… They’re APC In Abuja, PDP In Enugu, State Chairman Fires Back
Few weeks to electioneering campaign, the Enugu State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) is engulfed in crisis as notable stakeholders have petitioned the party’s chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, demanding that he dissolves the state chapter of the party.
In a petition obtained by our Correspondent on Tuesday, the stakeholders lamented that all the gains recorded before the emergence of the current structure of the party in the state are quickly being reversed.
The petition was signed by Ken Nnamani, former President of the Senate; Geofrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sullivan Chime, immediate past governor of Enugu State and General JOJ Okoloagu, a Board Member of Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC.
Others who signed the petition include Ayogu Eze, a Board Member Nigerian Port Authority and former APC Guber Candidate, Enugu State; and Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu, an APC Chieftain.
Other petitioners are Eugene Odo, former Speaker, Enugu State, Ifeanyi Nwoga, former Attorney General, Enugu State; Onyemuche Nnamani, Member, South East; and Osita Okechukwu, the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, VON.
The petitioners wrote that the party in Enugu State recorded an unprecedented milestone of reinventing itself during the last membership registration exercise and “was cruising towards taking away the shine from the ruling party in the State” until a “major crack emerged.”
According to the petition, the major crack emerged “during the State Congress, when Ugochukwu Agballah was surreptitiously manoeuvred into the party to become its State Chairman to the bewilderment and vehement opposition of a majority of the party members who knew his antecedents as a person and in Enugu State politics.”
Relying on their earlier protest against the emergence of Ugo Agaballah as State Chairman of the party, they alleged that he was not a member of the party and that the process that threw him up as chairman left much to be desired.
While noting that they allowed his emergence to be, they accused him of “immediately systematically dismantling the core of the Party structure” in order to bring “in his followers.”
They said, “He insulted the Party leaders, including those few who supported his emergence, sidelined them completely in matters affecting the running of the Party in the State and has been operating as a Sole Administrator or indeed a Dictator! The result has been the withdrawal from the Party of a growing number of important leaders and members.
“The Party is imploding and on the brink of imminent collapse. It is in no position as things stand, to be competitive in the General Elections. The leaders now believe that a radical solution is called for to save the State Party from total collapse and disgrace in the State.
“The aim is to unify the Party through the appointment of a Caretaker Chairman as the current Chairman has alienated and lost the confidence of the majority of the members of the State Party and its leadership.
“Very importantly, it should be noted that he has been lawfully removed by his Udi/Agbudu ward of Udi LGA of Enugu State on the 19th day of August, 2022 by an overwhelming majority of party members in his ward. A copy of the resolution is hereby attached,” they stated in the petition.
The stakeholders said their prayer is for the National Working Committee of the APC “to immediately save the party in Enugu State from total collapse by removing Ugochukwu Agballa from office and in his place put a Caretaker Chairman who should be someone not within the present State Executive Committee.”
But reacting to the petition, Agballah told THE WHISTLER that those up against his leadership are APC members in Abuja and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu State.
The PDP is the ruling party in Enugu State and some of the petitioners were elected and appointed in some capacities under the party before they decamped to the APC.
Agballah dismissed their petition and the issues raised therein accusing them of abandoning the party without any investment in order to depeen its reach in the state.
He explained that he alongside Uche Nnaji, the governorship candidate of the party in the state, have borne the financial burden since the latter emerged as the governorship candidate of the party.
“From the day the convention ended, I and Chief Uche Nnaji APC governorship candidate for Enugu State have been on tour of the 260 wards in Enugu State. We have not wasted one day.
“Prior to Uche Nnaji’s nomination nobody, has ever given a dime to any ward. None of these eminent personalities has ever contributed one dime to the party at the State, local ward, zonal or national level.
None of them has been seen in their wards.
“The truth is that we the State Executive asked all leaders and stakeholders to relocate from Abuja and go and strengthen their wards and none agreed. They want me to be holding meetings with them in Abuja. Unfortunately, I have relocated to the wards and have visited almost 180 wards as of today.”
He described the petitioners as “APC in Abuja and PDP in Enugu. No wonder, none of them has publicly condemned the bad performing Ebeano cabal that has ruled Enugu for 23 years. Let them show or refer the press to a media report where they have done so.
“These eminent personalities and public office holders are mostly unknown in their various wards and do not participate in any APC activity in their various wards. No wonder, none of them won their respective polling booths in 2015 and 2019.
“If they did so, I challenge them to present the result sheet to the press. I also challenge them to present evidence of their attendance in any meeting of their wards since October 2021 when I was elected State Chairman and when I insisted every stakeholder and takeholders should attend ward and LG A meetings.
“That was why these great leaders could only return 2% of total votes cast in 2019 elections. And they are at it again but they forget I have more experience than them all and will not succumb to their unnecessary distractions. My eyes are on the ball,” he boasted.
He added that, “Every election year they create crisis . They did it to Nwoye few months to 2015 election and repeated it in 2019 election. These are comprador PDP in the night APC in the morning members.”