Magnus Eze, Enugu
Former governor of Abia state and senator-elect, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has flayed some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for frustrating the efforts of committed party members in the zone during the just-concluded elections.
This was as Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, and his Labour and Employment counterpart, Senator Chris Ngige, assured that everything humanly possible would be done to ensure that the zone got a fair deal in the second tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kalu, who did not name the culprits, also called for punitive measures to be taken against the offenders, in line with party rules; after a committee may have investigated the allegations.
Addressing the opening session of the APC South East Stakeholders’ meeting in Enugu, on Saturday, he alleged that the party at the centre did not support their the zone during the elections because certain chieftains from the zone, including serving ministers, approached the national leadership of the party and the Presidency and convinced them that the governors would secure 25 per cent for Buhari.
“I don’t know how true that was but I will like as a resolution for South East APC, to look into the leaders who went to the leadership of the party and leadership of the country, to tell them that we can’t produce 25 per cent or more; that they should be able to find who these leaders are and these leaders will be punished immediately. We were not given any support. The Army; the Police and all that, were given out to other political parties and not to the ruling party and it’s annoying.
“That’s the only reason I’m here for this meeting, to make this point and must and should if the house agrees, set up a committee to know those who have sabotaged the South East. In Abia, we’re better off; we could have won everything that was there to get, but, you look at the back, the security agencies were not with us, you look in front, the umpire was not with us but, they were working for the opposite political party,” he said.
Insisting that the party would have won at least two states in the zone, if it got the required support to confront the opposition parties, Kalu added: “That frustrated my effort and frustrated other people’s effort and I’ll like this house to agree that a very strong committee would be set up and that committee would look into those people who committed this fraud because we can’t be working and we look like fools.
“There’s no scientific way that Abia would not have gone to the APC; that some other states could not have gone to APC but we worked and people went to Abuja served by our leaders and negotiated and said no, we don’t need to worry, we only need 25 per cent. Was that what we needed? No! We needed the seat, we needed to be supported; we were abandoned.”
On his part, Onu lauded the zonal leadership of the party for convening the meeting, even as he said that the APC tried its best in the elections.
He harped on the need for peace within their ranks saying “If we can come together, we can surprise Nigerians as they believe we cannot work together.
“Let us unite so that those forces outside with the intention of dividing us will not succeed. I see a very bright future for Ndigbo if we can unite.”
In his remarks, the South East National Vice Chairman, like Ngige, assured that the party in the zone must ensure that Ndigbo have a strong voice in the 9th National Assembly leadership.