sent out a circular to its leaders across the state informing them that the Sunday welcome party being organised for Tinubu would not be held as earlier scheduled.
SaharaReporters had learnt that the APC sent the circular, signed by Alhaji Tunde Balogun (APC State Chairman), and Alhaji Maroun Are (GAC Secretary) to the party leaders believably at the ward and local government levels, without giving a specific reason for the change of plan.
SaharaReporters, however, gathered that the cancellation was due to the exclusive report published by this medium, which forced them to abort it abruptly.
In the circular obtained by SaharaReporters, the APC leaders were told that a new arrangement for welcoming Tinubu would be announced later.
“Dear leader/GAC member, you are hereby informed of change in plans/arrival of our National Leader billed for Sunday. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the plans/arrival have been put on hold. A new plan/arrival will be unfolded soon. Sorry for any inconvenience this hold may have caused. Thank you,” the notice had said.
SaharaReporters had reported that Tinubu confirmed that he went through a challenging health crisis, saying his “physiotherapy was gruesome.”
Tinubu said this while addressing members of the House of Representatives northern caucus who visited him in London last Friday.
The former governor, who had been in the United Kingdom for the last three months since undergoing knee surgery, told the gathering, “Because of God and people like you, I am well. It is just the physio (physiotherapy) that is gruesome.”
Since his departure, Tinubu’s London home has become a mecca of sorts as he has been visited by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano),
Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).
SaharaReporters had reported that Tinubu underwent knee surgery at the John Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland, US.
The APC chieftain, it was learnt, left the US for the United Kingdom on crutches, a few days after the surgery.
Sources close to Tinubu told SaharaReporters that he wanted the surgery in Paris, France but changed his plan after rumours of his death spread in Nigeria.
“Tinubu had his second surgery at John Hopkins University in Maryland recently. He was accompanied by a popular Nigerian doctor in Chicago. He had wanted the surgery in Paris but when rumour was rife about his death, he hurriedly left for Nigeria and went to John Hopkins,” one of the sources had said.
"He left the US for the UK on crutches," another source revealed.
SaharaReporters had on July 31 reported that Tinubu, who has had several medical trips this year alone, had surgery about two weeks earlier and could be billed for another one.
The APC National Leader has been off official and party functions in the country for a while, amidst talks that he is being positioned for the 2023 presidency to succeed the incumbent repressive regime of Buhari.
The APC state congress which held nationwide on Saturday did not hit a crisis only in Lagos but in most states of the South-West.
Earlier today, two persons were said to have sustained injuries from gunshots fired by some unidentified persons who invaded the venue of the state Congress organised by a faction of the All Progressives Congress in Osogbo, Osun State.
The incident happened around 12.50 pm after the congress organised by the Osun Progressives, a faction of APC backed by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, had commenced the process of electing new executives.
A car with about five occupants that were armed with guns was seen driving along Osogbo/Gbongan Road towards the entrance to the venue of the Congress.
The vehicle was eventually prevented from advancing to the entrance to the venue of the Congress held at Ladsol Bus Stop, Ogo Oluwa, Osogbo, by another group leading to an exchange of gunshots between the two groups.
Also, in Ogun state, the Ake palace in Abeokuta was cordoned off by police officers believed to be from the Ogun State Police Command and officers of the Department of the State Security Services.
The officers had allegedly been sent by the faction of the APC loyal to Governor Dapo Abiodun to lock up the venue of the parallel congress of those members loyal to former Governor Ibikunle Amosun, preventing party faithful from gaining access.
Many people believed to have been mobilised for the parallel congress were seen loitering around the palace, and unable to enter the venue.
Meanwhile, the national leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress suspended the congress in Oyo over “irregularities”.