Shoot Out at APC Ward Congress Meeting, Ngige Escapes Death

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• Nwoye: I’ll not let minister hijack party in Anambra

Our Correspondents 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, yesterday escaped death at a harmonisation meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Awka over the party’s ward congresses in Anambra State.

Ngige was whisked away by security personnel who repeatedly shot into the air to scare members of the party who charged at him over accusations of plots to hijack the congresses.

However, a member of the state’s ward congress committee, who was simply identified as Ali, was not so lucky as he was beaten to pulp and stripped naked over allegations that he was among those drafted to the state to rig the congresses.

The candidate of the APC in last year’s governorship election in the state, Dr Tony Nwoye, had accused Sen Ngige of plotting to hijack the party in the state.

At the harmonisation meeting held to address  the discrepancies in the party’s ward congresses, Nwoye told Ngige that he was usurping the functions of the congress committee by stating that ward congresses held on Saturday when they did not.

Nwoye said he was refraining from speaking because he might be accused of being bitter because he ran and lost election on the platform of the party.

He said: “Some of you here worked against me during that election, but my joy is that I lost the election and they lost too, because they have not risen themselves.

“We have failed as a party because we do not have any position in Anambra, but it will not work for people to put this party in their pocket so that they can write election results in their houses.

“I will not let Ngige take the function of the panel. We have a panel that is supposed to conduct that congress, and they just came here today (Sunday), whereas you are trying to tell us that elections have been held yesterday. How can Ngige be the one to conduct the congress when there is a committee.

“As at 7p.m. on Saturday, people were being denied the forms because thy want to contest for positions, and what that means is that the forms have been given out to those they like. We will not let that happen.”

Meanwhile, Ngige who took offence over what he described as an attack on his person by Nwoye, explained that there was no trouble in the party, describing it as a brotherly affair.

Ngige had also earlier explained: “We do not have trouble here and we are here to further the cause of the party.

“People were querying the guideline given by the NEC of the party, and I said no. The issue was over zoning of positions. We said go to the ward and if anyone resigns, we replace him, because this is brotherly contest.”

Some members of the party who spoke with THISDAY on condition of anonymity, said the attack on Ngige was premeditated.

“Nwoye and his people are still aggrieved over the role played by Ngige during the governorship election where he (Nwoye) lost.

“They also believed that he is still working to hijack the party and remain lord in the state. That is the main reason for the attack on Ngige.”