…Ekwunife, Danbazzau, others head committee for state congress
Aggrieved members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in their hundreds on Thursday morning took protest to the national secretarial of the party, asking for the sack of the National Organizing Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso, over the recent Congresses in Imo State.
The protesters were seen carrying placards with inscription “Senator Osita must go”.
The group under the aegis of Democratic Youth Congress for Buhari 2019 ( DYC), led by a serving House of Assembly lawmaker in Nasarawa State, Hon. Kassim Muhammad Kassim, also accused Sen. Osita of indirectly working for opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to frustrate re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
In a complaint letter addressed to the APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, dated May 17, 2018, the group called for a fresh ward congress in Imo and some other states where there are issues to be settled.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Commissioner of Police in FCT, Director of DSS in FCT was also copied in the letter.
It reads: “We humbly wish to write and formally notify you of our grievances toward the recently concluded ward congress of the party in Imo State.
“Sir, the National Organising Secretary of APC, Sen. Osita Izunaso is hell bent in causing confusion in Imo State to frustrate Owelle Rochas Okorocha out of the party. We are not comfortable with the development and demand that he should be sacked immediately.
We also want to notify the National Working Committee that Senator Izunaso is playing the script of opposition to deliver South-East for his sole interest”.
It took the intervention of the stationed Police men and other security agents at the APC secretariat to prevent the protesters from gaining entrance into the secretariat.
Responding to the allegations on behalf of Sen. Izunaso, former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibejiako Ernest, dismissed all the allegations, saying the protesters should not be taken serious.
Ernest said: “I can tell you that all the allegations are false. Senator Izunaso has conducted himself decently since he became the National Organising Secretary of our party, the APC and as a good son of Imo State, he has done his best for the party”.
In a related development, the APC on Thursday inaugurated 5-member State Congress Committees to conduct Congresses in different states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday.
Three-member committees were also inaugurated to entertain appeals that may arise from the State Congresses with the party cautioning against unilateral postponement of congresses.
The State Congress Chairmen includes Pius Odubu (Adamawa); Gen. Danjuma Danbazzau (rtd) (Taraba); Prince Austin Eweka (Kano); Senator Domingo Obende (Niger); Sen. Jonathan Zwingina (Abia); Senator Olugbenga Obadara (Delta); Senator Uche Ekwunife (Lagos); Mathew Omegara (Ondo); Peter Obadan (Ogun) and Abdullahi Gwarzo (Oyo) among others.
The Appeal committees have Chris Akoma as chairman, Ebonyi State; Gbenga Elegbeleye (Rivers); Bashir Lado (Ogun); Alhaji S. Abubakar Maikudi (Bauchi); Amb. Jerry Ugog (Kano) and Barr. Kogolo Peter (Imo).
Inaugurating the committees on behalf of the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, said the congress must be conducted in strict conformity with the official APC Guidelines for State Congresses, saying that the State Congress Committees are expected to hold meetings with stakeholders in the respective states on Friday (today) before Saturday’s nationwide Congresses to elect State executive committee which include the traditional 17-member State Working Committees.
He urged the Committee members to ensure a free, fair, democratic and transparent process, warning against unilateral postponement of Sate Congresses without approval by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
He said: “Don’t deny anybody who has a payment teller a form. It is undemocratic; you don’t have the power to postpone the election. If you go to a state and you find out that it is impossible to conduct the election, inform the NWC for approval. The National Convention is close by; we want to conclude these processes as quickly as possible”.
For the Appeal Committees, Izunaso said every petition from individuals who contested elections must be entertained, adding that the Appeal Committees should gauge the security situation in their respective states in deciding where to hold Appeal sittings, pointing that the NWC has the final decision on Appeals.
“If the place is volatile for the Appeal Committee, and you cannot sit there, you can sit in Abuja”, he said.