APC Congress: Confusion, crisis looms in Enugu
By Uzoh Ugwueze, Enugu
Three days after the ward congress of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu state, a state of uncertainty reigns over the affairs of the party.
Tension started building up days to the exercise as the Congress Committee deployed from the national secretariat of the party was nowhere to be seen 24 hours to the congress.
Many aspirants who paid for forms to contest one position or the other could not get the forms owing to the situation, fuelling speculations that the process had been hijacked.
At the moment, some of the aggrieved party members are already before an Enugu State High Court over the action of the committee.
However, the committee, led by its chairman, Dr Ijeoma Arodiogbu, arrived the Enugu APC secretariat, later on Friday, where he claimed he had logistics problems.
He said that, contrary to media reports, no one had hijacked the process as every material meant for the election was intact.
At the meeting were minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, South-East representative in the APC national caretaker committee, and former senate president, Ken Nnamani, former governor, Sullivan Chime, state chairman of the party, Dr Ben Nwoye, among other stakeholders of the party.
Orient Daily observed that the fears nursed by members appeared to have been justified on the day of the congress, Saturday, July 31, 2021 as result sheets got missing in every of the 260 wards in the state.
The chairman of the congress committee had, at the Friday meeting, displayed the result sheets and promised to send them across to the 260 wards but that did not happen.
At the end of the congress, there was nowhere to record the outcome of the exercise.
Sources hinted that results different from what transpired in the field during the exercise were being entered into the sheets at the South-East office of the APC.
The development has not been taken lightly, as the party chairman in the state, Nwoye, vowed that the will of the people would not be allowed to be truncated.
Angry Nwoye said, “I am proud of members of the APC in Enugu state; they turned out en masse and elected their leaders.
“But for whatever reason the man sent to monitor the Congress from Abuja, the chairman of Congress Committee, Dr Ijeoma Arodiogbu, kept the result sheets and other sensitive materials to himself.
“Unfortunately, by Sunday night, I learnt they were busy at the South East Secretariat. They hired some people and were busy writing fake names of people who did not participate in the Congress as winners.
“But by the grace of God you can’t bury the truth. If you do it, in time, it will self-exhume. And by the grace of God we have a man who is an astute leader at the helm of affairs of APC; so we are gathering the evidence of the Congress.
“Because when I was called and they said they were not going to start until the result sheets came in, I directed them to start. Those authorized to go to the 260 wards are not the seven man panel; they don’t have the ability. In line with instructions from the National Secretariat I authorised the local committees to start and conduct the Congress; but they should document it. Document their results, the events with video and they did.
“Starting from Eke ward, those favoured by certain powers scored one vote as against the people’s choice who scored over 1000 votes to other wards of some other big men. It was shown on NTA and other stations.
“There were some big men busy writing results at the South East Secretariat; we have those on record and at the end justice will prevail.
“Those who won are celebrating because they won; those writing results in a piece of paper, they don’t know that in the party, it’s human beings you use. Those who are calling people to bring people and boasting they want to install a state chairman by writing names. They want to hold the ward structure so they can install a fake state chairman.
“They will find out that in APC under my leadership in Enugu state justice always prevails. We are determined people. We are the founders of this party. Those who joined us because they felt some injustices had been done to them by their former party PDP, they are now here to mete out the same iniquities and injustices they claimed to run away from. We will resist it and we have resisted it.
“We have Congress results, they are on video tapes. Journalists monitored and reported it; INEC monitored all and INEC had its report. So, it’s a shame on the chairman of the committee; he is a medical doctor who swore the Hippocratic Oath; he breached it. This is because, instead of saving lives, he came into Enugu state to kill people’s political lives.
“The young man who believes he can go round and commit injustice from state to state for financial gain; Enugu state will be his last stop. We are going to show him that we are Wawa people; he may be looking down on us because he came down here and showed us the 260 summary sheets, 7,207 sheets; packed it up and left with it. And sold it to the highest bidder.
“We are Wawa people, we don’t back down; we don’t shift; our ancestors are warriors but we don’t just go to war. It’s a mind game and he will find out why Wawa people are a special breed of all the Igbo species.
“We have temperament to absorb. He may think he has hit us hard and ran away; but we are resilient. And tomorrow those who won the election will be at the party secretariat to celebrate their victory.”