Onyeama: Why We Organised Parallel Congress in Enugu

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has said his faction of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State organised parallel congresses in the 17 local government areas of the state when his efforts to unite all the contending groups proved abortive.

The minister and the Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, had emerged as national delegates from Udi Local Government Area in their parallel congresses.

The camp of the VON DG equally elected Mr. Charles Chime and Mrs. Maureen Anosike as national delegates, while the minister’s camp also elected the SSA to the President on Judicial Reforms, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku, and Mr. Flavour Eze as national delegates.

The minister alleged that the efforts he made to harmonise the previous ward congress in the state in order to have a single democratic process and free and fair election proved abortive as the national congress committee led by Dr. Ikechukwu Odikpo and state Chairman of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye, worked against his efforts.

According to him, “The chairman of the national congress committee claims that the National Working Committee (NWC) said he should only meet with the state chairman. The chairman of the state party himself is interested in competing…  “And he completely excluded everybody else. In fact, he excluded the majority. So what happened is exactly what you should expect to happen. We have gone on with parallel congress.”

Meanwhile, the local government congress committee for the state has dismissed reported claims of a parallel congress in the state at the weekend.  Chairman of the six-man committee, Dr. Ikechukwu Odigbo, said his committee conducted a peaceful congress across the 17 local government areas of the state.   

While dismissing claims of a parallel congress by Onyeama, he said the committee adhered strictly to the guidelines for the congress as laid down by the NWC of the party.