It is common knowledge that the Enugu State APC is engulfed in intra party crises that has continued to rock the party since after the 2018 Congress of the party which produced two factions led by the two factional State Chairmen Dr Ben Nwoye and Deacon Okey Ogbodo respectively.This was the state of the party in 2019 when the party went into 2019 general election with two parallel lists of candidates and came out with zero success as it lost all the elective positions in the state namely, 260 Councilors, 17 Local government council Chairmen, 9 House of Representative Members, 3 Senators and the State Governorship positions to People’s Democratic Party (the PDP).
The party could not even secure the minimum percentage of vote for the Presidential election from the state, yet party parades membership names of high ranking personalities in the state such as, Barr Sullivan Chime, former Governor of Enugu State, Senator Ken Nnamani, former Senate President, Onyemuche Nnamani, Osita Okechukwu, Emperor Baywood Ibe to mention but a few. It is a thing of concern that inspite of the presence of those supposedly political big weights in the party the party had remained at best an appendage of the PDP in the state under the tutelage of the PDP Governor of the state.
It is obvious that the problem of the party in the state is with its leadership and not with the followers. Eighty percent of Candidates that were drawn to contest the 2019 election in the state by Dr Ben Nwoye led faction of the party were PDP moles who have long returned to their PDP fold and received their rewards as SPAs and PAs to the Governor of the state for their hatchet job well done to the party. Many of the so called stakeholders of the party in the state besides being on the payroll of PDP in the state, also have their cronies, allies, and relatives appointed into juicy positions in the state by the PDP led government. As a supposed main opposition party in the state, the party has never issued any statement criticizing any of the programmes or project of the government because the party leaders who are meant to do this are silently observing table manners on the dining tables of the PDP Governor. This is the sorry state of the party in the State.
With 2023 General election in view, and with the need for the party to capture Enugu State as the heartbeat of South East geopolitical zone, there is no ray of hope that Enugu State APC would do better than its shameful outing in the 2019 general election as crises in the party had continued to worsen despite the reconciliation efforts by some genuine members of the party to unite the party. Just recently, there was a publication by the Dr Nwoye led faction of the party claiming that the party in the state is now united to the knowledge of the Leader of the Party in the state, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and other notable state holders of the party in the state, after it inaugurated her Contact and Mobilization Committee led by the Pioneer Deputy Chairman of the Party Comrade A.C. Ude who was hitherto the henchman of the Ogbodo-Led faction of the party. In less than 48 hours after the said publication, Deacon Okey Ogbodo debunked the merger rumor with Nwoye’s faction. In his reaction, he wondered if anything would motivate him to relinquish his acclaimed free mandate given to him as the State Chairman of the party Chairman in the 2018 congress of the party and warned the other faction to desist from “dropping the name and office of the Leader of the Party , Geoffrey Onyeama at every opportunity.
With every effort to end the lingering crises in the state coming to a deadlock, there remain only one option and (best option at that) which is to dissolve the entire state working Committee of both factions of the party and set up a Caretaker Committee for the party in the state that will salvage the party and return it to the path of sanity by conducting fresh state congress to usher in a new brand of leadership of the party in the state. It was the same measure the National Leader of Party, President Mohammadu Buhari took to salvage the party from the crises that bedeviled its national leadership.
It would appear that the party is already thinking in this direction from a hint traced to one of the Chieftains of the party in the state, Osita Okechukwu who recently took to social media to call on the party faithful in the state to beware and prepared as according to him, “some Abuja Big Men want to impose handpicked Caretaker Committee on us without consultation. Whereas the Ben Nwoye Leadership is not the best; but do we need worst case scenario?” This kind of statement is least expected of a supposed leader or stakeholder of the party in the state who should be concerned with the sorry state of the party in the state. It betrays his claim of any iota of goodwill for the Enugu State APC as it portrays his wish for the party to continue to wander in its present mess in the state. What success have the so called Leaders or stakeholder of the party in the state (Chief Osita Okechukwu inclusive) achieved that qualifies anyone of them to be consulted before a caretaker committee of the party can be constituted. True APC faithful in the state knows that any consultation with any of the gladiators or so called stakeholders in the lingering crises of the party in the state before constituting a caretaker committee of the party for the state would not only be counterproductive but will also birth a caretaker committee that would further advance the crises of the party in the state. In all, we strongly canvass that a caretaker committee for APC Enugu State constituted without any consultation with any of the so called stakeholders that have failed the party in the state remains the way forward for the party in the state and this has to be done without further delay.
For Save Enugu APC Group.
Barr Clement Ikem and Engr Linus Okorie,