Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has accused the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun of plotting to derail the party.
Okorocha who said he played a key role in the formation of the APC spoke against the backdrop of the party’s ward congress in the state, two weeks ago, where materials meant for the exercise were allegedly ‘stolen’ by some party officials.
Okorocha, who doubles as chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, said his opposition to the tenure elongation of the current NWC was responsible for his purported persecution by the Oyegun-led leadership.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, the governor maintained with the names already mentioned by those arrested, he has been vindicated.
“We commend the police for a good job. We also know that others who took part in the stealing of the Congresses materials will be unmasked as time goes on.
“APC members in the state are in high spirits. They want to see those who let them down and caused undue tension in the state and also created bad media reports for the state, to pay dearly for their wickedness and insensitivity,” he said.
The governor commended the Nigeria Police Force over the arrest of four suspects who allegedly stole sensitive materials meant for the ward and local government elections of the APC in Imo State.
Okorocha said the arrests vindicated his earlier claim of stolen materials.
But Senator Hope Uzodimma (Imo West) has disowned the result sheets of the APC in the state purportedly recovered by the police from four suspects in Abuja last Saturday.
The said documents, according to the police, were meant for the May 5 Ward Congresses.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday by the Director General of the Hope Uzodimma Campaign Organisation (HUCO), Christopher Osuala, the Senator also disowned Innocent Ikpamezie who claimed to be the Senator’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Electoral Matters.
Osuala maintained that “there is no provision for the Senator to appoint an SSA on Electoral Matters and he never did. All staff are employed and seconded to Senators by the National Assembly Service Commission.”
The DG noted that the desperation of Governor Okorocha to discredit the ward congresses obviously manifested in this apparent concoction.
“It is clear that Governor Okorocha continues to oppose Senator Hope Uzodimma’s entry into the All Progressives Congress (APC) and had vowed openly on public media to stop the Senator’s participation in APC’s activities, otherwise how can one justify the facts that it was Governor Okorocha and his aides who reportedly arrested the so-called Senator’s aide with the others in a hotel and hurriedly took them to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) where they were immediately transferred to the Force
Headquarters Abuja and a press conference and hurriedly organised without reaching the senator to find out whether the alleged SSA on Electoral Maters was his staff?”
He noted that since Governor Okorocha started shouting about missing documents, no organ of the APC at the national or Imo State had reported that their electoral documents were missing.
Osuala appealed to Chief Odigie-Oyegun to call Governor Okorocha to order as his continued intransigence and orchestrations were capable of destroying the credibility and unity of purpose of the party in the state.
Meanwhile, in the South-South, specifically in Bayelsa State, former governor Timipre Sylva and the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri have appealed to party members to shun political disagreements that could threaten the party’s unity.
Sylva and Lokpobiri made the appeal during a stakeholders meeting to reconcile party disagreements, on the eve of the local government congress.
Chairman of the APC ward and local government congresses in Bayelsa, Dr Adebanjo Dawodu said the exercise in other local government areas was also peaceful.
In Enugu, the Congress Committee described as baseless, claims of a parallel congress in the state.
The committee or the electoral materials were reportedly not seen during the ward congress, which prompted Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama and his faction to conduct a parallel congress.
Failure of the Appeal Panel, led by Charles Babagbale to resolve the grievances and complaints of the aggrieved members, which upheld the result of the congresses, as submitted by Emma Eneukwu and Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, triggered another parallel congress during the local government congress.
In a related development, Chairman of a six-member panel in Enugu, Dr Ikechukwu Odigbo, disclosed that his committee conducted a peaceful congress across the 17 local government areas of the state.
Odigbo dismissed the parallel congress held by Onyeama, stressing that his committee adhered strictly to the guidelines as laid down by the NWC.