By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Ahead ofÂ tomorrowâ€™sÂ National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), notable party leaders, including the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, and former Governor of Enugu State,Â Dr. Chimaraoke Nnamani, have thrown their weight behind the candidacy of former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, for national chairmanship position.
They also endorsed former Secretary to Enugu State Government, Chief Onyemuche Nnamani, for the National Vice Chairmanship position, Southeast.
Other prominent party leaders who have also expressed support for the duo are the Senior SpecialÂ Assistant to the President on Judicial Reform, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku, and the Woman Leader of the APC in Enugu State, Mrs. Queen Nwankwo.
Also,Â a former Military Governor of Imo State, CommodoreÂ James Aneke (rtd), and Maj. General Chris Eze (rtd), current Nigeria Ambassador to India, and Maj Gen.Â SundayÂ Ugwu (rtd) have all declared support for the duo.
Checks revealed that former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, and former Governor of old Anambra State,Â Senator Jim Nwobodo, may be having soft spot for both Oshiomhole and the former SSG, but for his (Nnamaniâ€™s) membership of the partyâ€™s National Convention Committee and Nwobodoâ€™s decision to play an elder-statesman role.
The leaders who spoke in Enugu described Oshiomhole and Onyemuche as a great pair that would lead the party to victory in the coming elections in view of their wealth of experience and grassroots support they enjoy.
â€œWhile Oshiomhole, a tested and trusted administrator, will effectively take charge at the centre, Onyemuche, a well-known grassroots politician, will mobilise support for the APC candidates beginning from President Muhammadu Buhari down the line especially in the South-east zone.
â€œWe are unanimous in insisting that the NWC members from the South-east zone should be dropped for poor performance in view of the very poor election result of less than four per cent they garnered for the president at the last presidential election. The need for a change is imperative if we are to get better results.
â€œ2019 is a different ball game and we need the best hands to mobilise the entire Southeast and get the zone back to the mainstream,â€ one of the leaders said when contacted on phone.
On the former Senate President, Nnamani, and Nwobodo, indications that they had shifted their support to the former SSG manifested during the inauguration of a factional state exco of the party last week as their nominee to the executive, Chima Ude, was abruptly dropped as state Organising Secretary.
The factional Chairman, Ben Nwoye, told the audience that â€œwe had agreed that Emma Eneukwu will return as National Vice Chairman but as it stands,Â the former Senate President has shifted his support to Onyemuche.â€
A group of stakeholders and kinsmen of the partyâ€™s outgoing National Vice Chairman, Southeast, Mr. Emma Eneukwu, had also last week endorsed the former Secretary to Enugu State Government, Onyemuche, to replace their kinsman.
The APC stakeholders unitedlyÂ under the platform of Enugu West Peoples Assembly (EWPA) also backed Oshiomhole for the partyâ€™s national chairmanship position.
Â The leader of the group, Ogbuefi Okey Obasi-Orji, said the zone was disenchanted with Eneukwuâ€™s performance in the last four years, hence their decision to seek a replacement.