ENUGU APC CRISIS: Aftermath of the State Congress

The Congresses of the All Progressives Congress, APC have been in the front burner these past weeks.

It started with the ward level followed by that of local government and the state congresses.

In most of the States of the Federation, crisis, claims and counter claims trailed the exercise.

The State Congress in Enugu was marred by violence which led to parallel congresses producing two State Chairmen of the party.

The Exercise, held at the Gymnasium Hall of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu was disrupted midway into the accreditation of delegates.

Some party Chieftains including the Director General, Voice of Nigeria, Mr Osita Okechuku alleged that non accredited delegates gained entrance into the venue.

In the commotion that followed some delegates including members of the said Congress Electoral Committee from the National Secretariat of the party and the INEC officials scampered for safety.

Aggrieved with the proceedings, the faction led by Dr Ben Nwoye, staged a walkout from the venue.

A founding member of APC and Party Secretary in Udi Local Government Area, Ebubeagu Felix Okafor in an interview, corroborated this, alleging that some members of the party did not play according to the rule of the game.

Relative peace returned with the assistance of security operatives and the faction said to be led by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyema continued with the accreditation and voting, which saw the emergence of Deacon Okey Ogbodo and other members of the State Working Committee through Option A- Four System of Voting.

The next day, Sunday 20th May, another congress was held at the same venue by the faction that staged a walk out on Saturday. It produced Dr Ben Nwoye as the Chairman through a voice vote.

This, a delegate in Saturday’s exercise and APC Chairman, Aninri Local Government Area, Chief John Udeokorie Eneanya maintained was null and void as it was the sole duty of the National Working Committee to either cancel or fix date for another congress.

With this development, the party in Enugu State now has two members laying claims to the Chairmanship position.

What does this portend for the party and the nation’s democracy?

A Political Scientist, Professor Onyema Ocheoha, said the development showed lack of internal democracy in the party.

An Enugu based Constitutional Lawyer, Dr Godstime Okafor stated that the emergence of two factional Chairmen was a negation of the principles of democracy.

Ho, a three member Appeal Committee has been set up for the just concluded State Congress.

The Committee headed by Mr Abijiogun Ojo has three days to complete its assignment.

Deacon Okey Ogbodo said he was on a mission to unite all members, to deliver Enugu State to APC and pull support for President Muhammadu Buhari in next year’s elections.

But Dr Ben Nwoye claimed he was the authentic Chairman and had no personal issue with Deacon Okey Ogbodo whom he alleged was not a member of APC.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu has granted an interim injunction restraining Dr Ben Nwoye and Ward, Local Government and State Executives from parading themselves as the Chairman and party executives.

Deacon Okey Ogbodo had prayed the court for the order.

Political watchers are anxiously waiting to see the end of the drama before the National congress of the party.