2019: Buhari’ll win in Abia only if… – Abia APC chair

Dr Emmanuel Aguzie Udukwe is the factional chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia state, and served as the campaign coordinator for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2014.
In this interview with TOPE SUNDAY and ABDULRAHMAN ZAKARIYAU, Ndukwe speaks on the crisis in the party in the state and calls for the intervention of the national leadership of the party.
As core Buharist Well, because I strongly believe in Buhari’s administration, unlike ther people who only come when the going is good and take their leave in a trying moment.
I have been working for Buhari for a very long period.
We believe and follow Buhari’s principle.
In Abia state, the leader of APC is High Chief Tom Ikechi Emenike.
APC situation in Abia The situation is nothing to write home about, because even prior to President Muhammad Buhari’s emergence as the candidate of the party, many people in Abia state did not believe in him.
Most people didn’t take us serious during the campaign.
We were the lone Buhari voice in the state and even our lives were threatened.
They called us all sort of names, including those who are illegally parading themselves as the leaders of the party in the South-east and Abia in particular.
In Abia today, everybody is jumping into the APC, most of them with ulterior motive and some want to just hijack the leadership of the party to make money.
In 2014, many of them were with Dr Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso and Alhaji Abububakar Atiku.
They never believed in President Buhari.
But now, they are trooping in because they believe they have reach in Abuja, without even identifying with the genuine APC leadership.
This is the reason we are resisting them.
Why crisis in Abia APC We found out that the way our party is being run in Abia is not good, that the Chairman, Honourable Donatus Nwankpa, is just a stooge working for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the interest of the APC.
We are aware that many of them are on the pay roll of the PDP.
They don’t want the All Progressives Congress (APC) to move forward.
They first created a faction, but after discussion; we agreed in the interest of the party that our Chairman that was elected in Congress in the year 2014 and inaugurated by the then interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande should step down, so after Chief Bisi Akande left his successor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, gave them support to set up a parallel structure, which we resisted and despite our resistance they divided the party.
Action taken so far They refused to be part of the executives which were elected in April,2014.
When the new Chairman came, he gave them support and asked us all to harmonise the list.
Orji Kalu not Abia APC leader You read in the papers that Chief Orji Uzor Kalu is the leader of the party in Abia state and South-east, but when did he join the party? You cannot build a house and watch somebody just jump in.
As far we are concerned, he is a leader being a former governor of the state, but he should not just come in and scatter the position of the party.
We respect him.
Though, he was not the one that brought about the crisis, he is giving support to the other faction.
So, they are claiming that he is their leader.
The leader of APC in Abia state is High Chief, Ikechi Emenike, who was the one that ensured that we all worked for Buhari’s emergence in the last APC Presidential primary election.
His is a core Buhari man, so let all these people tell you what were their contributions in 2015.
I have asked this question in the past, supposing President Buhari and the APC lost in 2015, will they be here? No, they wouldn’t be here.
Our demand What we want our party national leadership to do is to understand that there is a existing court order saying that Dr Emmanuel Udukwe, which is my humble self is the only recognised chairman of the party and that Donatus Nwankpa and his so called executive should stop parading themselves as the party leaders in Abia state.
The order was given by a High court in Abia state.
We have written several petitions on this matter, we copied the President and all the national leaders of our party, I don’t know why they just pretend.
My emergence I was the secretary of the state chapter of the APC.
So, when the party became factionalised, the party was not doing well and we were worried.
And we decided to harmonise, and we accepted that our Chairman should step down and allow them to produce the Chairman.
So, Donatus did not emerge as the Chairman, he was a product of harmonisation.
The national leadership of our party gave us the power to harmonise, which we did but we realised that Donatus as the Chairman was working alone.
He will come to Abuja and collect anything meant for the state chapter, not even with executive.
Donatus always sidelined our group from whatever programme that is coming from Abuja.
We tried all we could but he never submitted himself to the executive.
Finally, the entire executive called for a general meeting and they passed a vote of no confidence on Danatus Nwankpa and his Executive, including myself.
The executive was dissolved and a vote of confidence was passed in me, to lead the party.
We went to court, we presented our case and we got a court order.
They were ordered to stop parading themselves as executives of the APC in Abia state.
The order was reaffirmed around 23rd of June; they went to court to vacate the order.
In the past they described the court as a kangaroo Court, they were not obeying.
But finally they came on 23rd to vacate the court order, but they were scolded.
We have gone back to court, we have served the former National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun’s letter of contempt of court, but he proceeded to swear in Donatus.
Also, we have written to inform the new National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole about the existing court order.
Oshiomhole was a product of Court order and when he came, he went to Delta state to resolve all the issues in the state chapter of the party.
He went to IMO state because of the existing court order, and conducted another election.
So, why is our own case different? Despite this, I won’t leave APC We cannot leave the party for them, they might be dreaming of it.
They will rather leave the party for us.
They have even started to leave.
They will leave as they came.
We just want the world to know and so far that court order exists, we will continue to work by the rule of law.
And it is important for our party leadership, just like the President to obey the rule of law.
Likely effect on the party In any case, there is no crisis in the party per say, because in the party which I lead, there is no crisis.
And we are working hard, mobilising our people.
We are moving on because APC government must be installed in Abia state come 2019.
We are working and we have our strategy and structure.
We have the key to mobilisation and our group has the grassroots on our side.
But if the party continues with impunity by not obeying court order, it might affect the party’s chances.
Buhari’s second term Yes; right now, our people are beginning to realise that Buhari is our friend.
For people who are not bias, they know that Buhari is our friend.
President Buhari selected Igbo men as his running mate for two times, and selected a Yoruba man once.
When he came in most of the PDP abandoned project have been completed and some are still ongoing.
So, our people are seeing that so many rural roads are being tarred in Abia state by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), yet PDP are trying to take the glory.
But we have been going round to enlighten our people on what Buhari is doing.
EnuguOnitsha Road, rural road, Second Niger Bridge which PDP government never thought of, President Buhari has started working on all of them.
So, people now understand Buhari.
Buhari will win in Abia if the right thing is done.

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