By Vincent Ujumadu, Chinonso Alozie & Bode Olagoke
OWERRI—AHEAD of the Saturday All Progressives Congress ,APC, national convention, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state and his Deputy, Eze Madumere are said to be at the final battle on who will outwit the other to control the party’s structure in the state.
This was as an APC group in the Diaspora advised delegates to the national convention to elect those who would not distract President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration.
Currently in Imo State, there is the Okorocha’s faction of APC executive led by Chris Oguoma and Madumere’s group which has Hillary Eke as its chairman. Eke was inaugurated by the outgoing national chairman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun.
Vanguard gathered yesterday that palpable anxiety has engulfed the two camps, as it concerns who becomes the next National Organizing Secretary of APC.
Among the fears causing serious tension in the two camps was the alleged “unity list” produced by APC governors in order to have consensus candidates for the various positions at the convention.
Also, there was rumour that states with factions would not be part of the convention and that only statutory delegates would be allowed into the venue of the convention.
Okorocha who is fighting the deputy governor’s group is said to be plotting to replace the National Organizing Secretary, Osita Izunaso with his own loyalist.
Among those having the backing of Okorocha are Mr Rex Anunobi and Emma Ibediro.
From the camp of the deputy governor are the current National Organizing Secretary, Osita Izunaso and Longers Anyanwu.
It will also be recalled that Izunaso had been endorsed by the APC stakeholders in the Southeast region as a consensus candidate, an arrangement Governor Okorocha said did not have his support.
Elect people who won’t distract Buhari
Meanwhile, a group consisting of members of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Diaspora has advised delegates to the forthcoming national convention of the party to elect those who would not distract President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration.
Endorsing the candidature of the immediate past governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the party in Saturday’s national convention at a media briefing in Awka yesterday, the group warned that any mistake during the convention would derail the programmes of the president, thereby returning Nigeria to what it described as the dark days of the country.
Leader of the group, Mrs. Chidinma Onyekwelu said: “Comrade Oshiomhole’s antecedents stand him out among other contestants as the national chairman, having exhibited the capacity to harmonize divergent views and interests in the party and bringing about lasting peace and cohesion among various stakeholders in the party.
“He is very strict on principles which is what the party needs at this crucial time. He will deploy his persuasive powers and negotiating skills in resolving any crisis that may arise within the party.
,”We need someone we can call our own and not those who want to get to power as stooges of anti progressives paymasters.”
Edorsement of Izunaso, others null, void—Ibediro
Also yesterday, an aspirant to the office of the National Organising Secretary, Barr. Emma Ibediro dismissed the recent endorsement of the outgoing national officers from the region by the south east caucus as ineffective and not binding on anyone.
Speaking with journalists Thursday at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, Barr. Ibediro said if the outgoing National Organising Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso had done well in office, there would not have been any point for him to contest.
“It is very obvious. For me to be running for this position, you don’t expect me to tell you that the current occupant of the seat has done very well. If he has done very well, there is no point for me to run. I will simply say that I will endorse him to continue. I know that there are certain things that we can do better than what he has done”, said Ibediro.
He also said the party derailed because personal interests were allowed to override the party guidelines.