A chieftain of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), Hon. Ejike Njeze, has said that the chairman of the party in Enugu State, Ben Nwoye, lacks the moral right to expel the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, from the party for allegedly altering the list of delegates that will participate in the party’s forthcoming national convention.
According to him, the allegations were unfounded and an unfortunate and senseless protest against Onyeama’s foiling of his attempt to hijack and compromise the local government congresses in order to hand over a list of his cronies, family members and girlfriends as delegates to the party’s forthcoming national convention.
Nwoye had alleged in a recent press briefing that the Minister breached Article 21 of the party’s constitution and so deserved expulsion as punishment for such offence.
However, in a chat with Vanguard in Abuja, Njeze explained that Nwoye lost his moral right to speak on the expulsion of a high-ranking member of the party from the state when he was indicted for fraudulent activities.
Njeze said; “the allegation that the Minister doctored the delegates’ list is unfounded. There is nothing like that. It is just an attempt to rubbish the name of the Minister and to put a stain on his impeccable record of integrity, credibility and uprightness.
“It is also an admittance of the fact that Ben Nwoye is also aware that the Minister is a man of impeccable character and he feels that he can just throw a mud on his name in a bid to run away from what the Minister has been trying to preach in the Party.
“There is nothing like tinkering of list. What we had in the local government congress was situations where this same group of people who have plunged the Party into crisis, who are APC in the morning and PDP in the evening and won’t even let the night come before they start playing the script of the PDP, this same people funded by the state government decided to divert, to their houses and hotels, the committee that was sent to conduct an all-inclusive delegates’ convention and handed over to them a list that was prepared before the actual congress.
“That was what we observed and some of the major stakeholders got to our notice that this same people have hijacked the same local government convention process. So instead of coming to the Party office to conduct an all-inclusive delegates’ congress, these people diverted the committee and handed over a list of their cronies and friends to them send to Abuja as product of the congress.
“So, when this came to the attention of the Minister who is the leader of the Party in the state, of course, we did not fold our hands, the Minister called the National Chairman and the National Secretary of the Party, the Police Commissioner in Enugu, and alerted the Inspector-general of the Police. Of course efforts were made to stop that premeditated attempt to hijack the congress.
“That step by the Minister forced the committee to come to party secretariat to conduct proper all-inclusive delegates’ convention in the state that had the two factions of the Party present as a way of mending fences.
“Ben Nwoye’s grouse and protest against Onyeama has to do with the Minister’s foiling of his attempt to hijack and compromise the local government congresses. He would have succeeded but for the refusal of two out of four of the members of the congress committee.
“The two members of the committee who blew the whistle on the alleged plans to hijack the local government congress refused gratification from the National Vice Chairman of the APC (South-East), Emmanuel Eneukwu, and other PDP moles within the Party.
“Those same two members of the Party petitioned the APC National Chairman not to honour the initial delegates’ list that did not emanate from the all-inclusive congress.
“In all of these, the Minister neither interfered with the delegates’ list nor possessed the locus standi to do so.”