By Emeka Mamah
THE current crises rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu State, has been traced to supporters of political gladiators from Enugu East Senatorial District otherwise known as Nkanu land.
The gladiators include the state Chairman of the party, Chief Ben Nwoye; former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo; erstwhile Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former governor of Enugu State, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani; ex- Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Bartholomew Nnaji as well as the current Vice Chairman of the party in charge of Enugu East and political war horse, Chief Anike Nwoga.
Supporters of the party in the zone are queuing behind Nwobodo and Ken Nnamani as both are gearing up for war over the soul of the party in the state.
According to sources, Ben Nwoye, the South East Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon Hyacinth Ngwu and the party’s governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections, Chief Okey Ezea, are for behind Nwobodo while Chief Nwoga and the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria, VON, Chief Osita Okechukwu among others are in support of the former Senate President Nnamani, who is expected to join the party, having left the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from where he made his political mark in the country following the collapse of the third- term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Before the former Senate President joined the PDP, after the 1999 general elections, he was in the defunct All People’s Party, APP, where President Muhammadu Buhari was a presidential candidate.
Nwobodo was also said to have hurriedly left the PDP with Prof Nnaji to ensure that his former political godson and Enugu State governor between 1999 and 2007, Chief Chimaroke Nnamani did not join the party before him as was being rumoured.
However, addressing newsmen in Enugu over the crises which led to the alleged suspension of Nwoga from the party, Chairman Nwoye blamed the VON boss, Chief Okechukwu, who he said was fighting Nwobodo using Nwoga as a surrogate.
According to Nwoye, Nwoga could not have issued the statement condemning the defection of Senator Nwobodo to the APC because of his alleged poor grasp of issues, adding that the party had affirmed the “vote of no confidence” passed on the vice chairman, by the Enugu East chapter, pending the outcome of his appeal.
The Enugu East Senatorial District of the party had suspended Nwoga, following his condemnation of Nwobodo’s entry into the party, among other allegations of indiscipline against him.
Nwoye defended the suspension of Nwoga from the APC stressing that the offences for which he was suspended were committed in May this year.
Nwoye further accused Chief Okechukwu of allegedly using names of other party members to write frivolous press releases attacking members of the party and other indigenous people of the state, describing the VON boss as a “gossip terrorist.”
He also claimed that Okechukwu was running down prominent sons and daughters of Nkanu land for selfish reasons.
Earlier accusations against Okechukwu was that he was influencing the appointment of only people from his Enugu West Senatorial District into juicy positions to the detriment of other members of the party in both the East and North of the state.
Responding, Nwoga insisted that Nwobodo would be a liability instead of a blessing to the party because he is no longer politically influential as he used to be.
Dismissing allegations of anti-party activities against him, Nwoga said he is being victimised for not supporting the ruling PDP in the state like Dr. Nwoye and his cohorts.
“APC is a political party but in Enugu State it is being run like a limited liability company. The APC in Enugu State has three directors namely, Chief Ben Nwoye; the former gubernatorial candidate of the party, Chief Okey Ezea and the National Vice Chairman in the South East, Chief Emma Eneukwu. These three people are working for the PDP. Our party can never win election in Enugu in 2019 with Nwoye as chairman. “A visitor to the APC’s secretariat in Enugu will understand what I am saying. It does not look like an office of a serious and major opposition party. The office has no flag; it has no sign board to show that the place is a party office. Nwoye is not serious,” Nwoga added.
The Director General of VON, Chief Okechukwu also reacted to Nwoye’s allegations and asked him to clear his name of various cases of anti- party activities instead of fighting with party leaders in the state.
“Our dear Chairman, Ben Nwoye should better clear his name from serial anti-party activities imbroglio he found himself; instead of chasing shadows. He should give me a break. Am I the one who diverted the seed registration money given to him? Instead of accounting for the money, he suspended our Deputy Chairman, Comrade Adolphus Ude and our Women Leader, Lolo Queen Nwankwo who had the guts to query the misapplication.
“Secondly, instead of defending our great party, he upbraided Mrs Kate Offor, our Publicity Secretary, when she issued statements condemning the setting up of Caretaker Committee by the governor of Enugu State to run local government councils.’’