There was tension in the Enugu State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) over allegations that materials for the ward congresses of the party might have been hijacked by some of its stakeholders.
It was learned that stakeholders of the party drawn from the 17 Local Government Areas of the state and 260 political wards who were invited for a briefing at the party secretariat on Thursday waited in vain, as no member of the committee showed up.
The tension heightened when information filtered in that the secretary of the committee, Ben Kure from Kaduna State, who was sworn in on Wednesday at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja, had been suddenly replaced.
It was learned that though members of the party in the state paid for delegate forms, none of the forms was received at the state secretariat as of Thursday evening, paving way for suspicion that the actual delegates may not participate in the exercise.
A chieftain of the party in the state, Chief Onyeike Ugwu, speaking with newsmen in the state, said, “All the sensitive materials have been given to a member of the committee, whom we learned is taking orders from one of the leaders of the party in the southeast zone.
The worry is that the little success we have made in bringing members together might kiss the dust if the congress is not well managed. Nobody is ready to accept the kind of thing they did in Anambra state during the governorship primary.
The committee members must come to Enugu and conduct this congress in line with the stipulated guidelines.”
On his part, the Enugu State Ward Congress Committee Chairman, Dr. Ijeoma Arodiogbu, said the anxiety being expressed by some members of the party was not necessary.
“They should have called the national secretariat of the party. Talking about the hijacking is part of their job. Nobody has hijacked the process and I am not working for any individual,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, on Friday during the stakeholder meeting with the seven-member committee for the ward congress election, challenged the party members in the state to use the ward Congresses to lay the political foundation for future election victories.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party in the state, Dr. Ben Nwoye commended the stakeholders for attending the event.
He said most of the wards have already agreed on consensus arrangements but added that those who are indisposed to the arrangement would have their congress.