From Felix Uka, Abakaliki
Crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ebonyi State branch has taken another twist as one of the factions of the party has rejected a new zoning formula put forward by a three-man-committee of the faction perceived to be loyal to Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
The new-fangled zoning arrangement was presented on Monday by the Onu committee to another faction of the party which has Mr Eze Nwachukwu as its Acting Chairman.
Former Governor, Martin Elechi (representing Ebonyi Central) and an ex-Senator, Chris Nwankwo (representing Ebonyi North), who is also Elechi’s in-law, were the other two members of the committee.
The new zoning formula zoned the Chairmanship to Mr Nwachukwu’s Ebonyi North zone and even narrowed it down to his Ohaukwu Local Government, it was gathered.
But the Ben Nwaobashi-led faction at a briefing in Abakaliki on Thursday, after a Stakeholders meeting, rejected the new zoning formula arguing that the 2014 zoning formula be retained.
Reading the Communique which was signed by Mr Nwaobashi and himself, the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Ngaji Nwodo faulted the new zoning formula arguing “it is in utter disregard to the guidelines for the state congress which directed that the 2014 formula be retained”.
“We state categorically that the new zoning formula as adopted by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and his cohorts is null and void and does not represent the interest and wishes of the party”.
They further argued that the new zoning formula by the Onu-led committee be treated as anti-party activities and indiscipline noting that it is unfortunate that Mr Onu, who is a serving Minister in the government of the APC is championing it.
“That we hereby resolve and it is resoled that the zoning formula as at 2014 congresses remains intact in Ebonyi State. Therefore, party faithful and interested contestants for the state congresses should prepare to run for the state congress in the state according to the APC’s guidelines and zoning formula”.
“That the Minister of Science and his cohorts cannot be allowed to perpetrate such illegality in Ebonyi State for their selfish ends. We state, therefore, that the purported rezoning is a sabotage intended to further deplete the electoral fortunes of APC in Ebonyi State in the 2019 general elections”, they said.
The stakeholders also called on members of the party especially interested aspirants in the state’s congress to discountenance the purported new zoning formula by the Onu-led committee “as our party believes in internal democracy, discipline and strict adherence to the rules and guidelines of the party and will ensure that there will be a
level playing ground for all contestants”