Following the recent crisis rocking the Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, the Donatus Nwankpa-led faction has tabled its complaints before the party’s Reconciliation Committee in Abuja on Friday.
The committee led by former Nasarawa State governor and Senator representing Nasarawa West District, Adamu Abdullahi, said the meeting became necessary following a petition from concerned party members.
The Punch reported that the Abia APC had been divided between the Ikechi Emenike group and the faction led by the former state Chairman, Donatus Nwankpa.
The Nwankpa faction, which comprises Orji Kalu, Nkechi Nwogu, Chris Adighije, Ben Apugo, Ben Kalu, Acho Obioma, among others, did not participate in last October’s congress, which produced Enyinnaya Harbour as state chairman of the party.
Harbour, however, died on December 9, 2021; a day after a High Court in Abia State nullified the Habour-led executive and directed the state EXCO members to desist from parading themselves of executives of the APC.
On January 8, 2022, Abia APC elected a new chairman to replace Harbour. The Chairman of the special state congress committee, Babatunde Kolawole, revealed that the National Working Committee of the APC had scheduled the congress to fill the vacant position in the state executive committee. He announced that Kingsley Ononogbu polled 1,069 votes to clinch the chairmanship.
Speaking to Correspondents on Friday, Adamu Abdullahi said that although both the Nwankpa and Emenike factions were invited, Emenike did not appear.
He said, “We’re just arriving from a meeting we’ve had with principal stakeholders of our great party APC in Abia state. This is after a petition that we received at the Secretariat of the national reconciliation committee. We had very useful discussions. We have reasons to be optimistic about what we’ve heard and seen in Abia state.
“But the person who would want to be seen as a complainant did not appear. His name is Ikechi Emenike. We invited him, and he refused to turn 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 today. So we appreciate them. We’ll make our report to the national headquarters, 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.”
On his part, the Former APC Chairman of the State, Donatus Nwankpa, insisted that the crisis in Abia APC is orchestrated by the national secretary, John Akpanudoedehe.
He said, “The aim of forming this committee is to give them the accurate picture of APC in Abia state. Politics is local. And these are the leaders who have funded his party from 2013 till date. APC Abia does not receive subvention. So this party is the party in the southeast we are sure of winning the election come 2023.
“In 2015, we didn’t win any elective positions as we did in 2019. We got Senators, Members in the Federal House 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. That is the conspiracy; to put Abia state on the same terrain with what happened in Anambra, and we say ‘no’ to it.”
He added that the party leaders had done their congress arising from the ward congresses, which the Independent National Electoral Commission had okayed.
“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 the imposition of any leadership at any level.
“He 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 committee. We are convinced they have seen the truth. Because of the quality of persons, the impeccability and the quality of their leadership and track record.
“Also, we want you to let the world know that Abia APC does not have a problem. The problem we have is induced by the National Secretariat, using the National Secretary as the arrowhead. That is the situation,” he said.
Those present at the meeting include Abia state APC leadership and stakeholders, caucus members, former governors, former deputy governors, Chris Adighije, Dr Orji Kalu—represented by Nnanna Kalu—Dr. Alex Otti, the Chairman-elect of the Party, Acho Obioma, Sam Nkire, Nkechi Nwogu, Emeka Nwogu, Stanley Ohazuruka, Nduka Anyanwu, among others.