Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has blamed the crisis rocking the party in the State on the attempts by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, to impose his alleged girlfriend’s senatorial ambition on the party leadership.
Speaking Thursday after a closed door meeting with the National chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, in Abuja, both the State’s chairman, Dr Ben Nwoye and the State Publicity Secretary, Mrs Kate Offor, said the Minister should be blamed for crisis rocking the state chapter.
Asked the reason for the crisis, the spokesman told newsmen at the party’s national Secretariat that: “I don’t think he is nursing such ambition because he cannot be nursing such positive ambition and be destabilising the structure that will give him the platform and ticket. I think his girlfriend want to be a senator so he wants to influence that through the state chairman.”
“Since we are committed to internal democracy, the chairman is committed towards conducting free and fair primaries in all elections. So, he feels like he hasn’t got follower-ship and he cannot tilt the stands of the chairman. The chairman is not the type of person you can sway with money.”
Giving his own account, the state party boss said: “We know Mr Onyeama was never one of us. And I recall that people tried to encourage us to protest when he was appointed but we resisted it. I personally resisted it because we believe in the judgment of Mr President to choose who he wanted to work with.
“When the appointments were made, true party members were not appointed from Enugu State. We didn’t protest, we supported him. I spent my money to douse the tension from those who wanted to protest against the man who was reaping where he did not sow.
“It is a political appointment, he is a technocrat and then he went into the civil service, worked as an international public civil servant and retired. In retirement, he should rest and allow other people to go in. But he never did. He got an appointment and we never begrudged him. I was there when he was screened and we know that in some States where people had protested, Mr President took note like Ibeto in Niger State who was dropped.
“But we in Enugu State took it as what God wanted. However, now as the days passed by, the man who said he became a Minister by virtue of being a technocrat, now wants to become a politician over night. We will continue to resist it and it’s been resisted because government is different from party.
“Party is supreme and you don’t mingle party issues with government functions. We are not PDP, where an appointed person takes over and run the party. We are a party that believe in the rule of law and due process. So to that degree we tried to bring him home and advise him.
“My advise to him, is to read the constitution of the party to check if there is anywhere the word “Minister” was mentioned or where a function is assigned to the Minister. We know his functions lie in the executive branch. I think he’s been misled and my hope is that he realize himself and do the job he was hired to do. He is not paid to be a party administrator, he is paid to be a Foreign Affairs Minister,” he quipped.