By Ugochukwu Alaribe
The All Progressive Congress, APC, Abia State chapter, Saturday conducted two parallel congresses in the state.
While the Chief Ikechi Emenike group held its own at the Ugwunchara area, few loyalists of the Hon Donatus Nwankpa gathered at the indoor sports hall of the Umuahia township stadium.
The congress by the Ikechi Emenike group witnessed eminent members of the party from the 17 council areas in the state including the Member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi federal constitution, Hon Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; former governorship aspirant, Sir Friday Nwosu; ex-organising secretary of the Nwankpa faction, Chief Obi Aha; the Member representing Isuikwuato constituency in the state House of Assembly, Barrister Emeka Okoroafor, among others.
As at 4 pm, the leaders of the Nwankpa were still at the meeting outside the stadium as their loyalists waited.
A section of the leaders of the Nwankpa faction including Senator Chris Adighije and Chief Sam Nkire, who called for the cancellation of the congress till the conclusion of the peace committee on Abia APC led by the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, were said to be in Abuja as at the time of the congress.
Declaring the results of the elections, Chairman, national committee for APC Congress, Abia State, Hon Kolawole Babatunde, said the congress was peaceful and well-conducted.
“The congress was peaceful and well-conducted. People came out from the 17 LGAs. There is no victor or loser, APC won. You can see the response, and it was massive.”
Reminded about the parallel congress, Babatunde who is a former member of the House of Representatives from Ondo State, said those who were said to have conducted a parallel were on a ‘picnic’ and risk sanction as his panel was the only sent by the party’s national secretariat to conduct the state congress in Abia.
“Any individual or group organising another congress elsewhere is on a picnic. The party constitution is very clear that there should be no parallel congresses anywhere. There are sanctions for such individuals or groups.”
Elected at the congress are; Chief Enyinnaya Harbour-Chairman; Chief Grant Nwogu- Deputy Chairman; Chief Chidi Avoaja-Secretary; Mrs Chino Erondu-State Woman Leader, among others.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected state chairman, Chief Enyinnaya Harbour, pledged to rebuild the APC in the state, adding that the doors of the party are open for genuine members
“APC Abia State stands today at the threshold of a historic breakthrough that had eluded her since 2014. With today’s Congress so peacefully conducted by the National Committee, we are set to rebuild APC in Abia State. Our doors are now wider open to receive all men and women of goodwill that desire to see our dear State take to the top.
“Even as we welcome all, our Exco shall not be a breeding ground for anti-party activities or tolerate anyone who claims to be APC at day and other parties at night. We accept the mandate to build a big united party in Abia.
“We have also come to restore their faith in our democracy and our electoral process as typified by our congress today.”