Enugu APC crises -Chukwunta counters sack of 41 members by Chief Nwoye
From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
The inťernal crises bedevelling the All Progressives Congress(APC) has reached a very critical stage, as orders of suspension and expulsion has remained the common pronouncement among the major two warting factions led by Chief Ben Nwoye and Prince Gilbert Chikwado Chukwunta.
The consequence of the lingering crises is the fact that the grass root supporters are in dissarray on which leadership of the factions to trust and snchor their loyalty.
The AUTHORITY checks revealed that the confusion generated by the imbroglio is weighing the party down, against expectations of a harmonisation of various group interests,ahead of 2023 general elections.
The escalated and present stage of the leadership crisis in Enugu state APC is the fact that the deputy chairman cum 2019 deputy governorship candidate of the party,Prince Gilbert Chikwado Chukwunta ,who is leading a faction under the capacity of acting chairman of the state working committee has pronounced Chief Nwoye to have been suspended from the party, since August 3, over allegations of violating the APC party constitution.Having gone ahead to announce and inaugurate the acclaimed winners of ward elections, conducted on July 29.
Wthout recourse to NEC of the party and Appeal committee, Prince Chikwado Chukwunta said with the support of most members of the state EXCO, they resolved to suspend Nwoye from the leadership of the party in the state.
According to Chukwunta, his assumption of the leadership of Enugu APC on the capavity of acting caretaker committee chairman is a rescue mission, to save the party from further disintegration under Chief Ben Nwoye, whom he described his seven years administration of the partynin the state, as ridden with crises.
But Nwoye who sat tight at the state party secretariat, located at 125 park svenue,GRA, Enugu dismissed his purported suspenson as a ruse,accuding Chief Ken Nnamani, a former senate President and currently a member of the Governor Buni led national caretaker committee of APC and Chief Geoffrey Onyeama,the foreign affairs minister of behind the plot to unseat him.
The AUTHORITY checks observed that the jinx created by the two parallel leadership gave birth to two parallel results of the party ward and local government congresses of the party, conducted in the state, a matter which is tk br decided by national caretaker committee of the party.
Further checks revealed that in as much as some unbiased stakeholders of the party in Enugu state and thousands of grass root members are zealously waiting for the decision of NEC of the party over choice of leadership and the authenticared factional results of the congresses Chief Ben Nwoye on Sunday,September stirred another stick in the already troubled waters. He anmounced before news men in Enugu state the expulsion of 41 members of the party in the state.
Among the list of 41 members whom Ben Nwoye suspended from Enugu APC are his current rival Prince Chikwado Chukwunta, Group Caltain Joe Orji(rtd), a former miltary governor,a former Enugu state house of assembly Speaker,Hon Eugene Odoh and Major General J.OJ Okoloagu(0rtd). Nwoye said their expulsion is based on the fact of violating APC constitution, which forbids party members from going to court to challenge constituted authorities, without first exhausting all intdrnal mechanism of the party.
Nwoye disclosed the group of 41 members approached an Abuja high court, seeking for his sack but did not succeed, as their petition was refered to a lower court for lack of jurisdiction.
But in a swift reaction to the sack of 41 members by Chief Ben Nwoye, Prince Chikwado said they needed no court action in the removal of Nwoye. That they dimply towed party guidelines in APC constitution. He said Chief Nwoye was removed based on his action to have sworn in his acclaimed winners of the APC ward congress elections, whereas appeal panel committee of the party, was yet to be consituted by the National Caretaker Committee of the party.
.Chukwunta stated in his press statement,” You people should recall that, prior to my assumption of office on 10th of August, 2021, the Party was thrown into another round of crisis when the former chairman of the Party Dr Ben Nwoye, went to swear in some people on 3rd of August, after the Ward congress of our Party on the 31st of July, against the constitution and congress guidelines of our Great Party, APC”.
“The Congress guidelines states that there shall be a Ward congress, followed by an appeal before anyone is deemed to have been validly elected at a congress but the former chairman in his usual way of causing trouble for the party in the state to justify the huge money he is receiving from his pay master, went to inaugurate some people handpicked by him as ward executives, even before the appeal committee was set up by the party at the National level. There after he called a SEC meeting on the 10th of August, where he was removed by over 2/3 of sec members”.
“We don’t need court to remove any officer of the Party , our constitution is very clear on that. Ben knows, just like any other Party faithfuls, that he is no more the Chairman. The national officers of our party who appointed all of us as State Caretaker committee members have given their approval in a letter sent to the state party”.
“So, people should disregard whatever, song he is singing. You know my former boss is a nightingale, he sings a lot of songs in different tones, morning, afternoon and night.
Today, it is Distinguished Senator Ken Nnamani, a former Senate President, tomorrow, it is Chief Geoffrey Onyeama, our performing Minister of the Federal Republic or Former Governor Sullivan Chime, a man who has made an indelible good mark in Enugu State as Governor or Joe Orji, PhD, former Governor of Gombe State or any of the numerous Leaders of our party. But, pls let my former boss know that, we have gone beyond Him and his gang in APC Enugu State. We can’t be distracted anymore”.