The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu State took a turn for the worse on Wednesday as major stakeholders of the party boycotted the party’s presidential campaign rally in the State.
The Presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was in Enugu where he addressed a rally at the Michael Okpara Square.
However, leaders of the party in the State, including foreign affairs minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, former Enugu Governor, Barr. Sullivan Chime, former Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eugene Odoh, former Secretary to the Enugu State Government, Chief Onyemuche Nnamani, among others stayed away from the event.
Also absent were the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the immediate past chairman of the Party in the State, Barr. Ben Nwoye and a presidential aide, Barr. Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku.
The leaders earlier in the day received Tinubu at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
However, while the Presidential candidate headed to the Michael Okpara Square venue of the rally, the party leaders diverted to Chime’s Enugu residence, where they addressed journalists.
They said their absence at the rally was to send a clear signal to the national leadership of the APC that something urgently must be done over the crisis in the Enugu State chapter of the party.
Blames were heaped on Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State for allegedly hijacking the APC structure in Enugu State, thereby disorganising the party.
The various speakers, including Chime, Nnamani and Odoh said they were not privy to all the preparations and programme for the rally.
They, however, described Tinubu as a good candidate, assuring that they would work for his victory in the presidential election.
According to Chime, “we received our Presidential candidate at the Airport. We believe in him, he is the best.
“However, we are not at Okpara Square because of the internal issues we have in Enugu within the party. It has been there and this is because sometime in October, 2021, a non-member was foisted on us after the botched State Party Congress as a so-called chairman.
“The party leaders went to Abuja, complained but nobody took them seriously, the issues continued. So, we have to distance ourselves from the local chapter of the party.
“After today, we expect that the party will do the right thing.”
On the party’s candidate, Chime said, “we will ensure that he gets more than the required 25 percent. Enugu must be counted.
“Today’s event is just a rally, the major thing is election and we are working hard to see to the victory of the party.”
Similarly, Senator Nnamani declared that, “Tinubu is the candidate of the party and all loyal party members will support and work for his victory.”
He, however, disclosed that “we are not aware of the preparations for this rally. That is why we did not want to go and create a scene there.
“The rally was pretty much organized from outside Enugu.”
Meanwhile, at the rally attended by a large crowd, Tinubu assured that he would make Igboland an industrial hub.
He came hard on the successive governments over their failure to construct the 2nd Niger Bridge, which he said would be commissioned soon having been completed by the APC administration.
The APC candidate called on Ndigbo to collect their Permanent Voter’s Card, PVC, saying “it is their power.”
Also at the rally were Governors Dave Umahi and Hope Uzodinma of Ebonyi and Imo States, respectively.