Abia State was agog recently, as the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state joined other states in the federation to conduct the state Congress.
After a keenly contested election that took place at the indoor sports complex of the Umuahia Township Stadium, Umuahia, Hon Acho Obioma, of the Donatus Nwankpa’s faction of the APC, was declared the winner of the election, having pulled a total of 298 votes, out of a total of 552 votes cast, defeating other contestants, Hon Chidi Nwosu, Princewill Ukaegbu, Dike Nwankwo, Slyvanus Nwaji, who pulled 92 votes, 134 votes, 4 votes and 1 vote respectively, while 23 void votes were recorded.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected state chairman of the Donatus Nwankpa’s led APC in Abia, Hon Acho Obioma, thanked the delegates for voting him as chairman, revealing that he never campaigned to be the chairman of the party for one day, but he devoted all his time in canvassing for more people to join the party, so that the party can gain strength and survive in Abia.
According to him, “Am not surprised with the support I have seen today from our party members. Am overwhelmed. My decision is to continue from where Donatus Nwankpa stopped”.
Hon Obioma thanked the outgoing APC state chairman, Donatus Nwankpa, for giving him the opportunity to contest the election, adding that if Nwankpa had shown interest for another tenure, he (Obioma) would have stepped down his interest.
He promised not to disappoint the party, as already he has been working closely with the state executive and he understands the political terrain.
“I have worked tirelessly for the party to gain relevance and also to become a party to reckon with in Abia. I have given my best in the past. This time, I will do much more. I will never be found wanting”, Obioma added.
The newly elected chairman, however, called for the support of every member, especially the other contestants, to join force with him to ensure the party takes over Abia come 2023, appreciating the members for their support.
In their separate speeches, Hon Princewill Ukaegbu and Hon Chidi Nwosu, while congratulating Hon Obioma for his emergence as the new party chairman, decried the poor organization of the congress.
Chidi Nwosu stated that the congress was poorly organised. “Not in this century that congresses are held in this kind of condition. Next congress should be properly organized and not in darkness, so that no one will have to contest the election results”.
The outgoing chairman, Hon Donatus Nwankpa, expressed joy that he is successfully handing over, stating that “It is not a misnormal for the congress to eat into the night, as any congress that concludes earlier than necessary, is fake.
“Today, I am a fulfilled man”, he said.
Reacting to the drama that played out during the congress held at the Umuahia Township Stadium, where two Local Government Areas, Ukwa East and Ukwa West, angrily left the congress, alongside two chairmanship candidates from the areas, Nwankpa, maintained that disagreement was common with politicians, adding that Ukwa East and West did not walk out of the congress but stepped down for the other candidates.
He stressed that nothing like zoning in the chairmanship election as alleged by the two LGAs, stating that he would not succumb to any form of primordial politics, stressing that the party go for the best candidate, irrespective of the zone. “This is what you will see in our choice of candidates come 2023”, Nwankpa stated.
Earlier, the National official from Abuja who conducted the congress, Aliya Ugbane, had charged the delegates to comport themselves in a peaceful manner so that Abia can record a successful congress.
In an Interview with the Chairman of the Abia Electoral Committee, Rt.Hon Uzo Azubuike, stated that there was nothing like imposition of candidates on members, as claimed by the aggrieved local government areas, stating that the process was being done freely and fairly.
A former Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly and member of the Electoral Committee, Rt. Hon Martins Azubuike and a former Lawmaker, Hon Blessing Nwagba, commended the process, stating that everyone was given a level playing ground, while a member of the Electoral Committee and a founding member of APC in Abia, Hon Amobi Ogah, said 2023 is the right time for APC to take over Abia.
According to Ogah, no indices that show that PDP will retain power in 2023, maintaining that APC would retire PDP in the state.
He further disclosed that there is no faction in Abia APC, pointing that any congress outside the one held at the Umuahia Township Stadium was fake.
Meanwhile, it was observed that another faction of the APC had earlier that Saturday, 16th of October 2021, conducted their state Congress at the Chidiebere Park, Umuagu, in Umuahia North Local Government Area, where Mazi Enyinnaya Harbour, emerged as the state chairman of the Ikechi Emenike led APC in Abia.