Crisis Rocks Enugu APC over N400m Campaign Fund
A major crisis has engulfed the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State over alleged mismanagement of over N400 million meant for the March 28 presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.
In a well-worded petition to the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie Oyegun, four state officers of the party blamed the alleged mismanagement and incompetence on the part of the state Chairman, Dr. Ben Nwoye, for the dismal performance of the opposition party at the just concluded presidential and National Assembly election in Enugu State.
The petitioners are Ude Adolphus C. (Deputy State Chairman), Chris Ezeh (State Secretary), Ikechukwu Oloto (Youth Leader) and Queen Nwankwo (Women Leader).
In a swift reaction however, Nwoye dismissed the allegation as false, mischievous and a calculated attempt by some party members with selfish interest to undermine the party in view of the rumoured directive from the party’s headquarters for three persons to be nominated from each state for possible appointment.
“They simply gathered in somebody’s office and contrived the petition so as to take away the powers of sending nominees to the national office. This latest attempt will certainly fail,” he said, while denying the allegation in its entirety.
Following the petition, the representative of Enugu State in the Board of Trustees (BOT), Gen. Joseph Okoloagu (rtd), convened a meeting of party elders on Sunday and reportedly invited the Chairman and the governorship candidate, Okey Ezea, to come and give account of their stewardship. The duo did not attend the meeting.
A source close to the meeting told THISDAY that despite the absence of Nwoye and Ezea at the meeting, it still resolved that the chairman must step aside in order to ensure an uninterrupted investigation into the raging campaign funds controversy.
The convener of the meeting, Okoloagu, confirmed on phone when contacted that the chairman and governorship candidate did not show up.
Okoloagu said a communiqué containing the resolutions of the meeting would be sent to the national secretariat for further action.
The petition by the four state officers of the party, dated April 14, 2014, was titled, “Re: Enugu’s colossal failure at the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
In their petition, the aggrieved state officers reminded the National Chairman that they came to his office on February 11, 2015, to warn of an impending disaster facing the party at the March 28 presidential and National Assembly elections as a result of gross mismanagement and incompetence on the part of the state chairman, Ben Nwoye.
They alleged that there was gross mismanagement of funds meant for the election to the extent that in many places, especially in the West and East senatorial zones, the party could not boast of polling agents and collating agents on the day of the election.
They accused Nwoye of outright disregard of the directive of National Chairman to cancel the suspension of the state Woman Leader and the Deputy State Chairman, thereby denying the party their critical roles of mobilising women for the elections, on the excuse that the suspended persons had not complied with the conditions earlier given by the National Deputy Chairman (South) for the lifting of their suspension.
The aggrieved state officers noted that since the inception of Nwoye’s regime, all the monies sent from Abuja National office and the ones donated by some party members have not been properly accounted for till date.
They alleged that as a result of the dictatorial tendencies and antagonism of Nwoye, many stakeholders of the party were sidelined and excluded from the activities of the party in Enugu State.
The petitioners therefore prayed: “Sir, in the interest and progress of the party, we call for the proper investigation of the management of the party in the state. During this period, Nwoye should step aside for free and fair investigation.