By Ikeugonna Eleke
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected a state congress held by a faction of the party loyal to Senator Andy Uba, describing it as a nullity.
Some members of the party had last Sunday met and elected state officers through a voice vote, but the election has been rejected as not being according to the party’s guidelines.
There has been a rift in the party in the state since after the Governorship Election, with some members accusing the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, of causing the party’s failure in the election, leading to the nomination of Senator Uba as the new leader of the party.
The state secretary of the party, Mr Chukwuma Agufugo, in a briefing with journalists on Monday, said the party still retained Ngige as its leader, while dismissing the Congress held by the Uba led faction.
He said, ‘I’m not surprised to hear that some people conducted a purported state congress on Sunday because there has been this desperation by some individuals in the party to concoct what seems like a congress.
‘There was no congress in the party. There is a subsisting order and ruling by the State High Court and the Court of Appeal, respectively. Barr Emeka Ibe secured the judgement, directing that the status quo should be maintained, where the former Chairman, Emeka Ibe, was returned as the state chairman of the party.
‘That order was duly served on us and to the national secretariat of the party. I particularly wrote a memo to the national secretariat requesting their directive and intervention to that effect, and even until now, none of the reply has come back to the party.
‘I do not believe that the party would be blind to that judgement. Of course you know that no matter how big or small a court order is, it is meant to be obeyed,’ he stated.
On the participation of the Anambra chapter of the party in the forthcoming national convention, the secretary said that the option before the national chairman of the party, Governor Mai Mala Buni, was to convene a stakeholders meeting to harmonize the party, saying that non-participation of the Anambra chapter in the convention might render the outcome a nullity.
‘Given the situation, one should expect that Anambra will go to the national convention with Barr Emeka Ibe as state chairman because of the subsisting court orders.
‘We have asked the national secretariat to call the stakeholders to a meeting to talk this out at once. We want discussion and dialogue to resolve things. If we do not resolve this and we go to the national convention with delegates outside the directive of the court, anything outside it is an invitation to a nullification of the convention.
‘I’m advising the national secretariat to get in touch with the stakeholders and ensure cohesion through invitation to a round table. As for the purported congress, it did not conform to the guidelines of our party,’ Agufugo said.