Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
It has emerged that the reconciliation committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has plunged into stormy water in Abia State following allegations that the committee was trying to use the back door to give upper hand to the faction that lost at the congress.
The Abia chapter of the ruling party had been involved in power tussle between the faction led by Hon. Donatus Nwankpa with the backing of Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and the group loyal to the Secretary of APC Contact and Strategy Committee, Chief Ikechi Emenike.
It was expected that the outcome of the APC congress would have put paid to the power struggle as the Emenike loyalists defeated their opponents at ward, local government and state congresses thereby taking firm control of party structure.
But the congress losers are now said to be looking up to the nine-member reconciliation committee led by the former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu to give them a life line by leveraging on the long-standing relationship between him and Senator Kalu.
A chieftain of Abia APC, Mr. MacSolomon Alozie, who is the acting Chairman of the Rural Electrification Agency, expressed the alarm among the party faithful, noting that the body language and conduct of the Senator Adamu was already betraying his bias and partiality in handling the Abia APC leadership tussle.
He made this known weekend in a chat with journalists in Umuahia, pointing out that the terms of reference given to the committee during their inauguration on October 11, 2021, “to harmonise all differences and cement all cracks is now being threatened by selfish interest of one man.”
“If the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee must achieve the desired result expected of the Sen. Abdullahi Adamu’s reconciliation committee, it must demand nothing but clean hands from the chairman of the reconciliation committee,” he said.
The committee had on January 14, 2022 met with the opposing camps of Abia APC in Abuja but their leaders were absent at the meeting. While Chief Emenike sent a letter explaining his absence, which was accepted by the committee.
“Our fear is that the reconciliation committee chairman has not been conducting himself as an impartial judge given his personal relationship with Senator Kalu which dates back to when they were contemporary governors between 1999 and 2007 and presently as principal officers of the ninth Senate,” he said.
He said that the Kalu-backed Abia APC faction has serially flouted the directives of the CECPC as they not only held parallel congress but also filed court cases against the party’s national leadership for accepting the report of the congress committee set up for Abia.
Alozie, who represents South-east on the REA board, expressed alarm that the faction that lost at the congress in Abia has started celebrating the outcome of the reconciliation committee report, citing the radio announcements reportedly made on the morning of Saturday the15th of January, 2022.
“One Mr. Acho Obioma, who parades himself as chairman that emerged from purported parallel congress, claimed that the reconciliation committee has handed the party back to the Sen. Orji’s group as Emenike didn’t appear at the reconciliation meeting,” he said.
He expressed hope that the CECPC would not make the mistake of handing over the party structure in Abia “to political merchants that lately joined APC not because of love for the party and its leadership but as a place of refuge from whatever was pursuing them.”