Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia State, has successfully concluded its three-man delegate congress amid tension and tight security.
The exercise which began on Tuesday was almost stalled by alleged attempts by one of the governorship aspirants (name withheld) to hijack the process.
But the attempt was stoutly resisted by party faithful who later besieged the party secretariat in Umuahia on Wednesday, insisting that due process must be followed.
The party members including all the Ward and Local Government Area Chairmen who had successfully held the delegates election on Tuesday in their respective wards and LGAs, later stormed Hotel Damgrate Umuahia where the three-man panel led by the Commissioner of Petroleum, Anambra State, Mr. Tony Ezeanya, was lodged.
It took the Intervention of the party Leader in the state, Hon. Obinna Ichita, to calm the aggrieved party faithful who vowed never to allow any manipulation.
They said they would not allow impunity and malpractice common among other parties to creep into APGA “that the state is looking up to for deliverance.”
After appeals by Ichita, and the state Chairman of the party, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, the party supporters later moved over to APGA state secretariat where the contentious issues were later resolved.
The ward and LGA Chairmen who were returning officers in their respective wards and LGAs presented the result of the exercise to the Ezeanya-led panel sent to conduct the congress.
The presentation and endorsement were witnessed by security agencies including the police, and the Department of State Services DSS.
The exercise dragged late into the early hours of Thursday morning amid tight security as party faithful and officials kept vigil till its end.
APGA Chairman in the state, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, described the exercise as very successful.
“It was successful. The committee signed all the results as returned by the Ward Chairmen. Attempt to hijack the process was also stopped. We are happy it ended in praise. Everybody is happy except the aspirant that wanted to hijack the exercise, but he was resisted.”
Ikengaonline reports that the exercise began on Tuesday but could not be concluded due to alleged attempts by some elements to hijack the process.
A fake returning officer allegedly engaged by one of the governorship aspirants ( name withheld), was Tuesday, arrested in Bende Local Government Area with fake unfilled result sheets, unauthorized APGA stamp and stamp pad.
The suspect handed over to the police was later detained at the Central Police Station Umuahia, according to party sources.