By Henry Ojelu
Former 2nd Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Dr Monday Ubani has cautioned the national leadership of All Progressives Congress, APC, not to impose anyone as leader of the party in Abia State.
Decrying the perennial crisis that has bedevilled the party in the state, Ubani warned that the situation may worsen with the indication that an unpopular candidate is being imposed as leader of the party.
Calling on the national leadership of the party to check the excesses of some of it’s executives, Ubani noted that it is the belief and conviction of the stakeholders and members of the party that the quick resolution of this crisis in the state by the National Secretariat will place the party in greater strength, unity and cohesiveness to take over the leadership of the State from the ruling party due to their bad governance.
In a statement he issues on Friday, he said: “Abians in APC will never allow any leadership to be imported into the State through an unknown means and procedure.
“As keen observers of the development in the State, we watch, wait and see how the whole resolution of this contrived crisis by the national leadership of the party shall be resolved, but let it be on record that the leadership of the party in the State cannot be imported from Abuja.
“The present leadership, which is a product of a democratic process, must, if any, be removed democratically in accordance with the constitution of the Party. For now, they are recognised by the constitution, the people and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Every official correspondence and communications are through them.
“They are the ones representing the party at all official and national functions and must be the one to ensure the success of every Congress in the State.
“No imposed or imported leadership whose emergence is unknown to the constitution of the party shall be allowed to take a stand in the State.”
Tracing the genesis of the crisis in Abia APC, Ubani said: Towards the general election of 2019, All Progressive Congress in Abia State stood a better chance to have taken over the reins of administration from the inept administrators in the State but for the disunity and seed of discord sowed by certain characters who claimed to be APC members at that time who worked at cross purposes with the leaders of the party.
“These characters never ceased in their treachery even after their anti-party activities led to the loss of the party in the general election except for one senatorial and two houses of representatives seats won at the National Assembly.
“As the Party hierarchy in the National Secretariat failed and or refused to punish them, they became more emboldened in their treachery and have never ceased to contrive one crisis or the other to destabilise the party in the State.
“Just as APC as a party has started their preparations towards the 2023 general election, their madness has resumed again. What baffles old and new members of the party in the State is the apparent complicity and connivance of some National Secretariat leadership with the intransigence and crisis playing out in the State.
“The fact of the matter is that APC Abia State has a legitimate and recognised State Executive known to APC National and acknowledged by INEC. By the constitution and Electoral Guidelines of the APC, Ward and Local Government Congresses cannot be conducted without the active participation and organisation of the State Executives of the party. Nobody puts something on nothing and expects something, it is impossible.
“On 31st of July, 2021 Ward Congress took place in Abia State. It is public knowledge that before the said Ward Congress, the anti-party activities of one Chief Emenike became nauseating leading to the party at his ward in the State to take a definite stance by announcing his suspension from the party for anti-party activities. This suspension was ratified both at the Local Government and by the State Executives.
“On 30th of July, a day before the Ward Congress, The Expanded Caucus Meeting of The State APC re-affirmed the said suspension of him. The announcement of his re-affirmed suspension was made known when his destabilising actions and statements portend great danger to the cohesiveness of the Party in the State towards 2023.
“Despite these disciplinary measures, Chief Ikechi Emenike and his co-travellers have refused to allow peace to reign in the party but chose the part of infamy. They caused some confusion during the Local Government Congress in connivance with one Chief Sonny Goli led seven-man Local Government Congress Committee sent by the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.
“Recall that after the Ward Congress in Abia where it was apparent that parallel ward Congress took place, a suit was instituted by some Applicants representing all the successful Ward chairmanship candidates of the party in the 184 Electoral wards in Abia State as well as all the successful Local Government and State delegates of the APC, Abia State at Ukwa Judicial Division in the State wherein Hon Justice C.H. Ahuchaogu issued an order of interim injunction restraining the All Progressive Congress (APC), The Ward Congress Committee Chairman Rt Hon Sunny Goli, The Chairman of the Caretaker Executive Committee of the party in Abia State, Hon Donatus Nwankpa and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by themselves, agents, and privies from receiving, accepting and acting on the purported list of the successful candidate for the APC Ward Congresses in Abia from the Party’s National Electoral Committee on Abia Ward Congress.
“The order of the court was explicit that APC, both at State and National level is restrained from receiving or accepting any name that was not a product of an electoral process of the recognised State Executives headed by Chief Donatus Nwankpa.
“A bit exposition of Chief Donatus Nwankpa suffices here. He was elected alongside Comrade Adams Oshiomhole during the National Congress of the Party in 2018. In the year 2020 as a result of the change of leadership at the National, the State Exco in Abia was re-named A Caretaker Committee but still under the leadership of Chief Donatus Nwankpa.
“Since that time there has not been any other Congress that throw up new leadership in all the States of the Federation except where the national crisis, as I have earlier said led to the appointment or renaming State Excos as Caretaker Committees, as it is with the present leadership at the National level.
“If this assertion is true and an indisputable fact, upon what basis will Chief Ikechi Emenike and his cohorts tend to carry out any activity whether at the Ward or at local government level without regard to the constitutionally recognised leadership at Abia State? Can anyone place any logic to this act of brigandage and impunity if not for the reality that someone, somewhere is drumming this dance of evil for them from somewhere?”