By Joseph Ayinde
Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu West Senatorial Zone, on Tuesday, declared that the party has no chairman in Enugu State.
This came amidst claims by Barr. Ugo Agballa that he was elected chairman during one of the congresses conducted in the State earlier in October.
Another congress also produced Comrade Adolphus Ude as chairman of the party in the Coal City State.
But at a stakeholders meeting held in Oji-River Local Government Area, the stakeholders said Agballah, a non-member of the party could not in any way be said to be the party’s chairman.
They recalled that prior to the State elective congress, a zoning committee was set up and its recommendations were adopted by all the leaders of the party from the three senatorial zones of the State.
The stakeholders said the recommendations led to further micro-zoning of positions which saw to the choice of Group Capt. Joe Orji (rtd.) as a consensus chairman.
They disclosed that the recommendations were signed by all the leaders, with the exception of the foreign affairs minister, Mr. Geofrey Onyeama.
In a communique issued after their meeting, the stakeholders said they had “watched with disgust and disappointment the intentional efforts of disgruntled elements in APC within and outside our Senatorial zone, in the past several weeks, to destroy APC in Enugu State, we met today, 23rd of November, 2021.”
The communique was signed by Hon. Vinmartins Obiora Ilo, Ozo Joe Mmamel, Group Capt. Joe Orji, (rtd.), Rt. Hon. Nwafor Chiedozie, Hon. Maureen Anosike, among others.
While maintaining that no congress was held in the State, the stakeholders said in the communique that “on the 16th of October, 2021, which was the day scheduled for the State Congress, the said Congress Committee without publishing the list of delegates for the Congress and without conducting the accreditation of delegates arbitrarily without prior notice moved the Congress from its original venue at the Golden Royale Event Centre, Independence Layout, Enugu to Destiny Event Centre, New Haven Enugu.
“That on getting wind of the change of venue, thousands of delegates who had come to formally ratify all the consensus candidates as elected officials of the Party arrived at the new venue but were denied access to the venue by hired thugs stationed at the entrance. While at the gate, the members of the Congress Committee arrived and were let into the new venue by the said thugs.
“That within ten minutes of their said arrival, the said Committee were whisked away from the venue consequent upon the commotion and fracas that ensued within and outside the venue between the delegates and the thugs.
“That though we were denied access into the venue, we could see all the happenings within the Event Centre as it was an open arena.
“That the members of the Committee were taken straight to the Enugu Airport, from where they flew back to Abuja that evening without any Congress activity taking place.
“That no Congress held in Enugu on the 16th of October, 2021.
“That no local State Congress Committee was constituted or participated in the purported Congress.
“That we later heard and saw on the social media that one Hyacinth Ugochukwu Agballah from Udi in Ezeagu/Udi Federal Constituency claimed to have been declared elected as the Chairman by the said Committee.
“That the said Ugochukwu Agballa was a member of the PDP, a rival political party in the State as at the second week of July, 2021, when he publicly indicated intention to join our dear party as a member and by which time the revalidation/registration exercise of members and new members of the party had been suspended pending the conclusion of Congresses and National Convention.
“That the said Ugochukwu Agballa purportedly obtained an old discarded membership card slip which was backdated and attached same to his nomination form.
“That the said Ugochukwu Agballa is not a registered member of APC and therefore lacks the right to vote or be voted for into any of the elective positions of the Party (See Article 9.3(i) of the Constitution of the Party).
“That the said Ugochukwu Agballa is not a registered voter and does not have an INEC Voters Card.
“It is important and unfortunate to note that this travesty is being championed, promoted and supported by one of our respected sons, the Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and his hirelings.
“It should also be noted that Mr Onyeama is the only leader of our party in Enugu State who has tacitly refused to sign the zoning agreement as adopted by the APC in Enugu State.”
They demanded that “the purported return of Ugochukwu Agballa as the Chairman-elect of the APC in Enugu State be nullified.
“That the said Ugochkwu Agballa and his enablers are acting alone and pursuing their selfish and destructive agenda. Neither do they have the mandate or represent the interest of APC Udi/Ezeagu Federal Constituency or APC Enugu West Senatorial District.
“That as the consensus candidate for the office of APC State Chairman, Enugu State that Group Capt. Orji be declared and inaugurated as the new State Chairman of the Party in the State without further delay.
“That all the consensus candidates as contained in the list submitted by the three Senatorial Districts and as endorsed by the stakeholders/Party members be declared as the new executives of the party in the State.
“That since the consensus lists from Enugu East and Enugu North Senatorial Districts remain intact, that the Enugu West Senatorial Consensus list agreed to, adopted and signed by Enugu West stakeholders should not be tampered with.
“That if nothing is done urgently to correct this anomaly, that our position as APC Enugu West is that ZONING IS DEAD IN APC, ENUGU STATE.
“Consequent on non-remediation of this injustice, we will call on all sons and daughters of Enugu West, both within and outside our party who have interest in contesting for Governorship of Enugu State or National offices of the party, to jump into the ring as all offices will be thrown open.
“Finally we remind all members of our great party that the debacle and the disgraceful defeat of APC in the just concluded Anambra Governorship Election is still fresh in our minds
“That woeful embarrassment was as a result of the imposition of unpopular candidates and unconstitutionality perpetrated by enemies within our party, whose only agenda is to destroy APC and make it unable to win elections in the South-East.”