By Dapo Akinrefon
LAGOS— THE All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State, Monday, waded into the crisis over who is the authentic leader of Ndigbo in the party, affirming its support for Joe Igbokwe, the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Igbokwe, the former Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, had been at loggerheads with Mr. Jude Idimogu, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency II, over the position.
While Igbokwe, who has been a member of the APC since the days of the defunct Alliance for Democracy, AD, said he is the apex leader, Idimogu who joined the APC in February 2017, however, maintained that he is the most senior elected person in Ndigbo Lagos APC to date and such is the apex leader.
Making the clarification, Chairman of the party, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, said to maintain peace and harmony in APC, the party leadership, led by him, invited both men to his office for a meeting.
He said it was agreed that Joe Igbokwe should be the apex leader of Igbo in APC, while Idimogu should be the deputy apex leader.
His words: “Of course, we had a meeting last week Friday in my office.
“With my intervention in the matter, the party has resolved that both of them should work together as brothers and bring their supporters together so that they can work together for Igbo in APC in peace and harmony.
“With the situation of things, Joe Igbokwe will be the apex leader of Igbo in APC, while Jude Idimogu will be the deputy apex leader.
“Of course, Idimogu is a young man, who has a bright future in our party; he must be ready to work with his brother, Igbokwe, who has been in the party for some time.”
Contacted, Igbokwe said the party has affirmed him as the leader and that decision stands.
He said: “Yes, we had a meeting on Friday. The party leadership has settled the issue and I don’t think there will be any crisis again.”
But when contacted, Idimogu said the party never recognised Igbokwe as the apex leader.
Idimogu said: “It is not true that Igbokwe was recognised as apex leader. The party chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun called Joe Igbokwe and I; sat us down.
“He said both of us are leaders recognised by the party and we should work together. He did not mention anything about Joe Igbokwe being the apex leader.
“He only said we are both leaders and we should go and handle affairs of Igbo.”
Idimogu, who said he is not in any competition with Igbokwe, said he was made apex leader by the Igbo community leaders and he has a certificate to back up his claim.