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APC Congress: Foreign Minister,  Geoffrey Onyeama Humiliated in His Ward

From Ignatius Okpara

ENUGU NIGERIA, (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, was on Saturday humiliated during the ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at his hometown, Eke, in Udi  council Area of Enugu State, as all his candidates for the election were defeated.

The exercise which took place at the APC office located at Eke Market was witnessed  by the Director General of Voice of Nigeria VON, Mr. Osita Okechukwu who hails from the area as well as hundreds of party faithful from the ward, who turned up for the congress.

During the exercise, which held under a very peaceful atmosphere, all the ward executives and the delegates to the state and local government congresses were elected.

Among those elected were Philip Eze (Chairman), Cletus Chikelu (Vice Chairman), Ikemefuna Theophilus (Secretary) and Udeh Ifeanyi Secretary (Financial Secretary).

Although the Congress began by 9:00am as scheduled, the Minister arrived the venue around 1:00pm with a large entourage of heavily armed policemen, as the congress was rounding off.

The entrance of the Minister who was drumming support  for the re-election of the former party chairman, Ozo Austin Umeh, led to a faceoff between a few of his supporters and the majority who refused to be cowed by the presence of armed security operatives.

Amidst the growing tension at the party office, Mr. Charles Buolu, the chairman of the electoral panel, announced that the election was over.

Following the announcement by the Chairman of the electoral panel, majority of the party faithful including the VON DG, walked out of the party office, leaving the Minister and a few of his supporters behind.

However, Chieftains of the party in the State have applauded the peaceful and hitch-free conduct of the congress in the 260 political wards in the state.

Former Governor of old Anambra state, Chief Jim Nwobodo, in his reaction,  noted that the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the party members was an indication that the South East  had understood the need to join a progressive party at the national level.

Nwobodo, who spoke at his Amechi East Ward 1 in Enugu South local government area, said that the large turn in his ward and elsewhere showed that more people in the South-East are identifying with the party.

He stated that it was clear that party members were willing to make the necessary sacrifice for the party to take over the entire zone.

“The large number of people you see here at this ward congress implies that APC is the party to be reckoned with and we are already having massive followership in the South-East and Enugu State,’’ he said.

“We have to return the former party executives in the ward unopposed. They did very well especially in canvassing and gathering membership for the party in their first term,’’ he said.

Also speaking on the exercise, ex- Senate President,  Chief Ken Nnamani, lauded the party for adopting the open and transparent option A4 for its voting system at the ward congress; adding: “Option A4 and the friendly atmosphere the ward congress election was conducted guarantee its success.

Nnamani , who spoke at his APC Ward 2 in Amechi-Uwani near Eke-tu Market in Enugu South LGA, noted that the tap root of politics is at the ward level.

He added that APC had got it right by putting its house in order from the ward level of politics.

The former Senate boss thanked party members for showing resilience and undermining the weather to be at ward congress venue; adding that the whole process was devoid of rancour.

According to him, “Some of the executives were returned unopposed but as you can see now, we have long queues for those that are being contested. And the beauty is that we are applying option A4 to ensure openness,’’ he said.

National Vice Chairman, South East of APC, Chief Emma Enukwu, adjudged the entire exercise as “very peaceful and orderly” saying the turn-out was unprecedented in the history of political ward congresses in Enugu state.

Eneukwu, who spoke at his Obinagu Ward in Udi LGA, said that the large turnout and general comport of all show the importance the party members attach to the exercise.

 

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