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APC Crisis Deepens As Enugu West Disowns Factional Chairman, Agballa

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Enugu West Chapter of the All progressive Congress APC, has disowned a former Commissioner for Works in the state, Barr. Ugochukwu Agballa, who has been parading himself as the new Enugu state Chairman of the Nigeria’s ruling party, declaring that he is not a registered member of the APC. 

They equally accused the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, who is also from the zone of always instigating crisis in the area since he assumed office. 

African Examiner recalled that Agballa, a pioneer member of the PDP had some time ago, defected to the defunct Accord party from where he joined the opposition All progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), and later returned to the PDP from where he claimed to have decamped to the APC  July this year, less than three months to the party’s State Congress.

Agballa, who hails from Udi Council area of the state in Enugu West Senatorial district  has been parading himself as the new state Chairman of the APC, claiming to have won the October 16, 2021 state congress which produced two factional Chairmen (he Agballa and Comrade Adolphus Ude).

While, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Onyema’s faction  produced Agballa, at an event Center in Enugu, the immediate past State Caretaker Committee Chairman of the  party Dr. Ben Nwoye, Led group produced  Comrade Ude,  a former Deputy state Chairman at a congress held at the State party Secretariat.

However, at the end of their Zonal working Committee meeting held yesterday at Oji River Council area of the  state, Stakeholders of the Enugu West Senatorial district insisted that Agballa is not one of them, but a member of the PDP.

A Communique made available to African Examiner at the end of the meeting, read thus: “we are APC Stakeholders from the Five Local Government Areas of Aninri, Awgu, Ezeagu, Oji River and Udi, making up Enugu West Senatorial District.

“That having watched with disgust and disappointment the intentional efforts of disgruntled elements in APC within and outside our Senatorial zone, in the past several weeks, to destroy APC in  Enugu State, had a meeting  23rd of November, 2021.

“That after an exhaustive discussion and review of the illegal and unconstitutional events of 16th October, 2021 where a sham took place in the name of a purported APC State Congress,  we want to state as follows;

According to them, “that prior to the date of the scheduled congress, the stakeholders and party members of the APC in Enugu State pursuant to Article 20 (i)(a) of the APC Constitution, held series of meetings for purposes of zoning and possibly agreeing on candidates for the election by consensus.

 “That the first of such meetings, called by the former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani, who is a member of the National Caretaker Committee of the Party, held  two months ago on the 23rd day of September, 2021.

The meeting which had in attendance 30 delegates from each Council area  noted that “At the said meeting, a nine-man Committee headed by Chief Hon. Emma Okenwa was appointed to review the issue of zoning of the political offices and to report back to the stakeholders.

“That on the 10th of October, 2021, at a re-convened meeting of the stakeholders, the said Okenwa-led Committee submitted their report, which zoned the respective political offices for the State Congress to the three Senatorial districts of Enugu State to wit; East, North and West.

“The said report was unanimously adopted by the stakeholders, who then directed the different Districts to go home and further micro-zone and possibly come up with consensus candidates for adoption by the stakeholders and party members. 

  “That the stakeholders of the Enugu West Senatorial District met on 14th October, 2021 at the Dome Event Centre, New Haven Enugu, to consider the micro-zoning of the positions allotted to them including the position of State Chairman.

They noted that the  meeting  was convened by His Excellency, Sullivan Chime, former Governor of Enugu State and the only member of Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Party from the Enugu West Senatorial District, was well attended by the stakeholders/party members from the District including the Acting State Chairman of the Party, Prince Gil Chikwado Chukwunta.

 “That at the meeting, the stakeholders micro-zoned those offices amongst the two Federal Constituencies within the District to wit; Aninri/Awgu/Oji-River Federal Constituency and Ezeagu/Udi Federal Constituency.

 The Communiqué hinted “that the office of Chairman among others was zoned to Aninri/Awgu/Oji-River Federal Constituency.

“That the stakeholders at the meeting, after considering and adopting the micro-zoning of the offices, considered the candidates for the various positions for the election with a view to agreeing on consensus candidates.

 They pointed out that “following the step down of the other candidates for the office of the Chairman and after deliberations by the stakeholders, a former Military Governor of Gombe state, Group Captain Joe Orji was unanimously adopted as the consensus candidate for the office of State Chairman.

That at the re-convened meeting of the entire stakeholders in the State called by Sen. Nnamani aforementioned on the 15th of October, 2021, all the three Senatorial Districts submitted their lists of their consensus candidates for adoption.

It stressed that all the candidates as contained in the various lists from the three different senatorial districts to wit East, North and West, were unanimously adopted.

 “That subsequently, in the evening of the same day, Group Capt Orji was successfully screened by the Committee that was sent to the State by the National Caretaker Committee led by Dr. Ijeoma Arodiogbu.

 That however, on the 16th of October, 2021, which was the day scheduled for the State Congress, the said Congress Committee without publishing the list of delegates for the Congress and without conducting the accreditation of delegates arbitrarily without prior notice moved the Congress from its original venue at the Golden Royale Event Centre, Independence Layout, Enugu to Destiny Event Centre, New Haven Enugu.  

