The All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed the chairman of the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Victor Ndoma-Egba, as its new national convention committee secretary.
The former secretary, Benjamin Uwajumogu, resigned on Saturday.
According to the publicity secretary of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi, who confirmed this in a telephone conversation, Mr Uwajumogu resigned for personal reasons as the change of date no longer tallies with his programme.
He dismissed claims that the former secretary was forced to resign in respect of the demands of his state governor, Rochas Okorocha.
“Yes. He said personal reasons, that they changed the date for the convention. It affected some of the other plans he had. There is a replacement already, senator Victor Ndoma-Egba.”
While addressing a news conference on Saturday, Mr Uwajumogu officially announced his resignation as the Secretary of the National Convention Committee, to attend to some family matters.
Mr Uwajimogu, who is a party chieftain in Imo State, has been having issues with Mr Okorocha over the recently conducted congresses. He said the governor had been in Abuja doing everything possible to get him implicated.
He said when he accepted the appointment, he had believed that the convention would hold on May 14, saying the new date of June 23 would clash with his long term ambition to attend the graduation of two of his children from universities in England.
“I want to announce to you that yesterday, I tendered my resignation as the Secretary of the APC Convention Planning Committee and the resignation was accepted last night by the national chairman of the party.
“The reason why I resigned, primarily is that when I was appointed, the date for the national convention, as we were informed, was to be on May 14. Eventually that date was moved to June 2 and there were hopes that the Convention would hold between June 2 and 9. However, the date has now been moved to June 23 and it will conflict with my family activities and responsibilities.
“For example, two of my children are graduating from the university in England within this month and I have a responsibility to be there,” he said, adding that he had some other jobs too.
“So, I decided that since I won’t have the time for this convention, I should resign so that the position can be given to somebody who has the time. It is a decision that I took by myself. In my letter thank the national chairman and the Convention committee for all the support I received while I was here.”
Speaking about Mr Okorocha, Mr Uwajumogu said: “For me, my relationship with him is nor a personal thing. It is something that all of us in Imo State are opposed to the way government in Imo State is being run.
“Our opposition to that it’s something that is based on principle; based on the fact that 95 per cent of Imo citizens and indeed South-easterners are not happy with what is happening in Imo State. South-east citizens are ashamed, that the only state we, APC, have in the region is being run the way it is in the past three years and for me, I did not have a choice than to detach myself from that government.< "I am aware that the governor is supporting some South-east citizens to run for offices zoned to the region and so now that I have resigned, nobody will accuse me of manipulating the process.” He revealed the committee had received N13 million so far. “Now that I have resigned, I can only hope that my governor, Rochas Okorocha, will spend more time in Imo State attending to the various issues that he has created for himself because in the last two weeks, he has been here in Abuja running around for the convention and trying to put only people that are favourable to his policies. "Okorocha has always threatened to leave the party if the congresses were not reversed. I hear he has threatened to leave if my position was not taken…This started more than two weeks ago and it is just a coincidence because I had made up my mind to leave. I am just hoping that now that I have left, he will return to Owerri. He has 27 hospitals he said he has built which have been overtaken by weeds. Imo State is a massive basket of fraud and I am very sure that the EFCC have their records. "It is very clear today, that this is no longer an Imo issue but a South-east issue. It is very clear now that the entire South-east has lost confidence in the leadership of Rochas Anayo Okorocha and all we are saying is that Nigerians should take note that we no longer have him as our leader. “My appointment was by the NWC and nobody has asked me to leave this position. The NWC met yesterday and there was no where in their meeting where I was asked to resign. It is a decision I made by myself. However, in any decision you take, there must be political consequences.” On nominations received, he said "We have a total of about 20 members for each committee and the committees are 12. That makes it 240 members. In that regard, the NWC sent about 108 people to the committee. We got nominations from different groups. "The Buhari Support Organization, the Buhari Campaign Organization, the wife of the president and various interest groups in the APC including diaspora organizations and of course, there is no way I will be a member and the Secretary of the national convention and I will not have nominees in the Convention. I brought about 18 members of my own which was granted to me and approved by the national convention chairman. Some of my nominees are Yorubas, Northerners and Igbos. "Aside the nominees to the subcommittees, I have a secretariat to run and I have my own staff who have been working with me from when I was a Speaker and who of course are people that I trust for this sensitive position. “My supporters are always here all the time and the impression created is that all the people you find here are working for the Secretary. People come here so that their businesses could be patronized by the convention committee and I have forwarded such proposals to the various subcommittees”. He also said six nominees of the NWC whose names were missing from the committee’s list have been reabsorbed even though the presidency denied reports that it tampered with the membership of the committee.
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