By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Saturday shook off its internal crisis and successfully conducted its state congress during which a 26-member state executive committee was elected to pilot the affairs of the party.
The congress, which was held at the premises of Eziama Osa community hall, saw the delegates electing the executives with affirmation as all the contestants were returned unopposed.
Dr Emmanuel Ndukwe was elected state chairman, while Hon. Chidi Avaja emerged as state secretary.
Ndukwe told journalists that the emergence of the executive committee members without rancour was a sign of unity in Abia APC, adding that his team would build APC into a strong party that can win election in Abia.
He said that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was on its way out of Abia government house but acknowledged that APC has “enormous” job to do in wresting power from Governor Ikpeazu and his party “because to unseat an incumbent is not easy”.
The secretary of the APC state congress committee for Abia, Hajia Rabi Sulu Gambari, conducted the congress with the assistance of another member of the committee, Garba Sani.
Hajiya Gambari said that her team was on a national assignment from the national headquarters of APC, adding that they were “at the right place for the state congress”.
Apparently referring to the court order that barred the Donatus Nwankpa-led former executives from engaging in any activity in the name of Abia APC, Hajia Gambari announced that “we are here to ensure that the rule of law is uphold in this country”.
Sani also added that the Ikechi Emenike-led Abia APC is “the authentic” chapter of the party, adding that “truth will always succumb to falsehood”.
However, the faction led by Nwankpa defied a court order and conducted a parallel congress where he was returned as chairman.
In the court order issued by Justice Collinson Okoroafor on March 8, 2018, Nwankpa and his executives and their agents were “restrained from organising any ward, local government, or state congresses or primaries of the All Progressives Congress in Abia State”.
They were also “restrained from planning, implementing, executing or even holding to discuss or strategise on such issues and other issues concerning … nomination or sponsorship of candidates for any elective position in Abia State or Nigeria except with the Dr Emmanuel Ndukwe-led state executive committee pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”.
Following the affirmation of the executive committee members by the delegates with no dissenting voice, Hajia Gambari said: “We hereby, according to our party constitution affirm that the executive committee of Abia APC is duly elected.”
Sani on his part expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the congress, saying: “We are part of this progress. We are very proud to be at the forefront of the exhibition of the rule of law”.
Earlier, the leader of Abia APC, Chief Ikechi Emenike, who arrived the venue of the state congress to a loud ovation, urged party faithful to remain steadfast and “stay on the side of truth” adding that, “soon Abia will be free”.