Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The in-house fighting between members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State witnessed a mild drama on Sunday as some aspirants and party chieftains left the venue of stakeholders’ meeting while the state chairman of the party, Hilary Ekeh, was still making his speech.
Those who stormed out of the meeting include the party’s National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and the Senator representing Imo North Senatorial zones, Benjamin Uwajumogu.
A reliable source told Daily Sun that the three APC chieftains were angered by alleged loyalty of the State Executive Council (SEC) of the party to Governor Rochas Okorocha, who was incidentally absent at the meeting.
Although the state chairman declined comments on the incident, it was gathered that he felt slighted by the action of the three party stalwarts, who left immediately they made their brief speeches.
One of the SEC members, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the refusal to be manipulated by members of SEC did not go down well with some party chieftains, who are nursing governorship and other ambitions.
According to the source, “we know some people are disappointed because they did not force their will on members of the SEC; but gone are the days when somebody will stay in Abuja and decide the outcome of the party’s primaries. No one can buy our conscience, we have decided to do the right thing in our party.”
Efforts to reach Izunaso proved abortive, but a source close to him said he didn’t walk out on the meeting, but had genuine reason to leave. “The national organising secretary had a flight to catch to be in Ekiti State for a national assignment,” the source said.
The deputy governor and a leader of the party, Eze Madumere, however, calmed down other members of the party who waited patiently till the end of the meeting.
The meeting, however, ended at about 8:00 p.m. after the fund raising witnessed by Dr. Ekeh, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Acho Ihim, his deputy, Nnanna Ozuruigbo and Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Uche Nwosu, among other SEC members.
What transpired at the tensed meeting could better be described as a show of strength by the aspirants whose supporters sang and danced throughout the duration of the meeting.