From Maurice Okafor,Enugu
The internal crisis rocking the Enugu state chapter of All Progressives Congress[APC] has taken a new dimension, as the leaders of a faction of the party loyal to the Foreign affairs minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, are quarreling whether to participate in the Council election,scheduled for February 29, by Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission or not.
The factional chairman Deacon Okey Ogbodo in a press statement made available to news men in Enugu yesterday,faulted the submission of list of candidates of the party submitted to ENSIEC by his deputy, Comrade A.C. Ude,stating the faction is yet to decide on whether to stand in for the election or not, alleging sincerity of purpose of the electoral umpire[ENSIEC] in the election.
Part of Deacon Ogbodo’s press statement reads,’ My attention has been drawn to reports of certain questionable characters parading as former or present officers of the All Progressives Congress in Enugu state and fraudulently seeking credibility to the current seemingly flawed process of emergence of candidates for the February 29,2020 local government elections in Enugu state.
‘ The APC Enugu state working committee under my leadership is still watching and observing closely the evolution of events to make the best possible decision on whether or not to involve our party in the scheduled elections. Public utterances by A.C.Ude who arrogated untenable party positions to himself should be disregarded’.
Comrade A.C Ude in his reaction said he did not arrogate or usurp the power and position of the state chairman of the party in Enugu state,which is still a contending issue between Chief Ben Nwoye and Deacon Okey Ogbodo,pending at appeal court.
But in his position as the pioneer Deputy chairman of the party and currently the deputy chairman of a faction,who also was a former interim organizing secretary of the party in Enugu state, as well as ‘2019 Enugu APC Youth Coordinator for PMB’, in consultation with some stakeholders including the women leader of their faction,Lolo Queen Nwankwo, they thought it wise to conduct state party primaries of the party,so that Enugu state APC will have candidates for the local government election, to justify their labour.
Comrade Ude stated,’ The All Progressives Congress [APC] in Enugu state is not united for now. We have factions. The tussle for the authentic state chairman of the party between chief Ben Nwoye and Deacon Okey Ogbodo is yet to be determined by the appeal court’.
‘Till the party in Enugu state settle it’s scores,after consultation with some stakeholders,we conducted primaries to produce candidates that will stand in for the election.We have worked so hard as such that we want to ignore elections in Enugu state. We must have to participate so as to be able to raise our voices against any foul play by the electoral umpire[ENSIEC]’
Comrade Ude asserted that Deacon Ogbodo was not properly briefed and expressed hope that he will understand later.
THE AUTHORITY gathered that the Foreign affairs minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama,who by the virtue of his position as the ranking political office holder of the party from Enugu state, is the leader of All Progressives Congress[APC] in the state, have started to intervene in the latest twist.