IN Enugu State, there are two major factions in All Progressives Congress (APC) with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama and Juliet Ibekaku the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Judicial Reforms, leading one and the other led by Dr Ben Nwonye the founding State chairman of the party.
The polarization of the party in the state was said to have led to the parallel ward and local government congresses held in the state on May 5, and 12, this year, respectively.
The investigation by Tribuneonline revealed that Dr Nwonye is likely to clinch the party’s chairmanship position in the state as odds favour him.
Already, the major party stakeholders including the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) Osita Okechukwu, the former
Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Ex-governor Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo and other heavyweights were said to be behind the incumbent chairman.
However, sources from the camp of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Onyeama, said that they would upturn the table on Saturday by installing a fresh leadership by electing one Deacon Okey Ogbodo as chairman of the party.
One Louis Okolo ( Jnr) told Tribuneonline in an interview that he would be the candidate to beat in the party’s state chairmanship
congress on Saturday, stressing, “My intention is based on the fact that I have all it takes to bring peace in APC Enugu State and prepare the party for 2019 general elections.
“Due to the way and manner politics goes, Dr Nwonye’ s inexperience is not helping the party in the state and I think there is the need for a change in the party’s leadership” It was learnt that trouble began in the state chapter of APC shortly after the 2015 general election when the group loyal to the Vice Chairman, Adolphus Udeh, levelled allegation of financial impropriety against the founding chairman of the party.
“Our disagreement with Nwonye is based on mismanagement of party fund and selfishness.
I was to take over from Major-General Chris Eze(Rtd) as Secretary of the party when he was appointed as an Ambassador to India.
But I was stopped by Nwoye because he knows I will start asking for accountability.
The report of financial committee indicted him (Nwonye) We were threatened by Nwonye.
That was why we suspended him although it was cancelled by the National Secretariat.
To some party faithful, the last ward and local government congresses were held in the parallel form which is not in the bitterest of
“We had expected that the leadership of the party to create room for harmonization at ward level to accommodate all interest groups.
The earlier the leadership understands that we are protecting the party from our enemies polarisation of the party is not in the
interest of the party”, Okolo added.
Meanwhile, Deacon Ogbodo and Dr.Nwoye are currently fighting dirty ahead of this weekend’s State Congress.
In a statement issued to newsmen Wednesday, Ogbodo who is seen in some quarters as a good replacement for Nwoye declared thus:
“I am a member of APC, registered in Amechi- Uwani ward 2 of Enugu South local government area of Enugu state.”
Ogbodo who was reacting to allegations by the embattled Nwoye that he is not a member of the APC in the state.
“I have never forged APC register or forced my registration on the party.
“What Ben Nwoye and his co-travellers have engaged in is a campaign of calumny because of my political pedigree.
“I have been around for a while in Enugu state politics. I’ve been twice commissioner in the state and chairman of the coalition of
opposition political parties in the state. what was Ben?
“Political party membership registrations are done at ward levels and not on local government basis, so the kite from the so-called his
LG party executive does not fly.
“I did not want to join issues with a drowning Nwoye but just for record purposes. What I can say is that with the emerging the leadership of APC in Enugu state, the state is as good as APC state come 2019.
“My emergency is being viewed by Nwoye as a threat to his previous bad leadership of the party in the state.
“Speaking earlier when some people passed a vote of confidence on him, the incumbent chairman, Ben Nwoye who is seeking re-election pointed out that his administration made the state ruling party realize that there is opposition in the state.
Nwoye said that his effort in the party made those that matter in PDP, like former Senate President, Dr Ken Nnamani, former governor
of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, former speaker of the state, Eugene Odo and many other to defect to All Progressive Congress, APC.
“I have done a lot to the party but have not completed my mission which is to turn Enugu state government to APC government.
I want the party to re-elect me as the state chairman of the party to complete my work as the chairman.
I have turned all the big wigs of PDP to join APC and have plans to turn the state to APC state”, Nwoye said.
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Condemning those who are allegedly being used by PDP to contest for the state chairman to destroy all his effort in restoring the
party disclosed that Deacon, Okey Ogbodo who applied to contest the state chairman is not a member of the party.
He said that Ogbodo would soon face legal justice for forgery and mutilation of name to contest for state chairman under the
umbrella of APC party.
“I want to use this opportunity to tell all those being planted by PDP to contest for state chairman to destroy APC that we won’t
allow it happen.
“Barr. Stephen Oruruo and Deacon Okeh Ogbodo are not members of APC. Ogbodo went to his ward, removed another person’s name from the register and replaced it with his name but couldn’t do it in the state register, as you can see that the name that appears in number 11 of the ward register is not the same in the state.
Ogbodo has committed the offence of forgery and must be persecuted”, Nwoye alleged.
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