Benjamin Nworie in Abakalikii
Protest friday marred the visit of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun to Ebonyi state as over 5000 members of the party in the state protested against the visit, calling for the removal of the National Chairman over his alleged complicity in the leadership crisis in the state chapter of the party.
The protesters lamented that in spite of the court injunction restraining the National chairman from tampering with the state congress which elected Ben Nwobasi as the state chairman of the party, Oyegun had appointed the erstwhile state deputy chairman, Eze Nwachukwu as the state Acting chairman.
The protesters invaded Nkwegu Ugbala and disrupted the rally which dispersed the crowd.
Oyegun also welcomed new defectors including the former governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi; former caretaker chairman of Ebonyi Local government, Anslem Enigwe and others.
The protesters including women and the youth members of the party carried placards with inscriptions like, Oyegun obey court order; Oyegun is not welcomed in Ebonyi; Oyegun is causing crisis in Ebonyi APC; Oyegun is a trouble maker; Oyegun has lost his relevance in APC, Oyegun should resign, Onu has no political value in Ebonyi, APC under Nwobashiâ€™s leadership formidable, We will continue to support APC despite Oyegun antics among others.
The protesters who marched through major streets of Abakaliki were seen chanting anti Oyegun and Ogbonnaya Onu songs with a call for the leadership of the party to immediately remove him from office for his highhandedness and acts inconsistent with his office.
Speaking during the protest, the spokesman of the group and national Leader of Ebonyi APC Youth Vanguard, Mr. Frank Ngwu stated that Oyegun and Onu were behind the leadership crisis in the party.
The leader said: â€œwe make bold to state categorically that our national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun is behind the leadership crisis in Ebonyi state chapter of the APC through inconsistent issuance of directive. When some moneybag visited him, he authored a letter on February 23, 2017appointing one Eze Nwachukwu as the state Acting Chairman.
When contempt proceeding was served on him, he quickly authorized another letter on April 25 withdrawing his initial letterâ€.
â€œAnd despite his letter of withdrawal, he is still relating with Nwachukwu Eze as the state Chairman. For instance, during the courtesy visit to the Vice president, Yemi Osibanjo by all the state chairmen of the party, Oyegun cleared Nwachukwu instead of Ben Nwobasi who is the authentic chairman of the partyâ€.
â€œWe can allow such character to come and cause mayhem in the state because of his double standard. We warned him to resolve the crisis before coming to Ebonyi state otherwise we will resist him from stepping his foot into Ebonyi soil. His leadership incompetence has further exacerbated the crisis in our state chapter of APC and this has endangered the strength of our party in the state.
Rather than dissipating his energy to visit Ebonyi, he should expedite action to see that the cases still pending in the court are resolved to its logical conclusion. We can receive him when he has not done anything meaningful to resolve the court caseâ€.
Ngwu noted: â€œwe warned Oyegun not to come to come to Ebonyi. The crisis in Ebonyi APC revolves around Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and John Oyegu. The duo are making business with the party in the state. Onu has refused to give peace a chance. Two of them are bent on removing our elected chairman, Ben Nwobasi.
â€œWe warned him that we cannot allow such character to come and cause mayhem in the state because of his double standard. We want him to resolve the crisis before coming to Ebonyi state otherwise we will resist him from stepping his foot into Ebonyi soil. His leadership incompetence has further exacerbated the crisis in our state chapter of APC and this has endangered the strength of our party in the state.
The protesters that the state executive committee of the party was not aware of any visit by the national chairman and would not want anything that would jeopardized the efforts of the leaders of the party in the state in rebuilding the party ahead of the next general election.