Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 10 May 2018 | 1,289 times
The All Progressives Congress (APC) 2015 governorship candidate and chieftain of the party in Ebonyi State, Senator Julius Ucha, has accused the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party of introducing illegality in the electoral process of the last Ward Congress allegedly conducted in the state.
Addressing newsmen in Abakaliki, Senator Ucha described the exercise as a civilian coup orchestrated by the NWC to diminish the fortunes of the party in the South-East. He wondered why NWC members whose tenure would expire in June were allowed to conduct
or constitute the Ward Congress Committee for APC states in the country.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the current anomalies and illegality plaguing the party in the state as the present NWC members had captured the party as their personal enterprise by disenfranchising supporters of APC in the state.
“This is unfair now. I am using this opportunity to call on President Buhari to intervene to save the party from this onslaught by the NWC members who have captured the party as a personal enterprise, to give our teeming supporters in the party hope that democracy is still an
institution that we will have confidence in.
“Our great party, the APC slated our party ward congress all over the country. This is what we had expected over the years and we it came eventually, last Saturday in Ebonyi state, we were expecting an unbiased state Congress committee. What is happening today, is like a civilian coup against the teeming supporters of APC in Nigeria and also against the leader of the party, president Muhammadu Buhari.
“I say this and am serious about it. We have an NWC to expire in June, 2018 and these members of NWC want to contest. The national convention committee was put in place, and members of NWC who are also going to contest for their various offices, when the convention date is fixed are now driving the process, to jettison the convention.
“That is why I call it a civilian coup against the state. These party officials at the national secretariat are now judges in their own courts. They are the people who have put in place the structures that are called congress committees. That will elect delegates that will elect them. It is in contravention of the electoral act, party constitution and constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It’s only in animal kingdom that a situation like that can arise, not in a civil society,not in a human society, not when there is a government. In trying to bring the state leadership whose tenure has expired to comply with the illegality put in place, what they have done was to direct congress committees to reach out to the state EXCOs whose tenures have expired, so they go to a state whose chairman ‘s tenure has expired and handover congress material to him.
“That’s an illegality and these people whose tenures have expired also have intention to contest and you give him material, provide structures that will go to the ward and perform the work of ward congress committee. I feel that what is happening is unethical, inhuman and its intended to create chaos, in the system and that’s what’s happening.
“This action of NWC members has endangered the democratic process through the leadership of the party that had evolved and that’s why there is uproar all over the place. There is violence all over the place. Indeed their action has thrown the party into anarchy where there is lawlessness, because people are not given the freedom to choose who will be their party leaders. So when people because of their selfish interest decide to hijack a system, yes, instead of leaving the system because they are not wanted; decide to destroy the system.
“So what the NWC members are doing is to destroy the APC institution all over the country. In Ebonyi state, we were told that the Congress committee arrived. We didn’t see anybody. We were told again that they were operating from Enugu State. I told the chairman of the congressional committee that there are two secretariats, of APC in Ebonyi State.
“And that if you are given directives, to go to a particular place and you went to a particular office, he should have asked questions, there are two functional offices of APC. What they should have done was to ask the stakeholders to get a hotel accommodation for them so that
they will be neutral. That was what Mrs Adesola Ndu did in 2014. When you do that, you have not offended anybody.
“People will be happy and ask leaders of the two groups to send two or three names so you will use it to build your ward congress committees. Apart from that, it will be difficult for you to do the proper thing. The chairman of the committee told me that he was in the CP’s office that he will get back to me, up till now, he has not gotten to me. And as we speak the committee has not conducted any congress in Ebonyi State.
“The committee has not put the structure in place to conduct the ward congresses. That’s why on our own, seeing that the committee was not here to conduct congresses, but to call some people to say look I allocate four wards to you, I allocate three wards for you, I said look, this is to disenfranchise the teeming supporters of APC and create an impression that these supporters are idiot who have no right to vote. So what we did was that we have the people nominate three persons as congress committee.
“We used them to conduct congresses all over the wards in the state. INEC visited them and saw our men conducting congresses. They monitored it. We are going to present our results to the national leadership of our party because what they were asked to do was to conduct formal congresses, not to stay in a place and begin to call people to say come, you will take two wards, you will take three wards. If people take such wards, where are the voters? This will further diminish the fortunes of the party in the south-east. We must carry the people along.
“I said that if you want to have a structure that will win election in every state, what do you do? Every ward has 27-man EXCO. If you have 27-man EXCO in a ward and you have a ward that has 9 booths, on the day of election, you will be having three agents from them. You will not have problem looking for agents on the day of the election. We are talking about electoral process.
“Our democracy will not continue to be fledging. Our democracy should grow but for selfish interest, people have not allowed our democracy to grow. Some of us who are democratic are clamouring let the system be allowed to function effectively. I am not against any member of the NWC but whatever they are doing should be done through a legal process.
“You will not be in a system and compel people to vote for you, be the one to elect the delegates that will elect you. This is unfair now. I am using this opportunity to call on President Buhari to intervene to save the party from this onslaught by the NWC members who have captured the party as a personal enterprise, to give our teeming supporters in the party hope that democracy is still an institution that we will have confidence in.”
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