Factional Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Deacon Okey Ogbodo, spoke with journalists on Sunday, shortly after the session with the Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje led National Committee on peace and reconciliation which visited the State. Excerpts:
Give us your position on this attempt to reconcile your group with the Nwoye faction?
Honestly, I don’t, and really shouldn’t have any issues with any genuine effort to unite our broken party structure in Enugu State, but that attempt must be borne out of genuine desire to achieve peace and reconciliation, not to rubber-stamp a premeditated imposition of one group on the other. There must be sincerity of purpose, a clear and discernible honest intention.
How do you mean sir?
I have had no convincing perception that the national committee with we just met has come to do a dispassionate and equitable intervention to achieve peace for our party in Enugu State, otherwise, why did we not get a formal, early notice for this visit? Why was our leader, the Honourable Minister of foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who is the official leader of APC in Enugu State, not put to notice? The early signals are neither good nor encouraging, but we leave it at that at this stage.
Is that supposed to be a form of vote of no confidence on the Ganduje team?.
(cuts in)…. I wouldn’t exactly think so but the test of the pudding is in the eating; let’s wait and see…
What was the session with the visiting team like?
It was not meant to be a trial by a jury, so we handed then our position document, in black and white. The whole essence of this apparent condescension was to give peace a chance so nobody blames us for not trying.
Condescension in what sense sir?
Having to attend a pre-arranged meeting without an early enough or even formal notification, to us, amounts to bending over backwards, but we did it for the general good of the party, and we expect nothing short of mutual reciprocity. This was supposed to be a meeting meant for us; a forum where we were meant to appear and plead our case only to be informed in the very last minute, but we leave that aspect for another day…
What did you tell the panel was your condition for peace in the Enugu APC?
Like I said earlier, we submitted a position paper in which we stated what in our conviction, would amount to a fair resolution of the dispute; Chief of which is the unequivocal, unconditional recognition of the outcome of the State Congress of APC in Enugu which held on May 19, 2018. It was at that party congress that my team was elected as the bona fide State Executive of the party in this State. We have also urged the National Working Committee of the party to respect, and give full effect to the subsisting order of the Federal High Court, restraining it from according any form of recognition to Ben Nwoye as the Chairman of the party in Enugu State.
And finally, we stated that the result of the primary elections of the party which we conducted in all the 260 electoral wards of the State as directed by the party be the only way to produce and submit names of flag bearers of our party for the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
Barrister Tagbo Ogara is the gubernatorial candidate of the party in this State, having won the nomination fair and square. Any attempt to impose Mr. Ayogu Eze on the party will spell doom for the APC because he is not capable of delivering the governorships which we desire so badly for our people to have a taste of real good governance.