-Delegates stranded in Abuja over alleged diversion of fund
Members of the All Progressive Congress in Imo State, and their supporters especially those who had their eyes on national offices have expressed dissatisfaction over the way Imo state, despite having a governor who claims to be in the main stream of the party lost out at the convention as regards the sharing of positions, while the Minister of Transport, a former governor of Rivers State and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state had upper hand as their candidates clinched juicy positions.
They also expressed dismay that Enugu state which has a PDP governor clinched the position of Deputy National Chairman in the person of Emma Eneukwu.
It was gathered that sequel to the intrigues, manipulations, obvious and subtle maneuvers that played out at the APC National Convention which held in Abuja last Saturday, the duo succeeded in having their candidate Abdullahi Adamu, emerge as the National Chairman of APC, while the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and his Osun state counterpart, Gboyega Oyetola also ensured that their candidate, Otunba Iyiola Omisore, a former Governor of Osun state emerged as the Natioanl secretary of APC.
A top member of the party who pleaded anonymity told this reporter that, “it is unfortunate that the only position Imo state got is that of National Vice Chairman(South East) occupied by Dr Ijeomah Arobiogu who was said to be the preferred candidate of the Minster of state for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba. Even at that, Gov Uzodinma had to align with Gov Umahi of Ebonyi state for Imo state to produce the occupant of the position of Deputy National Chairman”.
This development is said to have demoralized and kept some of the supporters of the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma stranded, especially those of them who like Dr Batos Nwadike looked forward to emerging as national officers of the party.
It was gathered that Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Special Adviser (Political) Batos Nwadike who contested the position of National Secretary and others had reposed much confidence. Gov Uzodinma who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as one of the organizers and arrow heads of the APC national convention to ensure their emergence, yet they failed woefully.”
A source who does not want his name in print also told this reporter that, “ what enraged President Buhari was the plot by some governors to truncate the APC convention by obtaining a court order which barred the party from holding a national convention. “The order which was said to have been secretly secured since last year and kept a secret until some governors who were privy to it unveiled the plot which was hatched and aimed at taking the party unawares”
“Nineteen APC governors came together and exposed the plot designed by the perpetrators to destabilize the party. This angered the President”.
Continuing, the source said, “Prior to this, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of APC Gov Mai Mala Buni had written INEC not to recognize any other person as Chairman of the party pending the expiration of his tenure. Hence President Buhari sued for peace and asked all concerned to allow Buni whose tenure had almost ended to allow him complete it.”
However, a drama was said to have played out after the convention as most of the dissatisfied and disappointed politicians who brought their supporters to Abuja for the convention abandoned them at Immaculate Hotel, Abuja. “The agitated stranded and embattled supporters on Sunday barricaded the entrance of the hotel. The embarrassing situation prompted Gov Uzodinma to release the sum of N400,000 to each local government to offerset the hotel bills of those abandoned to allow peace reign and save the party from embarrassment.”
Originally, each delegates was to take home #100,000 but the money was slashed by 50% which many view as high of wickedness on the side of the party leadership in Imo.
When contacted, the APC spokesperson of Dr Macdonald Ebere led Imo APC, Hon Cajetan Duke said,”No Delegate out of three man delegate from LGAs in Imo should be stranded considering their status in the society”.He added that those who never believed that APC would come out stronger after Convention are the people peddling falsehood with aim of blwckmailing the party.
On plight of youths mobilised as observers to Abuja, Duke insisted that for the days he was in Abuja till date, no youth complained of being stranded, saying that every youth that went to Abuja came back peacefully.