– Say 27 LGA Chairmen, Uwajumogu
– No congress held in Imo – Okorocha
The ward congress of the All Progressives Congress, held in all the electoral wards in the state, on Saturday, 5th May 2018 has been said to be transparent and successful.
The Imo State Stakeholders and stalwarts of the party, including Senator Ben Uwajumogu who is Secretary of the National Convention Committee and spoke onbehalf of the other stakeholders , disclosed this while addressing journalists at Full Moon Hotel, New Owerri, on Sunday 6th May 2018.
They affirmed that the congress was successful in-spite of the fact that the Governor and his agents hijacked the process by holding the Chairman of the congress committee, Mr. Inni Okorie originally posted to the state, hostage. “However, the congress still held and winners emerged”.
similarly,the twenty seven local government Chairmen, the State Organizing Secretary and ward Chairmen, in a separate interview in the evening of same day, also affirmed the earlier position of the stakeholders that the congress was successfully held in the state.
According to a source, the LGA Chairmen, who were said to have been on the Governor’s side, were part of the meeting when it dawned on them that members of the G16 said to be loyal to the APC coalition and who were earlier isolated and ostracized by the Governor and his camp were having upper hand and that all the ward Chairmen in their respective LGAs, were taking and complying with directives from the congress committee and the state Chairman of the party.
Speaking to journalists during a joint press briefing with the 27 LGA Chairmen, the state Chairman said the congress recorded an impressive turnout and the exercise, a huge success. The state Organizing Secretary Emelumba whose office it is to organize the congress also said that the exercise was free and fair in view of reports from LGA Chairmen.
One of the LGA chairmen who spoke to us on condition of anonymity alleged that while the meeting was ongoing, “the party’s Njaba LGA Chairman, sneaked into the rest room, on the pretence of going to ease himself, called and alerted a top government official who in turn mobilized thugs that invaded the venue and ambushed the unsuspecting participants at the meeting on their way out of the venue, attacked and physically assaulted them”.
Meanwhile, Governor Rochas Okorocha, in a separate press release signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, lamented how the congress committee frustrated and denied him access to the congress materials, including the result sheets. He called on the state commissioner of police to quickly arraign all those arrested in connection with the congress, in court without delay.
It was gathered that the Governor’s problems were compounded when some of the LGA Chairmen who previously he assured of working for their return to their offices, learnt that the list the he already prepared contained names of only three of them. Besides, while stakeholders were bent on retaining the state exco, the Governor was said to be scheming to unilaterally install Dr. Iheanyi Nwachukwu,a former Commissioner as the state Chairman of the party against the wish of the majority.