A lawmaker and chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia, Mr Ossy Prestige has warned against entrusting the soul of the party into the hands of political merchants.
Prestige gave the warning Thursday in Enugu while speaking on the current leadership crisis in the Abia state chapter of the party.
The party had been torn by factions following a rancourous state congress that produced parallel leaderships.
One faction is led by Mr Augustine Ehiemere while another faction loyal to the party’s candidate in the 2019 governorship election in the state, Chief Alex Otti is led by Mr Nkem Okoro.
The lawmaker, who represents Aba North/South federal constituency in the House of Representatives, advised the national leadership of the party to be circumspect in handling the situation.
He said that the issues were very sensitive and its resolution could determine the future of the party in the state.
Prestige said that the two factions contending for the soul of the party involved those who wanted to use the party platform for personal gains and those that wanted to contested and win elections under the party.
“I want the party leaders to understand the difference between those who are in the party for what they will get. These are people that use the party to bargain how much that enters their pockets.
“There is also another group that want to protect the welfare of the party. Such members want to use the platform to contest and win elections.
“These are the two sets of factions in the party and I belong to the second group. I believe in the faction that really want to contest and win elections.
“I have no business with those who want to trade in the name of the party,” he said.
Prestige said that he believed in the ideology of the party and would do all within his powers to ensure that APGA remained intact.
On whether he had the intention of defecting to another party due to the crisis, the lawmaker said:
“I will not say yes or no. I believe in the ideology of the party,” he said.
He said that the ideology of the party placed premium on the welfare of the people and a symbol of unity among the Igbo speaking people of Nigeria, adding, “that is why I am stuck-up in the party.
“I do not intend leaving the party but if there is any reason for me to leave, I will consult my constituents before making the decision,” Prestige said. (NAN)