With barely six months to the 2023 general elections, political stakeholders in Enugu on Tuesday appealed to the National Working Committee and leadership of the All Progressives Congress to remove the state party chairman, Ugochukwu Agballah, and his executives from office.
The team led by former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; immediate past governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, and Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, declared that the move was the only means to rescue the ailing Enugu APC.
Addressing journalists after a marathon meeting with the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, at the APC Secretariat in Abuja, the delegation accused Agballah of ‘appropriating the state party as a personal possession.’
A chieftain of Enugu APC, Chief Nweke Gbazuagu, added that the agitation for his removal became imminent after the party chairman following his suspension at the state level.
“Agballah came in through a manipulated process amid protest. But somehow he was given a certificate of return. As we speak, he has been suspended by his ward chairman.
“Very importantly, it should be noted that he has been lawfully removed by his Udi/Agbudu ward of Udi LGA of Enugu State on the 19th day of August 2022 by an overwhelming majority of party members in his ward. A copy of the resolution is hereby attached,” he said.
In a petition addressed to the APC National Chairman and dated August 30, 2022, the delegation begged the NWC to rescue Enugu APC from its downward spiral, implosion and imminent collapse.
The statement partly read, “The Party is imploding and on the brink of imminent collapse. It is in no position as things stand, to be competitive in the General Elections. The leaders now believe that a radical solution is called for to save the State Party from total collapse and disgrace in the State.
“A major crack however emerged during the State Congress, when Mr Ugochukwu Agballah was surreptitiously manoeuvred into the party to become its State Chairman to the bewilderment and vehement opposition of a majority of the Party members who knew his antecedents as a person and in Enugu State politics.
“Agballah was given the benefit of the doubt by a few leaders of the Party and issued a Certificate of Return. It was felt by those few leaders that the Party needed to change direction at all cost and have a vibrant leader who could finally unite the Party in the State. Unfortunately, the new Chairman did not waste time in proving those majority leaders who opposed his emergence correct in their warning.
“This petition is written with a view of notifying the National Chairman and National Working Committee of APC of the state of affairs of our great party in Enugu State. As elders of the party in the state, we strongly believe that it is our duty to bring these anomalies to your attention for urgent remedial action. A stitch in time saves nine!
“We urge the NWC to immediately save the party in Enugu State from total collapse by removing Mr Ugochukwu Agballa from office and in his place put a Caretaker Chairman who should be someone not within the present State Executive Committee. The party still stands a chance of remedying the situation and being competitive in the General Elections.”
Reacting to the call for his removal, the embattled Enugu chairman disclosed that the crisis rocking the state party was deeper than the picture painted by the delegation.
Agballah decried that it is no longer a secret in Enugu that many of the elder statesmen that made up the delegation are known to foment trouble in every election year.