An Abuja-based lawyer, Ikechukwu Uzuegbu, has berated the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC over its role in the conduct of parallel congresses in Abia State.
In a statement on Thursday, Uzuegbu noted the APC may lose out of the coming elections in Abia State if those orchestrating crisis and division in the party are not immediately fished out and sanctioned appropriately.
He stated that the emergence of two states executives and two factional Chairmen at the state congress held on October 16, 2021, is a reflection that all is not well in the party.
Insisting that the present crisis in Abia APC is self-inflicted, Uzuegbu stated that the National Secretariat presently headed by Yobe State Governor, Mala Buni is heavily implicated.
Uzuegbu traced the root of the problem in Abia State to the decision by some leaders in the party to bypass the State Executive headed by Hon. Donatus Nwankpa in the conduct of the congress.
He said: “The National Secretariat in clear breach of APC’s constitution, Election Guidelines, sent Congress Committee officers to Abia State for the Ward, Local Government and even the State Congress and told them to go and conduct the various Congresses without the involvement of the legitimate Caretaker Committee in place in the State.
“How is it possible for those few persons sent from the National Secretariat in Abuja to come into a State and organise a successful Congress in all the Wards, Local Governments Areas in the State without the input and support of the legitimate State Exco on ground? What data did they use if I may ask?
“Under what provision of the Constitution of APC can the Congress Committee from the National Secretariat conduct the Congresses of the Ward and Local Government without the input of the legitimate State Exco? Who handed over the various screened contestants to the Congress Committee that came from the National Secretariat?
Uzuegbu further said that Chief Ikechi Emenike’s parallel congress must not be allowed to stand as it is a product of illegality.
Raising some fundamental question on Chief Emenike’s congress, he asked; Can any legitimate State Exco of the Party emerge in which the legitimate ward delegates, local government delegates, the State Exco officials who are statutory delegates and the over 30 statutory delegates neither participated nor supported?
Can such State Exco at any time earn legitimacy either by law or logic?
Uzuegbu states categorically that the group that produced Acho Obioma as the Chairman was a product of the delegates elected at the Ward Congress on July 31 July 2021 and with statutory members of the party from all levels.
“The State Congress that produced Obioma took place at indoor Hall at Umuahia Township Stadium after accreditation of all Delegates. Six persons who purchased the nomination forms for the chairmanship made themselves available and while the party leaders met and agreed on consensus candidates for all the other positions, it was resolved that the position of the chairmanship will be decided by the ballot.
“All the six candidates contested for the position of the chairmanship and they were Pastor Dike Nwankwo, Chidi Nwosu, Acho Obioma, Princewill Ukaegbu, Sylvanus Nwaji and Goldie Wabara. It was an open secret balloting system. Hon Acho Obioma who scored 298 votes to beat all others was declared winner in the election that was supervised properly in accordance with the Electoral Guidelines of the Party.”
On the choice that the party leadership must make, Uzuegbu said: “The National Secretariat headed by Governor Mai Buni has the power and right to make a choice of either promoting harmony and unity of the party at Abia or destroy the party and its chances in 2023 by choosing the leadership that was never elected or chosen in accordance with the Party’s Constitution and Guidelines. Nobody, I repeat, nobody puts something on nothing and expects a good result.
“The foundational emergence of leadership at this level of the ruling party at the State level is critical to the success of the party in 2023 elections and should be handled with caution and care. If the foundation (can) be destroyed, the Holy book warns, that there is nothing the righteous can do.
“The Party leadership is hereby put on notice that treading the part of legality, caution with wisdom will save the party from the looming doom and explosion that is waiting on the wings to happen. Let the leadership of the party religiously search for the black goat while it is day time.”