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Ex-military administrator in race for Enugu APC chairmanship

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By Millicent Onaga, Enugu 

A total of eleven candidates, including an ex-Military Administrator (MILAD) of Gombe State, Group Capt. Joe Orji (rtd), have indicated interest to vie for the chairmanship position of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) in Enugu State, in the forthcoming elective congress of the Nigeria’s ruling party.

Orient Daily recalls that Orji, an aircraft engineer, had before now, contested the state’s governorship election under the defunct All Nigeria’s Peoples Party (ANPP) as well as made move to run for the House of Representatives during the last 2019 general election, but could not clinch the APC’s ticket.

Meanwhile, the outgoing state chairman of the party, Dr Ben Nwoye, has appealed to all the aspirants interested in one position or the other, not to see the congress as a do-or-die affair.

 Dr Nwoye equally urged elected members whose tenure were affected by the dissolution of the executives to reconsider vying in the upcoming congress in the state, in order to give the party a fresh start.

While addressing ward, local government and state chairmanship hopefuls, on Wednesday, during a meeting held at the state party secretariat in Enugu, Dr Nwoye stated that the number and quality of aspirants warming up to vie for various positions, was an indication that APC had been made fashionable in Enugu State.

The chairman said that members who were elected during the last congress of the party in the state, and whose tenure was still running before they were dissolved, should pave way for the nationwide Caretaker Committees, who were very much qualified to recontest in the coming congress. But, he however, appealed to them to take a second look at their aspirations.

“I have led this party by example and very much qualified to recontest my position in the coming congress. Many have come to me, asking me to recontest but I have said ‘no’ to them. 

According to him, “that is based on my conviction that the only thing that is irreplaceable is God; every other thing on earth has replacement. Don’t hold any position as if your life depends on it. I am not forcing anyone to toe my path but appealing to those whose tenure was cut short and now trying to recontest to take a second look at their aspirations. 

“If they can, let them sacrifice and allow the party to have a fresh start. It will also help us reduce tension and friction. 

Nwoye further declared: “We have grown this party and there is no way we can claim we have succeeded unless we have occupied the Government House, Enugu”.

The outgoing chairman, who expressed gratitude to some members of his executive who had willingly agreed to surrender their ambition, stressed that politics no matter how well played, would not succeed without sacrifice.

He, therefore, reassured the contestants for the various positions of equal playing field, stating that “nobody will either hijack the party or be barred from contesting in the elective congress All we ask of you is to remain steadfast and know that it is the APC first before any other thing. 

“You have to continue to support this party. We will continue to vote in elections and congresses, and I know that very soon, we all will be counted as part of those who sweated for the growth of the party in Enugu State,” he emphasised.

Our correspondent who covered the meeting, observed that while there were 11 contestants for the position of the APC state chairman, over fifty others are contesting for the 17 council areas’ chairmanship positions in the state.

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