Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The internal crisis rocking the Enugu State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has assumed a new twist after some members of the party insisted that the state Chairman, Dr Ben Nwoye remain suspended.
While addressing the media in Abuja thursday, the partyâ€™s gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 election, Nnadozie Valentine, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ejike Njeze and Ejikeme Ugwu, said the suspension of Nwoye on July 3 by a panel for anti-party activities, high-handedness and mismanagement of party funds, complied with all provisions of the party constitution.
They similarly directed the members of the party including the vice-chairman, purportedly suspended on July 4, by the erstwhile chairman, to disregard the order, stressing that in line with party constitution, suspension of members can only be made by the Ward rather than the State executive.
Valentine, who spoke on behalf of other aggrieved members, appealed to the partyâ€™s national leadership to intervene in the ensuing crisis in order to save the APC in Enugu State from an imminent collapse.
He said since 2015, series of petitions about the handling of the party were written to the party national secretariat and copied to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
According to him, the embattled chairman shunned the invitation to defend himself before a panel set up by the party national leadership and OSGF, after key members of the partyâ€™s working committee, wrote a memo establishing the allegations against the chairman.
â€œHe (Nwoye) refused to submit himself to the panel to defend himself. He claimed that he is not answerable to any government functionary. Afterwards, he set up a panel against those who petitioned against him and became a judge over his own matter. The kangaroo panel suspended 20 people, including three of us, who though, did not sign the petition, but were in full support. We must ease out the few people that have mortgaged the party in the state and avoid the miscalculation made in 2015, where APC only garnered 13,000 votes in the presidential election in Enugu State,â€ Valentine admonished.
He similarly said the truce initiated last week by the party elders, including Senator Jim Nwobodo for a ceasefire and for all factions to stay away from the secretariat was breached by Nwoye, who broke into the secretariat on July 4, to hold an illegal meeting where members were suspended.