Politics

2019 presidency: Atiku’s camp suffers setback in Enugu APC

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar

Ahead of the 2019 presidential elections, a plan by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar’s men to take control of the structure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State has suffered a setback.

Mr. Adolphus Ude, the State Deputy Chairman of APC and leader of an organization supportive of Atiku, known as “Integrity Group” had summoned a stakeholders meeting using the name of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, hoping to use the opportunity to reassure Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that the APC structure in Enugu State is in his hands, but most party leaders shunned the meeting.

Top party leaders who were not invited to the meeting include the National Vice Chairman, South-East, Emma Eneukwu, Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, immediate past Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime and Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu.

Following the absence of these party bigwigs, the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Geoffrey Onyeama, instead of taking a final stand with the Integrity Group on the simulated intra-party crisis in the zone, opted for consultations, and due process as enunciated by the constitution of the party.

Speaking on the development, James Okugo Nwanjoku, Zonal Organising Secretary of APC Enugu West Senatorial Zone, described the Minister’s stand to plead for peace, consultation with key stakeholders and due process as enunciated by the constitution as a big setback to Integrity Group.

“The Minister’s stand to plead for peace, consultation with key stakeholders and due process as enunciated by the constitution of our great party, is a big setback to Integrity Group. Comrade Ude had hoped to railroad His Excellency Geoffrey Onyeama into his bid to hijack the APC Structure.

“Comrade Udeh wanted by all means to hijack the APC via Enugu West Senatorial Zone, so as to demonstrate to His Excellency Abubakar Atiku that Enugu APC is in his hand, but it has collapsed. Because his bid to impose zonal vice chairman on the zone was buried in the last meeting, Engineer Ike Omenkeukwu remains the authentic vice chairman Enugu West Senatorial Zone,” Nwanjoku said.

It could be recalled that the leader of the Integrity Group, Comrade Udeh was late last year eased out as the chairman of the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), following his reported attempt to hijack the pressure group by covertly infusing BSO/Integrity Group in invitation text messages to meetings of BSO.

Ude’s conduct raised eyebrows from members of the original BSO like Mr Osita Okechukwu, Chief Onyemuche Nnamani, and Chief Anike Nwoga who queried him, pointing out that BSO is not ambiguous and that President Muhammadu Buhari is the only rallying point.

Comrade Udeh armed with huge war chest moved on with Integrity Group recruiting prominent people like Barrister Julie Ibekaku, Special Adviser to President on Justice Reform in the Attorney General’s Office and former Deputy Governorship candidate of the party in Enugu State.

Ibekaku’s bait was that the Integrity Group would offer her Enugu West senatorial candidate of the party.

Asked what the next move is, Nwanjoku said for them in the BSO, and the party in general, they would rely on the due process and the rule of law as enshrined in the constitution of their great party as the Integrity Group has resorted to all manner of brigandage and brinkmanship.

He said, “My understanding is that the Integrity Group is becoming more desperate, otherwise how on earth can a rational Group petition the Inspector General of Police, charging the party chairman of Udi local government area, Jude Anyadibe of plotting to kill a party man, without exhausting the peace channels open in the party.”

“To me the game is over as his text message using the Minister’s name to summon a meeting, did not achieve its intended objective of dismissing the vice chairman. It’s a setback. Here is the text. ‘Am directed by the minister of foreign affairs to invite you for a meeting. Venue – LA Nueva Hotel Enugu. Date:17 June, 2017. Time:8pm. Comrade A.C. Ude’”.

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