APC’s Con­ven­tion Com­mit­tee to Sub­mit Re­port To­day

Party warns Oko­rocha against at­tack on lead­er­ship Ac­cuses his agents of forg­ing memo

THISDAY - - STARTERS - Onye­buchi Ezigbo

As part of the process lead­ing to the na­tional con­ven­tion of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), the screen­ing com­mit­tee headed by Katsina State Gov­er­nor, Bello Masari, will to­day sub­mit its re­port t to the party lead­er­ship.

As part of the process lead­ing to the na­tional con­ven­tion of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), the screen­ing com­mit­tee headed by Katsina State Gov­er­nor, Bello Masari, will to­day sub­mit its re­port to the party lead­er­ship.

This is com­ing as the party has threat­ened to deal de­ci­sively with the Gov­er­nor of Imo State, Rochas Oko­rocha, if he fails to stop his ‘li­belous’ at­tacks on the party lead­er­ship.

THISDAY gath­ered from sources at Katsina State Gov­er­nor’s Lodge, venue of the screen­ing ex­er­cise that though the com­mit­tee worked late last Tues­day in or­der to con­clude its as­sign­ment, both the chair­man and other mem­bers had to meet yes­ter­day to fine-tune their re­port.

Al­though the source gave no de­tails on whether all the as­pi­rants scaled through the com­mit­tee’s screen­ing or not, it con­firmed that the panel had sched­uled to meet APC’s Na­tional Chair­man, Chief John Odigie Oye­gun, to­day to sub­mit its re­port.

Masari had ear­lier on Mon­day told jour­nal­ists that a to­tal of 179 as­pi­rants will be screened by the panel.

Mean­while, the party has threat­ened to deal de­ci­sively with the Gov­er­nor of Imo State, Rochas Oko­rocha, if he fails to stop his ‘li­belous’ at­tacks on the party lead­er­ship.

The party also faulted an advertorial re­cently placed by the gov­er­nor im­ply­ing that the party was duly served with court or­der to stop the congress in Imo State, de­scrib­ing it as false and mis­lead­ing.

In state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day by its Na­tional Public­ity Sec­re­tary, Mal­lam Bo­laji Ab­du­lahi, the party ac­cused Oko­rocha of con­tin­u­ously mak­ing li­belous at­tacks on the party and its lead­ers.

It said there was an at­tempt to de­ceive mem­bers of the pub­lic on the true state of things re­gard­ing the congress in Imo State by forg­ing a memo pur­port­edly signed by the party’s Na­tional Le­gal Ad­viser, Mr. Muiz Banire, adding that the party had launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter.

The party stated: “We there­fore, once again, urge Oko­rocha to tread the path of cau­tion and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, and to work with the duly elected party ex­ec­u­tives in the state for the good of the party. We shall how­ever not tol­er­ate his con­stant as­sault on the party ei­ther di­rectly or through prox­ies.’’

Oko­rocha had ob­jected to the man­ner in which APC con­gresses in his state were car­ried. In protest, he met with Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari and later Vice Pres­i­dent Yemi Osi­banjo, de­mand­ing the can­ce­la­tion of the en­tire ex­er­cise.

Trou­ble in the state chap­ter of APC started when stake­hold­ers of the party in state dis­agreed with the gov­er­nor over his de­sire to award the gov­er­nor­ship ticket for the 2019 elec­tion to his son in-law. As a re­sult, those op­posed to the gov­er­nor’s agenda teamed up and formed a group known as the ‘Imo Restora­tion Move­ment’.

Dur­ing the congress in the state and the en­su­ing strug­gle for supremacy be­tween the two sides, the gov­er­nor was said to have been out­smarted by the group loyal to Se­na­tor Ifeanyi Ara­raume and Na­tional Or­gan­is­ing Sec­re­tary, Osita Izu­naso.

One of the grounds of the gov­er­nor in his protest was that the ma­te­ri­als for the congress were hi­jacked by an op­pos­ing group who al­legedly con­nived with the congress com­mit­tee to or­gan­ise elec­tions that ex­cluded his own sup­port­ers.

Oko­rocha ac­cused the Na­tional Work­ing Com­mit­tee (NWC) of the APC led by Chief John Odigie Oye­gun of in­sti­gat­ing cri­sis in Imo State to get back at him over his op­po­si­tion to ten­ure elon­ga­tion for the NWC.

How­ever, the party had dis­missed his al­le­ga­tion, blam­ing his loss at congress to loss of con­fi­dence in him by party stake­hold­ers.

In a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day, the party said in re­cent weeks, Oko­rocha had been mak­ing li­belous at­tacks on the party and its lead­ers.

The state­ment read: “Hardly a day passes by with­out Oko­rocha ver­bally as­sault­ing our Na­tional Chair­man, Chief John Odigie-Oye­gun, and other party lead­ers over the re­cently con­cluded con­gresses in Imo State.

“In an advertorial pub­lished in the Daily Trust News­pa­per of June 11, 2018, and ti­tled in part: ‘Let The Truth Speak For It­self’, which was signed by a known as­so­ciate of Oko­rocha, Hon. Ireagwu Obioma, who styles him­self as ‘act­ing Sec­re­tary, Imo APC’, a num­ber of false claims were made against the party.”

Ac­cord­ing to APC, the im­port of the al­le­ga­tions was that the party was aware of a court or­der pre­vent­ing it from con­duct­ing the Imo State congress fol­low­ing re­ceipt of a copy of the so-called court in­junc­tion which di­rected it to main­tain sta­tus quo.

Stat­ing that noth­ing can be fur­ther from the truth, the party said: “Even the pub­lished doc­u­ments in the advertorial do not sup­port this po­si­tion, and in fact, gave a lie to the gov­er­nor’s ver­sion of events that the party was duly served and pre­vented from go­ing ahead with the congress in Imo State.’’

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