 “That on getting wind of the change of venue, that thousands of delegates who had come to formally ratify all the consensus candidates as elected officials of the Party arrived at the new venue but were denied access to the venue by hired thugs stationed at the entrance. While at the gate, the members of the Congress Committee arrived and were let into the new venue by the said thugs.

 They alleged that  within ten minutes of their said arrival, the said Committee were whisked away from the venue consequent upon the commotion and fracas that ensued within and outside the venue between the delegates and the thugs.  

 “That though, we were denied access into the venue, we could see all the happenings within the Event Centre as it was an open arena.

 Said the Communque “that the members of the Committee were taken straight to the Enugu Airport, from where they flew back to Abuja that evening without any Congress activity taking place.

 They insisted that no Congress held in Enugu on the 16th of October, 2021, adding that  no local State Congress Committee was constituted or participated in the purported Congress.

We later heard and saw on the social media that one Hyacinth Ugochukwu Agballah from Udi in Ezeagu/Udi Federal Constituency claimed to have been declared elected as the Chairman by the said Committee.

 “The said Ugochukwu Agballa was a member of the PDP, a rival political party in the State as at the second week of July, 2021, when he publicly indicated intention to join our dear party as a member and by which time the revalidation/registration exercise of members and new members of the party had been suspended pending the conclusion of Congresses and National Convention.

 “That the said Ugochukwu Agballa purportedly obtained an old discarded membership card slip which was backdated and attached same to his nomination form.

“The said Ugochukwu Agballa is not a registered member of APC and therefore lacks the right to vote or be voted for into any of the elective positions of the Party (See Article 9.3(i) of the Constitution of the Party).

 “That the said Ugochukwu Agballa is not a registered voter and does not have INEC Voters Card.

 They posited “that with the above illegal and unconstitutional developments, that petitions and complaints have been sent to the relevant organs of the party including the Enugu State Congress Appeals Committee, the National Working Committee and the National Reconciliation Committee, denouncing the charade that took place on the 16th of October, 2021 and its dire consequences for the survival of our party in Enugu State.

“It is important and unfortunate to note that this travesty is  being championed, promoted and supported by one of our respected sons, the Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and his hirelings.

The zone sated that it should also be noted that Mr Onyeama is the only leader of our party in Enugu State who has tacitly refused to sign the zoning agreement as adopted by the APC in Enugu State.

 They further posited that  the purported return of Ugochukwu Agballa as the Chairman-elect of the APC in Enugu State be nullified.

“That the said Ugochkwu Agballa and his enablers are acting alone and pursuing their selfish and destructive agenda. Neither do they have the mandate or represent the interest of APC Udi/Ezeagu Federal Constituency or APC Enugu West Senatorial District.

That as the consensus candidate for the office of APC State Chairman, Enugu State that Group Capt. Orji be declared and inaugurated as the new State Chairman of the Party in the State without further delay.

 They maintained that  all the consensus candidates as contained in the list submitted  by the three Senatorial Districts and as endorsed by the stakeholders/Party members be declared as the new executives of the party in the State.

“That since the consensus lists from Enugu East and Enugu North Senatorial Districts remain intact, that the Enugu West Senatorial Consensus list agreed to, adopted  and signed by Enugu West stakeholders should not be tampered with.

“We therefore urge leaders of the party in Enugu East and Enugu North Senatorial Districts who benefited from the zoning and consensus agreement, especially His Excellency Senator Ken Nnamani who midwifed the Zoning and Consensus agreement, to speak out and condemn the unconstitutional actions of elements within our party working with non -members of APC to destroy APC in Enugu State.

“That the State, South East and National leadership of our great party should take immediate action to redress this illegal, unconstitutional and avoidable crisis foisted on the Enugu State Chapter of the party by the 2021 Enugu State Congress Committee led by Dr Ijeoma Arodiogbu.

“That if nothing is done urgently to correct this anomaly that our position as APC Enugu West, is that zoning is dead in Enugu APC.

“Consequent on non- remediation of this injustice, we will call on all sons and daughters of Enugu West, both within and outside our party who have interest in contesting for Governorship of Enugu State or National offices of the party, to jump into the ring as all offices will be thrown open.

“Finally we remind all members of our great party that the debacle and disgraceful defeat of APC in the just concluded Anambra Governorship Election is still fresh in our minds

“That woeful embarrassment was as a result of the imposition of unpopular candidates and unconstitutionality perpetrated by enemies within our party, whose only agenda is to destroy APC and make it unable to win elections in the South East.

“As a popular igbo adage says “Lets search for a black sheep when there is still daylight”. A stitch in time saves nine.

The Communiqué read by a former  APC flag bearer for the Awgu/ Aninri/ Oji River Federal Constituency election, Chief Vin Martins Ilo, was signed by two representatives from each of the five Council areas of the district, and present at the meeting were  former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Johnbull Nwangu, Ex- Milad of Gombe State, Captain Joe Orji,  former South East Organizing Secretary of APC, Chief Timothy Amah, Ex- Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Barr. Joe Mamel, former Chairmabship Aspirant, Hon. Chiedozie Bwafor amongst others

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