All is not well with the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State as two factions of the party are at each other’s throats for the soul of the APC in the South East State.
This is even as a group of stakeholders and elders of the party in the state who claim not to belong to any of the two contending camps but interested in restoring peace, order and sanity in the party has raised an alarm that what happened to the party in Rivers and Zamfara states may repeat itself in Ebonyi.
According to the stakeholders, the fight for the soul of the party is between two groups led by Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, and Senator Julius Ucha, currently a member of the National Assembly Service Commission.
The stakeholders noted that the “battle has left a very fragmented party open to manipulation by external forces, including opposition parties.”
The stakeholders therefore called on the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the party at the national level to set up caretaker committee for the party in Ebonyi State.
The stakeholders also urged the NCC at the national level to allow the proposed membership registration at the state level to be handled by the caretaker committee.
The stakeholders also demanded that a “genuine peace meeting be convened by the party inviting all the aggrieved parties, just as “those who flouted the presidential and NEC directive on court cases be disciplined accordingly.”
Giving a brief background to the lingering crisis, the stakeholders noted that “It is a known fact that before the last congress, the party had two chairmen, Ben Nwobasi, the congress elected chairman who belongs to the Ucha group and Eze Nwachukwu Eze, elected deputy to Nwobasi and core loyalist to Onu who claimed that Nwobasi was impeached by the working committee and thus mandated to act.
“This led to several litigations in the court of law alongside several mediatory efforts from the national. This was the state of the party before the last congress.
“Expectedly, two parallel congresses were conducted by the Onu and Ucha led factions respectively. While the Onu-led faction elected Eze Nwachukwu Eze as their chairman, the Ucha-led faction elected Dr. Sylvester Nwambe.”
The stakeholders further stated that the “Nwambe went to court seeking to nullify the congress. A state High Court in Abakaliki presided over by Justice A. A. Nwigwe, present Chief Justice of Ebonyi state on April 17, 2019 in suit no HAB/77/2018 nullified the APC state congress and some Local Government Areas and wards held in the state which technically means that the purported state executive led by Eze Nwachukwu Eze does not exist any longer.
“The APC stakeholders in Ebonyi State therefore regretted that “in a desperate bid to cover up the truth and hoodwink the party to believe that all is well with the party, Eze called a meeting of some members of the party where he read prepared speeches that was adopted by those present.”
“It was not a peace meeting as people in the contending factions were neither present, represented nor had their grievances heard or addressed. However, the meeting on its own was illegal as Eze’s executive had been sacked by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“This clearly renders the resolutions, communiqué and votes of confidence passed in the meeting a non-event and we call on the national leadership of the party and other members to discountenance any document emanating there-from.
“Your Excellencies, the experiences of our party in Rivers and Zamfara states in the recent past are still fresh and must not be allowed to repeat itself in Ebonyi hence the need to tread cautiously in dealing with any of the factions in Ebonyi state,” the group said.