Ahead of the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on February 26 in Abuja, there is an air of apprehension over the fate of the exercise and possible cancellation following the leadership crisis of the party in Anambra State.
This is coming as the duo of Senator Chris Ngige and Senator Andy Uba have braced up for a final battle at the National Convention as the two factions of the party jostle over the list of delegates that would vote on the said date.
Two days to the conduct of the ward and local government congresses in Anambra State, an Awka High Court presided over by Hon Justice Ike Ogu, had in an order, restrained the party from conducting its Congress following an application filed by 18 local government party chairmen.
The chairmen had approached the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining the conduct of the congresses on the ground that their tenures as chairmen have not expired, adding that by the recent judgement of the Appeal Court which reaffirmed the Bar Emeka Ibe as chairman of the party, which they are also beneficiaries by being chairmen of the council areas, the party has no locus to conduct congresses.
Despite the two court rulings, the party two Saturdays ago conducted its congresses which led to the emergence of Basil Ejidike as state chairman of the party. Before now, a list of elected executive members of the party in 34 states was published by the party with Basil Ejidike as chairman for Anambra State.
According to the Publicity Secretary of the Uba faction of the party, Bar Chukwunonso Chinwuba, they are not aware of any court order against the Congress, adding that exercise has been for closed.
But giving the indication that the National Convention may be cancelled, the Secretary of the party faction loyal to Ngige, Mr Chukwuma Agupugo, told Sunday Telegraph that the National Secretariat of the party and its leadership are aware of the Appeal Court judgement and the Awka High Court Order, adding that the only person legally allowed to submit the list of Anambra delegates is the Chairman, Bar Emeka Ibe, who the courts reaffirmed as the chairman and not Basil Ejidike.
“The claim by Ejidike and co that they are not aware of the two court rulings is funny because they were duly served and the National leadership was also served the court processes .
“The only recognized chairman of Anambra APC by law is Emeka Ibe and should any other person claiming to be chairman of the party, whatever be the outcome of that activity becomes contemptuous of the courts and it portends great risk to the Convention and it’s acceptability before the eyes of the law” ; he said.
However, Senator Uba, through his Media aide, Emeka Onyia, in a release, contended that the submissions being canvassed by Agufugo do not hold water, adding that the Congress was observed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) as well as the National officers of the party.
“I congratulate the newly elected executive of our party and the National leadership of the party that came to supervise the election for a peaceful conduct of the Congress,” he said.
Currently, the two factions are gearing up for a major showdown ahead of the Convention in Abuja and it is not yet clear which of the Anambra delegates that would participate in the convention in view of the plethora of litigations at the courts.