By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The leadership crisis rocking the Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was finally been resolved at the weekend with the two factions coming together to purse a common goal of taking control of Abia in 2019.
Abia APC was bedevilled by lack of unity among its leaders and went into the 2015 general election without closing ranks hence its abysmal performance that saw none of its candidates securing a seat in the state and National Assembly.
Its governorship standard bearer came a very distant third.
But after a peace meeting brokered by the zonal leadership of the party, the two Abia factions solidified their peace agreement by harmonising the positions in a unified state executive committee with Hon Donatus Nwankpa as chairman. The chairman of the hitherto faction, Fabian Okonkwo was given the position of organising secretary at the zonal level.
The National Vice-chairman, South-east, Chief Emma Enukwu, who presided at the ceremony where party offices were harmonised for the factions, said Abia APC needed the support of every member in order to succeed in its goal of taking power in God’s own state.
“The assignment of the state chairman and his new executives is to work hard to ensure that we take over Abia state in 2019,” he said.
He added that with the party already in charge at the federal level no member of the party should feel that he would not be rewarded for working for the success of the party as reward could be at state or federal level.
To make the peace meeting authentic, all the major actors in the factional war were present at the peace meeting, including Chief Ikechi Emenike, Chief Acho Obioma and Chief Nyerere Anyim, who was the party’s governorship candidate in the 2015 election.
One after the other, the party chieftains in their respective remarks acknowledged that there was “disagreement and differences” among the leaders but welcomed the new spirit of oneness and pledged to strengthen the party for future challenges.
“We are brothers; we are together,” declared Anyim, adding that the new state executives must be ready to move the party forward “with the zeal we started the party.”
Emenike, who had backed one of the factions, said a lot of people made sacrifices for the party and it would not be in vain, adding that those who still “feel bad”
“The bottom line is that we’re (now) one and no one should discriminate,” he said, adding that the harmonisation achieved at the state level should be deepened to the local government and ward levels for the party to attain meaningful unity.
In his remarks, Acho Obioma, who was the senatorial candidate of APC for Abia central in 2015, said it had been long the party was expected to close ranks, noting that though “it was a difficult challenge, what we’ve done is to make sacrifices to keep the party together.”
Senator Nkechi Nwaogu was effusive in commending the leaders of the feuding factions for allowing peace to return and dwell in Abia APC, saying that “our train is now moving without stumbling (because) this is the party that should be in power in Abia State.”
The chairman of the harmonised state executive, Hon. Nwankpa, pledged to take the party right to the grassroots where power belongs as it would be futile to sit in the state capital and hope to effectively rebuild the party with credible people at the wards.
“We will embark on operation restructure APC in Abia,” he said, and announced that the party would not be encumbered by the zoning principle as “we are marching to get power in 2019.”