By Nwafor Okafor
A faction of the All Progressives Congress( APC) loyal to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has rejected the the party’s Congress held in Anambra State on Sunday.
The congress purportedly returned Chief Basil Ejidike loyal to Senator Andy Uba as the state chairman of the party.
But speaking at a press conference in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Monday, the state secretary of the party loyal to Ngige , Chukwuma Agupugo, described the purported congress as a subterfuge.
He said those who gather and conducted the porpurted congress, did so at their own risk, stressing that the state chapter was yet conduct congresses.
He said, “I am not surprised to hear that some people conducted a purported state congress on Sunday because there has been this desperation by some individuals in the party to concoct what seems like a congress.
“There was no congress in the party on Sunday. There were reasons for that. There is a subsisting order and ruling by the Court of Appeal filed by Barr Emeka Ibe by a judgement secured by Onyekwere Uzochukwu. That order emanated from the Court of Appeal and directed that the status quo should be maintained, where the former chairman, Emeka Ibe was returned as the state chairman of the party. The order I believe was duly served on us and to the national secretariat of the party. I particularly wrote a memo to the national secretariat requesting their directive and intervention to that effect, and even uptil now, none of the reply has come back to the party in the state.
“Consequent upon that, I do not believe that the party would be blind to that judgement. Of course, you know that no matter how big or small a court order is, it is meant to be obeyed.
“We also received a court order by some people, about 18 local government chairmen, who went to court, asking the court to grant them relief on the fact that their tenure had not elapsed, and as such, no congresses should be held in Anambra. On 25th January, we got information that the people who went to court secured an order and the next day, we received the order, which was also served on the national secretariat.
” The next day, we heard that the purported ward congresses were to go on, and if anybody was to pay a blind eye and deaf ears to this, that person must be a serial court offender, and what is imminent is that if Anambra produces a list for the national convention, that convention may be null and void because people will go to court.
Agufugo added,”The judgement, rulings, orders are public documents and anyone can lay hands on them .This is to tell you that the party in Anambra does not know about the congress held on Sunday, at Marble Arch Hotel Awka.
“One should expect that Anambra will go to the national convention with Barr Emeka Ibe as national chairman not Basil Ejidike because of the subsisting court orders. The lower court of Anambra and the Court of Appeal have given almost similar order.
” I have documents that can help you, in one of the documents, we asked the National Secretariat to call the stakeholders to a meeting to talk this out at once.We want discussion and dialogue to resolve things. If we do not resolve this and we go to the national convention with delegates outside the directive of the court, anything outside it is an invitation to a nullification of the convention. People will lay hands on it.There are two subsisting orders which must be obeyed. The court remain the last hope of the common man.
He called on the party’s National Caretaker and Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, to organised a reconciliation meeting for Dr Chris Ngige, Senator Andy Uba, Chief George Moghalu, Stella Oduah, Margret Okadigbo, Joy Emodi, Bath Nwibe, the eleven 2021 governorship aspirants of the party and all other aggrieved members, to reposition the party ahead of the party’s national convention.
Recall that the Anambra State Chapter of the party, has for some time now involved in leadership crisis between the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and the governorship candidate of the party in the November 6, 2021 poll, Senator Andy Uba, over who would control the state affairs.