By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—The Imo State secretariat of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, turned into a battle field yesterday as factional members unleashed mayhem on one another.
The ensuing confusion spilled over to the ever busy Owerri-Umuahia federal highway, causing serious gridlock on the road, while Imo State Police Command quickly dispatched its men to the scene to restore sanity.
Our correspondent gathered that trouble started immediately the state interim chairman of the party, Peter Ezeobi, drove into the premises with a retinue of security details but was booed and jeered by angry members.
The aggrieved party faithful accused Ezeobi of unilaterally sacking 14 council chairmen of the party without recourse to the State Working Committee, SWC.
Apart from chanting unprintable songs, they also carried placards with varying inscriptions, some of which read: “Go Ezeobi Go”, “God will judge APGA National leaders”, Mazi Okwu has won Umeh in Imo and then has been replaced by Umeh people”.
Briefing newsmen on the incident, a chieftain of the party and chairman of Owerri West local government area, Barr Charles Oguchialu , accused the new state executive of being used to destroy the party through dictatorship.
“We are grieving for our party because our men and women who laboured to put the party on a solid foundation were purportedly and dramatically sent packing by a single individual, who is just new to the party,” Oguchialu said.
He recalled with grief that “a day before the controversial dissolution, a state Exco meeting, which involved all the local government party chairmen was organized without any discussion on dissolution, only for Ezeobi to announce the controversial dissolution the next day.”
Efforts made by newsmen to get the reaction of Ezeobi and the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Tony Mgbeahuruike, failed as they rebuffed all entreaties to speak on the issue.