A faction of the All Progressives Congress in Abia State has expressed concern over the emergence of a former chairman of the state party, Donatus Nwankpa, as the National Welfare Secretary.
The faction, which identified as Abia APC Caucus and Stakeholders, said in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday that Nwankpa was not the choice of party supporters in the state.
The agitation is coming barely 24 hours after the Abia APC also kicked against what it described as ‘illegal imposition by the NWC,’ saying the party’s constitution must be respected
Nwankpa, who was abducted in January 2019 by gunmen while preparing for former President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential rally, has been a subject of controversy in Abia following the inauguration of six new zonal officers into the APC NWC.
He was among the six new national officers unveiled by National Secretary of the ruling party, Senator Ajibola Basiru.
Among those inaugurated on Friday were the new National Deputy Chairman for North, Ali Dalori and Dr Mary Alile Idele from Edo State, who was elected for the office of National Women Leader, previously held by Dr Betta Edu.
Other elected officers included Garba Datti Muhammad, who replaced Mallam Salihu Lukman from the same Kaduna State as National Vice Chairman for North West; National Legal Adviser, Prof. AbdulKarim Abubakar Kana from Nasarawa State and Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Duro Meseko from Kogi State.
In Friday’s statement signed by Senator Chris Adighije, the Abia stakeholders stated that their position was a reflection of the mood of the state supporters.
The statement partly read, “The above position of the caucus-stakeholders was communicated to the National Chairman in his office through two separate delegations led by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senator Chris Adighije respectively and the National Secretary by a delegation led by Senator Nkechi Nwaogu.
“Considering that Abia APC does not have a governor and that the Deputy Speaker who is the leader of the party in the state and the stakeholders were not carried along by the NWC in reaching their decision, we hereby call on our National Chairman and the NWC to revisit their earlier decision.
“May we also call the attention of the President, the leader of our great party to this passionate appeal that will help Abia APC heal from the wounds inflicted on us by similar act of external interference in the activities of our State chapter in times past and allow us to unite and reposition Abia APC for greater prospects under the God-given leadership of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In a swift reaction, another faction of the Abia APC loyal to former Minister, Uche Ogah, has thrown its weight behind Nwankpa’s election as the ruling party’s national welfare secretary.
This was disclosed in another statement signed by the faction’s Publicity Secretary, Offor Okorie on Friday.
Okorie denied the reports in the media that the state party had rejected the election of Nwankpa.
According to him, the rejection of the former APC chair was being propelled by certain elements allegedly causing disaffection in Abia state party.
He said, “Donatus being elected as the National Welfare secretary of the party indicates that there is a strong hope of the party coming together again as one indivisible entity, and ready to win elections and not as the one which one individual decides what happens in the State party.
“Abia APC cannot continue to remain in darkness. The people fighting against the election of Hon Donatus Nwankpa as the National Welfare secretary of the party are the same people that don’t have the capacity to win elections in the state.
“Their duty is to always try to quench the light that will bring brightness to the party which we will never allow to happen again. The nomination and election of Donatus Nwankpa was constitutionally carried out and is accepted by all real party men and women in the State.”