Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The crisis bedeviling the Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, took a dangerous dimension following the purported suspension of some chieftains of the party.
APC suspended the immediate past Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uche Ogah, for allegedly working for other parties during the just -concluded general election in the state.
Other chieftains also suspended by the party include Senator Nkechi Nworgu; member representing Ikwuano Umuahia federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Chief Sam Onuigbo; and former Speaker, Stanley Ohajuruka.
The party also suspended former Deputy Governor, Chris Akomas; Chief Sam Nkire; Chief Paul Ikonne; Anyim Nyerere and Chief Nduka Anyanwu.
APC in a letter signed by its Secretary, Chief Chidi Avajah, accused the suspended chieftains of working for the Peoples Democratic Party; Labour Party and the Young Peoples Party, YPP, during the polls.
The letter alleged that Ogah donated his campaign bill boards to the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Okey Ahiwe, after losing his case against Chief Ikechi Emenike.
It further accused the former Minister of sponsoring his brother, Chief Amaobi Ogah, of the Labour Party against a serving APC member of the House of Representatives.
Ogah was also accused of donating his campaign structure to the LP governorship candidate, Dr Alex Otti.
But in an interview with our Correspondent, Ogah dismissed his purported suspension as holding no water arguing that Avajah lacks the constitutional powers to suspend him.
Ogah also accused those in Chief Emenike’s camp of colluding with the PDP to destroy Abia APC.
“Avajah needs to be called to order so that he knows that he doesn’t have the right to do certain things.
“It’s my Ward that has the powers to suspend me and my ward never suspended me. Those people in Ikechi Emenike’s camp came to work for the PDP.
“PDP used them to destroy APC. How can somebody that says his wife is the Nigeria Ambassador to the US; somebody collecting all the money and contracts; was only able to give APC, a ruling party at the centre, 8000 votes during the presidential poll?
“Nkeiru told everybody that I had no electoral value but I wanted to prove her wrong and teach her a lesson. I have shown her that she is the one without any electoral value.
“She said she can win election without me. Now, let her come and win election in Isuikwuato-Umunneochi federal constituency again. She said no man with balls can collect the seat from her, and I wanted to tell her that I have balls!
“All those people in Emenike’s camp have lost their political relevance. In 2019, we gave APC 49% but one Tony Eze compromised, and they canceled, and canceled until it came down to 26%.
“Ikpeazu then carried it to Abuja and claimed that he was the one that gave Buhari 26%. So, during the governorship election, they gave him the entire structure including INEC. Despite that, we still won that election if not that they stole our votes in six LGAs.
“So, all these people following Emenike have lost their political value in Abia State. Abia has rejected all of them.
“Who is Avajah? Let him produce his polling unit and Ward results let’s see. He is the one to be suspended because he has no political relevance in Abia politics.”
The former Minister, however, admitted supporting his brother who vied for the House of Representatives under the platform of the Labour Party; as well as the LP governorship candidate, Dr Otti.
“If I supported my brother? Yes I did! I also supported Dr Alex Otti. I’m not hiding it because I wanted to show those in Emenike’s camp that they have no political value.”
Ogah denied ever supporting PDP swearing that he would rather quit politics than support the PDP.
“How can I support PDP? Am I mad? It’s only a mad man that can support PDP in Abia!
“There is nothing that will make me support PDP, instead, I will leave politics. PDP is just a group of people that put themselves together to impoverish the people; to destroy the economy of the state; to destroy the future of the unborn generation. There is nothing that will make me support such a group of people.
“When I lost at the Supreme Court I didn’t bother again to renew my bill board. You know Uche Ogah is a brand and whenever people see Uche Ogah they think that if they put their own picture they will sell.
“I don’t even know who put the bill board because I was not the one that made the arrangement directly.
“I supported Otti because he was the only candidate I saw that had the capacity and structure to deliver Abia. So, I told my political structure, Abia Rejoice, to go ahead and support him. He is the candidate that can take care of Abia.
“Ikechi Emenike was not a candidate because he didn’t come to contest election. He cannot win his polling unit.
“In 2019, I told Abians that: “If you cannot vote for Buhari, don’t vote for me. I stood and campaigned for Buhari. Did Ikechi campaign for Bola Tinubu for one day? Did he ever mention Tinubu’s name anywhere?
“So, we are going to do our own letter to the President-Elect, and tell him how much he collected from PDP to destroy APC in Abia.”
Similarly, APC accused Onuigbo of supporting Peter Obi of the Labour Party during the presidential poll.
Onuigbo was also accused of supporting the PDP’s candidate for Ikwuano-Umuahia federal constituency, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji.
APC also suspended Senator Nworgu for allegedly working for the Young Peoples Party, YPP, during the governorship poll.
But Senator Nworgu, when contacted, dismissed her purported suspension as “a total nonsense,” and of no effect.
She accused the APC governorship candidate, Chief Ikechi Emenike, of sidelining APC stakeholders in the state.
Nworgu also accused Emenike of “pocketing all the money sent by APC for its campaigns in the state, adding that Emenike was never serious about his governorship ambition.
“He ( Emenike) did not run for any election. He just pocketed the money sent by the party and did not consult with anybody ,” Nworgu alleged.