2023 presidency breeds factions in Ebonyi APC, PDP
*Factions Describe State Congresses as Jamboree, Illegal
By Victor Nwegede, Abakaliki
At least, two different factions have emerged in Ebonyi APC and PDP families respectively, following the State congresses held on Saturday in Abakaliki.
Major forces tearing the two dominant parties in the state were the alleged 2023 presidential ambition by some personalities in the country including Ebonyi illustrious sons.
Also, clashes of interests over the state chairmanship position of the major parties have become a contending issue tearing the members into factions.
Our correspondents who monitored the state congresses learnt that both APC and PDP families still have internal crises following the party members’ claims tagging the exercises held on Saturday as a jamboree and a parade of illegalities.
Ebonyi APC Family
The APC camp of the Ebonyi Governor, Dave Unahi, held its congresses at Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki, and elected Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha as the State Chairman. Ideato C. Ideato led APC panel who conducted the State Congress.
Whereas, a different APC camp allegedly spearheaded by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu with another State Chairman, Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah, boasted that their group remained authentic leadership of the party disregarding the congress conducted by Ideato’s panel and its declaration.
Briefing newsmen, the APC Chieftain and the acclaimed authentic party Chairman, Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah, said that a lot of negativities against the planned Ebonyi State Congresses, made it not be held.
“As an incoming State Chairman of this great party, we suddenly learnt, there won’t be a congress because there has been impositions against the will of the APC faithfuls in Ebonyi State.
“We were told that approaching the venue for the congress will cause us a lot of embrassment, following the dangerous signals we received, and as the law abiding citizens, we don’t want to take laws into our own hands. We want to be peaceful.
“We thought to conducting parrell congress because of the negative scenario but on the second thought, we know, there are several states including Kano, Osun, Edo, Jigawa, others not put in order yet, like our own state. We thought of holding parrell congress but we felt, irrespective of social classes, the ideologies, political camps in APC, we remain one indivisible family, that can peacefully tell the whole world about these negativities, because, the leadership of our party at the national level is very discplined, credible and always attentive to our complains,” Ajah said.
He regretted that the new defectors to the APC, tried to hijack the party’s leadership in Ebonyi State, but in his words, the intervention by their national Chairman made it impossible.
“We were told to wait for the screening committe to come but up till now, nothing was done. The screening supposed to hold on 3rd and 4th of October, 2021, but we didn’t see any of the electoral committee members. Nothing happened, no screening took place and we urge our members to remain peaceful to know how justice about this will be addressed by the relevant authourities. We believe it is not over, till it becomes over, because we are the right people to hold the party positions.
“In a natural justice, you cannot pass a judgement without hearing from the person, so, I remain the candidate, and the Chairman irrespective of the purported congress. His Execllency, the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu was not part and parcel of the purported Congress and on a good note, he was not properly communicated. Therefore, we reject the exercise as it’s a complete jamboree and a full show of illegalities.”
Also, in a press release by Ohaziri Mba Renaissance Movement, a campaign group of the State APC Chairmanship Aspirant, Alhaji Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah had allegedly declared that the ruling “All Progressives Congress, APC is on the road to destruction in Ebonyi State following its irregularities during the congress.
The members of the group maintained in the release endorsed by their National Coordinator, Engr Chiemezuo Nwokedi, the National Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Maina, and the Director General Ebonyi State, Chief Alex Okemini, that there was no APC State Congress in Ebonyi as they recalled in their petition to the party national leadership on 22nd of September, 2021 concerning the activities of the state Caretaker Chairman, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha, who later emerged as the authentic Chairman of an alleged faction of the APC.
The group further alleged: “Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha was not a registered member of Apc before his appointment as a Caretaker Chairman but he is presently supreintending over his own election for the position of State Chairman of APC in Ebonyi State, which our candidate Alhaji DR Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah is a leading contestant.
“We had told you earlier that part of their rigging plot was the facilitation of the reappointment of Chief Ideato C Ideato led congress committee who has been doing the hatchet job for them to conduct today’s state congress.
“Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha had vowed to use his position as caretaker chairman to prevent anyone from contesting against him and this he demonstrated by sending thugs to chase us away from the party secretariat when we went to purchase nomination form for our candidate.
“The committee sent from Abuja to sell forms in Ebonyi, went underground on the orders of Chief Emegha. Following the intervention of Gov Mai Mala Buni, we were able to secure our nomination form. As we are talking to you now, we do not know the whereabouts of the national congress committee sent to supervise the conduct of today’s state congress and we are declaring them wanted.
“All efforts made to reach them have prooved abortive. Chief Okoro Emegha had yesterday 15th of October, 2021 convened a meeting where he invited his fellow ex-members of the PDP, their family members and co-travellers where they purportedly reached a consensus to adpot him (Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha) as the sole candidate for the state chairmanship position and directed local government chairmen to hire people that will camouflage as party members and bring them into the stadium which is their venue for their purported congress for ratification of their decisions.
“These decisions were taken without the consultation of critical stakeholders like DR Ogbonnia Onu who is a founding father of APC having been a national chairman of one of the merger parties and led the merger talks during the formation of APC but presently the Minister representing Ebonyi State at the federal executive council.
“The actions of Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha who is an appointee of Gov Umahi and presently supreintending over the conduct of the state congress which he happens to be a contestant. His actions led to the conduct of parallel congresses at ward and local govt congresses by stakeholders. Our canidate Alhaji DR Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah and his supporters have been recieving death threats from these people because of our resolve to fight for justice. We want to tell the whole world to hold Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha responsible should anything happen to our candidate or his supporters.
“The imposition of unpopular people on our party is being fueled by the 2023 presidential ambition of those who joined us recently and this has thrown the party into crisis and confusion which if not urgently arrested will lead to the destruction of the party.
“We therefore advise our numerous supporters to remain law abiding and steadfast to the ideals of the party as the national leadership of the party under Gov Mai Mala Buni looks into our petition.”
Recall that the Governor of the State, Dave Umahi on Friday ordered for the arrest of one Mr Kenneth Nwakparata for prosecution over his alleged pronouncement to hold an APC faction congress in the state during the party’s critical stakeholders meeting at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki.
Still, the immediate past state Chairman of APC and the Commissioner for Market and Park Development, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze in his speech during the state congress at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium Abakaliki said the Saturday’s Congresses would end a forms of party factions.
While Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha in his acceptance speech after being declared winner of the state congress as the Chairman, pledged to carry all the party members along.
He assured of APC victory at the polls come 2023 general elections, and urged all the party members especially the contenders to close ranks to work for the progress of the party.