By Vincent Ujumadu & Enyim Enyim
AWKA—SOME stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Anambra State yesterday tackled the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige over what they described as his distorted account of the crisis that trailed last weekend’s ward congresses of the party.
The stakeholders particularly frowned at the situation where the minister described the party’s 2017 governorship candidate, Dr. Tony Nwoye, the national auditor Chief George Muoghalu and other senior party members at the stakeholders’ meeting as thugs.
They also challenged Dr. Ngige to tell the world how he obtained the results of the ward congresses he said occurred even as they faulted him for importing a strange official, Yunusa Musa into the panel delegated to the state.
Ngige had, in a statement by his media aide, accused Nwoye, of importing into the state chapter of the party, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) style of using thuggery and violence to settle political scores.
But faulting Ngige on the Ward congress, the stakeholders namely, Chief Iwuejina Igbokwe for Anambra South, Chief Basil Iwuoba (North), a former Constituent Assembly member, and Chief Donatus Okonkwo, (Central) a former governorship aspirant, said that in as much as they would not want to join issues with the Minister, what transpired in Awka was entirely an internal affair of APC and wondered why Ngige should bring PDP into it.
The statement read in part:”Dr Chris Ngige should please desist from dragging the name of gubernatorial candidate, Dr Tony Nwoye into the fracas. We believe that Ngige is in a better position to tell the world the truth.
“Why forming the habit of lying to the people at all times? Why can’t Dr Ngige, as an elder statesman and public servant, for once say truth the way they are?
“It is very unfortunate that Dr Chris Ngige could describe fellow party members who came for the stakeholders meeting as thugs. The stakeholders like Chief George Muoghalu (the current National Auditor of our party), Engr. Barth Nwibe (the current board chairman of University of Jos Teaching Hospital), Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo, Chief Azuka Okwuosa and many others came to the meeting on our own. There was an adequate security in and around the hotel.
“We are not interested in who becomes what in Ward executives of our great party. We are not in contention with Dr Ngige for dominance of the ward executives of the party. The current executive members of our great party were single handedly picked by Dr Chris Ngige. What every stakeholder in the party is demanding is to allow the people to elect who will lead them. Let there be internal democracy in our party, most especially in Anambra State.”
APC stakeholders call for fresh ward congress
The stakeholders spokesman, and a state chairmanship, chief Basil Iwuoba told the Vanguard shortly after their meeting in Awka that they demand that the National Working Committee of the party should fix a date for a fresh ward congress in the state.
This is contrary to claims by Senator Chris Ngige that ward congresses were successfully held in Anambra State.
Speaking on the issue, Iwuoba alleged that there was a grand design by Ngige and his cromes to hijack the congress by hoarding the forms which he said was sold to only those they wanted to be returned thereby shutting out many aspirants from participating in the exercise.
“We had no congresses in Anambra State. The congress committee that came for Anambra were swapped with tools sent to Imo and by the time those in Imo came to Anambra it was already late. They came in by 2:30pm on Sunday and addressed us by 4.30pm. And there was no way the congress could have heard at that time. So, Ngige lied to have claimed that there was congress in the state. Our party officers were logged out at the party secretariat when the DSS and INEC came and they did not see anybody.”