By Steve Oko
The leadership tussle rocking the Abia State chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC, has become history as the factions, Saturday, agreed to put their differences together and unite as one party ahead of the 2023 polls.
The reconciliation which was massively attended by various gladiators of the factions and party faithful was held at the Ntalakwu Oboro, country home of APC chieftain, Chief Emeka Atuma in Ikwuano Local Government.
At the historic reconciliation meeting christined ‘Ntalakwu Declaration’ the gladiators and their foot soldiers agreed to bury their hatchet and collapse their structures to forge a united front under the leadership of Chief Ikechi Emenike, who they said “is the authentic governorship candidate of the party for the 2023 election”.
Former state Chairmen of Abia APC, Hon Donatus Nwankpa, and Fabian Nwankwo were on hand to affirm the reconciliation.
Nwankpa who was at the helm of the factional wranglings was on hand to preach peace and reconciliation and urged party members to jettison divisive activities and embrace the only one APC in Abia recognised by the national secretariat of the party.
In his remarks, Nwankpa said that time had come for APC to be united and wrestle power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He accused the PDP of sponsoring people to distabilise and weaken APC ahead of the 2023 polls.
“The people of Abia have been crying for APC to save them from slavery”, he said.
“Today we have achieved reconciliation. Today is the end of factionalisation in Abia APC. There will be harmonisation and total integration with participatory role for every party member.”
Similarly, Nwankwo said the days of hostilities were over and that the party was in for a new dawn.
The new sense of unity was loudly echoed in the seven-point resolution adopted and affirmed at the meeting and read by thr former Speaker of Abia House of Assembly, Rt Hon Martin Azubuike, who was in the factional camp before.
In their resolution which the party leaders and stakeholders affirmed Chief Emenike as leader and governorship candidate of Abia APC with Dr Kingsley Ononogbu as the State Chairman.
Addressing the gathering of party leaders, stakeholders, elders and members, Chief Emenike described the reconciliation in the Abia APC as “the first major step in the long journey to Abia government house”.
“We have everything in Abia APC to win election,” he said, adding with peace unity now prevailing in the party the 2023 general election would be a rich harvest for APC as the party would not only win the governorship but also the legislative seats.
He promised to provide a purposeful and inclusive leadership for Abia APC, giving every party me,ever a sense of belonging that would spur them to work very hard for the success ofnthe party in 2023.
“We are together,” he declared and assured that he would not renege in any of his promises to strengthen the party to take over power in Abia and make everybody happy.
In her remarks, Deputy Chief Whip, House of Representatives, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, appealed to all party members to be prepared to put the party interest above personal interest.
She said that with the reconciliation, the APC was prepared and repositioned to wrestle power from the ruling PDP.
Other APC chieftains present at the meeting were House of Representatives Spokesman, Hon Benjamin Kalu; national welfare officer of APC, Hon Friday Nwosu; former Labour Minister, Chief Emeka Wogu; among others.
They all expressed gratitude over the new found party unity and brought about by the landmark reconciliation which they to sustain for the growth and electoral success of the party.