By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Notable leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu at the weekend boycotted a meeting convened by leaders of the Integrity Group camp of the party presently mobilising support for the presidential bid of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The group led by the party’s Deputy Chairman, Adolphus Ude, is said to be working round the clock to ensure that they take control of party structures in the state.
They were however disappointed at the poor turn out at the meeting despite using the name of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Among those who did not attend the meeting are the National Vice Chairman, South-east, Emma Eneukwu, Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, immediate past Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime and Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu.
Following the absence of these party bigwigs, the minister instead of taking a final stand with the Integrity Group on the simulated intra-party crisis in the zone, opted for consultations, and due process as enunciated by the constitution of the party.
Speaking on the development, James Okugo Nwanjoku, the Zonal Organising Secretary of APC Enugu West senatorial zone, described the minister’s stand to plead for peace, consultation with key stakeholders and due process as enunciated by the constitution as a big setback to Integrity Group.
“The minister’s stand to plead for peace, consultation with key stakeholders and due process as enunciated by the constitution of our great party, is a big setback to Integrity Group. Ude had hoped to railroad Onyeama into his bid to hijack the APC structure.
“He wanted by all means to hijack the APC via Enugu West senatorial zone, so as to demonstrate to Atiku that Enugu APC is in his hand, but it has collapsed. Because his bid to impose zonal vice-chairman on the zone was buried in the last meeting, Mr. Ike Omenkeukwu remains the authentic vice chairman Enugu West senatorial zone.” Nwanjoku said.
The leader of the Integrity Group, Udeh was late last year eased out as the chairman of the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), following his attempt to hijack the pressure group by allegedly infusing BSO/Integrity Group in invitation text messages to meetings of BSO. Ude’s conduct raised eyebrows from members of the original BSO like Mr Osita Okechukwu, Chief Onyemuche Nnamani, and Chief Anike Nwoga who queried him, pointing out that BSO is not ambiguous and that President Muhammadu Buhari is the only rallying point. Udeh armed with huge war chest moved on with Integrity Group recruiting prominent people like Mrs. Julie Ibekaku, Special Adviser to President on Justice Reform in the Attorney General’s Office and former deputy governorship candidate of the party in Enugu State.
Asked what the next move is, Nwanjoku said for them in the BSO and the party in general, they would rely on the due process and the rule of law as enshrined in the constitution of their great party as the Integrity Group has resorted to all manner of brigandage and brinkmanship.
“My understanding is that the Integrity Group is becoming more desperate, otherwise how on earth can a rational group petition the Inspector General of Police, charging the party chairman of Udi local government area, Jude Anyadibe of plotting to kill a party man, without exhausting the peace channels open in the party.”
According to him, as part of the policy thrust of the 6th assembly, the House continuously engage with the executive, judiciary, civil societies, labour unions, religious bodies, students, traditional rulers, the press, socio-cultural bodies and major stakeholders as partners in making laws that will impact on the different strata of our society.
This, he said has been done through a consistent and robust legislative interactions with different bodies to avoid a disconnect between the Assembly and the aspirations and contributions of the citizens in the process of law-making, oversight functions and representation resulting on the quality of laws enact..
Tagged “the People Assembly”, the Speaker said the House maintained a robust working relationship with ministries, departments and agencies of government as well as the state Assembly bureaucracy and the assembly service commission for the attainment of organizational goals.
Speaking on constituency projects, he said the state lawmakers have in several ways empowered their constituents through various projects ranging from educational scholarships, infrastructural and electrical interventions, small and medium scale entrepreneurial assistance, skills acquisition and training programmes, recommendation for employment and training etc.
To enable it effectively and efficiently perform its oversight functions, the Speaker stated that the Assembly has two special committees and 24 standing committees for various areas.
He thanked the Governor of the state, Mr Udom Emmanuel for his unalloyed support to the leadership and entire membership of the House saying the strengths, our oneness as a House, and focus, were established through the supports of the governor.
The Speaker equally lauded members of the executive and judiciary arm of government for partnering with them especially in the area of effective oversight as well as various constituents for standing by them.