Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The move by Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to cancel the ward and local government congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in the state has failed, as the party’s Appeal Committee has ratified the exercise.
This was even as Imo Assembly lawmakers, led by the Speaker, Acho Ihim, and some National Assembly members staged a protest at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, yesterday.
Okorocha had met President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, to protest alleged malfeasance during the ward congresses in his state and demanded their cancellation.
In its report, the APC Congresses Appeal Panel said based on a report submitted by Imo State Congress Committee, signed by its Chairman, Senator Abubakar Tutare, ward and local government congresses were held in Imo State.
The appeal committee further said those who wrote petition against the congress were unqualified.
The report said: “The congress committee presented video evidence to support its position that congress actually held in the state.”
Meanwhile, the National Assembly legislators from Imo State have dismissed the insinuation that the allied forces, consisting mainly the chieftains of the party, have defeated Governor Okorocha in the recently conducted ward and local government congresses.
Speaking after the close-door meeting with the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the delegation of 24 legislators, led by the Speaker, Imo House of Assembly, Acho Ihim, claimed the governor is still the leader of the ruling party in the state.
They insisted that there is nothing wrong in the governor endorsing his son in-law, Uche Nwosu, and dismissed what many believed was the genesis of the problem.
“We are here to reconfirm that there was no congress in all the general and certain wards in Imo State. We are here to reaffirm and demand that an announcement be made for a new date for the ward and local government congresses and we can now talk about the state congresses.
“As for our discussion with the national chairman, we want it treated as an in-house affair; but, we have affirmed our stand that we are still with our governor.
“He is the face of APC in the South East. Of course, the young man has done so well.”