The crisis rocking the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Oyo State took another dimension on Saturday when factions of the party organised parallel congresses in some parts of Ibadan, the state capital.
A faction led by Mr Kola Balogun, who is contesting for the office of the State Chairman of the party, held its congress at Havanah Royale Hotel and Conference Centre, beside University of Ibadan, Sango-Ojoo road while another faction, led by Mr Folahan Oluyinka, held their’s at National Museum of Unity, Museum Road, off Dick road, Aleshinloye, Ibadan.
They, however, both laid claim to the authentic and recognized faction by the national secretariat of the party.
However, tension became heightened when the congress, which was supposed to be supervised by a national officer of the party, Ambassador Dare Bejide, at the recognised venue, suddenly disappeared around past 10:00 a.m, and never returned up to the close of the day.
Speaking with journalists, Balogun stated that any congress held at another location contravened the guidelines of the party and would be rendered invalid, assuring that another date must be announced for the exercise.
He said: “From the national headquarters, Havanah Royale was chosen by the party where the congress is supposed to be conducted. The INEC, Police, DSS officials are also here to monitor and secure the environment.
“The aspirant we are contesting for the same office together came us to have a dialogue and share various positions available. We know it is peace we need despite the fact that our faction has majority of people.
“In short, all together there are 34 positions. We harmonized the list and shared the positions into two. They wrote their own list and we did ours too. We were in the middle of that before they sneaked out of the venue.
“The officer, who was sent from Abuja, Ambassador Dare Bejide, also excused us since morning when he said he wanted to go make photocopy of a document but we have not seen him up till now. Several attempt to reach him proved abortive.
“So, based on what has happened here today, we are expecting another date to be announced for the congress. I am sure the national body will look into it and announce another date.
“We all know that at the factional congresses held in other venues, INEC officials and security operatives were not there but they are here. As a result of this, I am assured that the needful will be done and we will be asked to retake the exercise.”
It was observed that the both congresses were not supervised by any national officer of the party.