29/07/2021

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APC Congress: No room for imposition in Enugu – Onyeama, Chime

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As the All Progressives Congress, APC, begins its elective congresses, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, assured on Sunday that no one will be imposed on the party members at any level in Enugu State.

DAILY POST reported that the party had rolled out a time table for the conduct of congresses, with the ward election coming first, after which the local government and the State elections would follow.

At a meeting he convened on Sunday for members of the party in Enugu West Senatorial Zone, Onyeama said the decision of the people would be respected.

The minister, who lamented that crisis had crippled the party for years, said this was the time to get it right.

“It is important we have unity of purpose, we have our individual ambitions, it is expected, but it should not be totally about individuals.

“I don’t believe in imposing opinions, views, or preferences. We have to try, to have a transparent, open system.

“You are all very important personalities, and stakeholders, so, this is an opportunity to hear from you, let it be consensual, divided we will all fall.

“APC has been looked upon as a joke in the State in the last 5-6 years. APC in Enugu State has faced so much crisis but this is not time to apportion blames, we have to move forward,” Onyeama said.

While pleading for a peaceful process, he noted that, “we can disagree but we should not make ourselves disagreeable. On the issue of zoning and the rest, I hope we can find some form of consensus going forward.”

Speaking on a similar note, a former Governor of Enugu State, Barr. Sullivan Chime said if the party failed to get it right this time, the effect would be disastrous.

“The ward elections will take place this month and as a party, if we fail this time around, everyone should go and find something else. If we must achieve anything in 2023, the time is now.

“We must change, we can’t win elections like this, that’s the problem of PDP, it happened to them in 2014, when many governors left, it is happening to them again.

“So, there is no doubt about what will happen in presidential election, APC will win that easily, what we are talking about is State.

“What can we do to move this party forward? As a former Governor, our experience that moved our party forward, there were many demi-gods in PDP, but all that changed when we came, we gave everyone opportunity to participate, imposition disappeared, we allowed the people to choose and come and tell us, those who knew nobody became somebody, people had opportunity to contest without godfathers.

“That’s the type of politics we played, without bitterness, but the type of politics in APC is strange to me, so much acrimony,” he said.

Chime advised that to move the party forward, “we should get brand new faces as members of the party executive at all levels in the State, all those who have held one position or the other should give way.

“I don’t think we can move forward with any of the factional leaders, we want the camps to disappear, we don’t want camps, factions again.

“We should not impose things on people, a lot of people will identity with us. If we are presenting someone as chairman of the party in the State, we must get someone with credibility and clout, character, ready to absorb insult, let’s leave personal interest, let’s eschew personal gains.”

The former Governor, who backed zoning of political positions, urged the party members to “look at it objectively, not to favour anybody, it appears there’s understanding in the State. Let the thing be going round, bitterness will just die, if it is the turn of a particular zone, the others should be patient.

“It is very easy for APC to win elections in Enugu State, anyone saying Enugu will remain PDP State doesn’t know politics, there is nowhere APC cannot take.”

DAILY POST, however, reports that some other stakeholders at the meeting are not disposed to zoning of any position.