A factional leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia state, Chief Ikechi Emenike has refused to appear before the national reconciliation committee set up by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
The APC Abia state chapter has been engulfed in crisis of leadership and struggle for control of the party.
Speaking with newsmen after a closed-door meeting with the APC stakeholders Friday in Abuja, chairman of the APC National Reconciliation Committee led by the former governor of Nasawara state, Senator Adamu Abdullahi, said his committee would submit its reports to the leadership of the party.
He said, “You can see for yourselves, that we’re just arising from a meeting we’ve had with stakeholders -principal stakeholders of our great party, APC in Abia states.
“This is subsequent upon a petition that we received at the Secretariat of the national reconciliation committee. We had very, very useful discussions. We have reasons to be very optimistic of what we’ve heard and seen of Abia state and the person who would want to be seen as a complainant has not appeared.
“Whichever role we’ve given that complainant or the person giving complains against has not turned up. He was duly invited and from all indications he has no case to put before us and we have no hesitation whatsoever to listen to the delegation from Abia state.
“I don’t believe we could have any better representation in terms of the interests of the party, the leadership of the party and stakeholders of the party than we have had this morning. So we appreciate them. We’ll make our report to the national headquarters, the national Chairman and with time we’ll do reports for all the others that we have undertaken. And we are hoping that the outcome will be extremely positive.”
The APC Abia stakeholders that attended the meeting were: Chief Aanyawu Nduka, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State, Senator Chris Adighije, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, Chief Alex Oti, DIG Azubuko Udah rtd, Dr. Chida Maduekwe, Rt. Honourable Uzo Azubuike former Speaker Abia State House of Assembly, Sir Mac Wabara, Honourable Nnanango, Sir Stanley Ohajuruka, the longest serving Speaker of Abia state, Hon. Nnanna Kalu, Nduka Anyanwu and so many other leaders.
Also speaking at the meeting, the former state chairman, Hon. Donatus Nwankpa said: “Now you have here the Abia state APC leadership and stakeholders, caucus members who have come to interact with the national reconciliation committee, headed by His Excellency, Senator Adamu Abdullahi with other array of leaders – former governors, former deputy governors, all in attendance.
“For the Abia APC, you have here today, the great leadership of the party, and we have Senator Chris Adighije who is leading us as an elder of the party for this project. Dr. Orji Kalu is aware but because he is a caucus Chairman, we didn’t want him to be part of this thing because we don’t want him to be seen on anything.
“The aim of forming this committee is to give the Reconciliation Committee the truth and the true picture of APC in Abia state. Politics is local and these are the leaders who have funded this party from 2013 till date. Abia APC does not receive subvention so this party is the party in the South East we are sure of winning election come 2023.”
Nwankpa however accused the APC National Secretariat of masterminding crisis in the state as he said, “ln 2015, we didn’t win any elective position in 2019 we got Senator, we got members in Federal House, we got at the state assembly and to that effect in 2023, mathematically, you know where we’re going to. And because there is interest to sabotage this pattern, some people have conspired with the national secretary of this party to undermine the growth of APC and not just in Abia but in the southeast.
“You all are aware of the recent drama that happened in Anambra State that is the picture of conspiracy that they want to put Abia state and we are saying no to it. Besides that, the leaders have done their Congress arising from the ward congresses and INEC have satisfied all the Congresses we did in Abia and the court of competent jurisdiction has equally validated every of our Congress procedure.
“You can’t beat a child and say the child should not complain. That is what we are here to tell them. You cannot impose leadership on Abia APC. Abia APC runs on a collegiate system, which means leaders man their wards. This is the directive of Mr. President. Mr. President is opposed to imposition of any leadership at any level.
“He (Buhari) wants the leadership to grow from the grassroots and that is why the APC is here today. And we’re very happy with the atmosphere of our deliberations, with the interrogations and the committee we are convinced they have seen the truth. Because of the quality of persons, the impeccability and the quality of their leadership and their track record, we have no option than to say, I don’t want to make a pronouncement.
“What I want to say is that they have seen the truth and the truth will set everybody free including you press men. Because when you report against the truth, the truth will not set you free. Also, we want you to let the world know that Abia APC does not have problem. The problem we have is the one induced from the National Secretariat, using the National Secretary as the arrowhead. That is the situation.”