Some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-east have endorsed the retention of national officers representing the zone at the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
Orji Kalu, a former governor of Abia, stated this after a meeting of the stakeholders on Thursday in Abuja.
“We had a very successful fruitful meeting and have decided to endorse by affirmation from all the states, the return, through democratic means of the three members occupying national offices.
“They are the National Organising Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso, the National Vice Chairman, Emma Enukwu and the National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu.
“We have equally secured the support of the National Convention Committee chairman who is also the Governor of Jigawa state.
“We have told him that they are our candidates and we did it through democratic arrangements,” Mr Kalu said.
He, however, noted that few people might be unsatisfied with the decision, but added that about 93 per cent APC stakeholders from the zone agreed to it.
The former Abia governor added that those that might be aggrieved by the decision would be reconciled.
He equally spoke on the crises rocking the party in the South-east, saying that there must be a misunderstanding in every setting but assured that they would be resolved.
Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, while speaking at the occasion, said that though the Governor of Imo could not make it to the meeting, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly attended.
“We are all working together to continue to lift the country as one and to ensure massive improvement in the region and the country at large,” he said.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo, who was represented by Raphael Igbokwe, however, said that the positions zoned to the South-east would be contested.
Mr Okorocha alleged that all the 24 members of Imo State House of Assembly were shut out of the meeting.
He added that the chairman of the APC national convention had been urged to allow a level playing ground for the contest of the position of National Organising Secretary which has been zoned to Imo state.
According to him, Emma Ibejiro has been penciled down to contest the position of the National Organising Secretary at the convention slated for June 23.
The meeting, which was tagged: South-East Executive Committee Meeting: Towards 2018 National Convention: had in attendance Mr Izunaso, Mr Kalu, and former governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime.
Also in attendance, were former governor of Ebonyi State, Martins Elechi; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Hope Uzodinma, Ben Uwajimogu and Andy Uba.
Others were Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu; Jim Nwobodo; Uche Ekwnuife; Nkechi Nwogu, and APC National Auditor, Gerge Moghalu.
The meeting was also attended by the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, and APC National Vice Chairman South-East, Emma Enukwu among others.
Mr Enukwu who chaired the meeting stated that attendance was based on the party’s Constitution.
According to him, those qualified to attend the meeting are sitting and former governors, past and serving senators, former House of Representatives and National Executive Committee members, zonal executive committee members, APC state chairmen and State Assembly speakers.
He said that the ministers were not part of the executive committee meeting of the zone but were admitted as a mark of respect.
Mr Enukwu stated that the essence of the meeting was for the zone to speak in one voice at National convention of the party.
He told executive committee members that the remarks that Igbo people don’t agree on issues was not a good one
According to him, for the Igbos to assume the position of the presidency in the country they must speak with one voice.
Mr Enukwu also said that the issue of the South-east presidency in 2023 should be of concern to everybody, adding that Igbo Presidency would ensure development of the country.
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