By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia
The leadership crisis rocking the Abia state chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) deepens as the party, at different congresses, produced two factional chairmen, who are laying claims to the structure of the party.
While Dr. Alex Otti led faction has Hon. Nkem Okoro as its chairman, the Uchenna Okogbuo’s group returned immediate past chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, as its substantive chairman.
Hon. Okoro, a two-term Arochukwu local government area chairman, was in a conference attended by 17 LGA chapter chairmen of the party in the state, unveiled as the state chairman, while Ebere Uzoukwa was unveiled as the Publicity Secretary of the party.
Okoro affirmed the unalloyed loyalty of the new executive to the Dr. Alex Otti, the governorship candidate of the party in the 2019 general elections, who they recognised as the leader of the party in the state.
Okoro accused Rev. Ehiemere and others of allegedly allowing themselves to be bought over by Abia state government, yielding themselves to be used as tools to destabilise the party and vowed that his new administration will work closely with Dr. Otti to reclaim his mandate in court.
However, the Okogbuo led faction re-elected Reverend Ehiemere as its chairman alongside 27 other members to constitute the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party.
The emergence of Ehiemere, Orient Weekend gathered, was as a result of the harmonisation of the two factions, which almost put members and supporters of the party in the state into confusion during the last election.
State Congress Committee chairman, Engineer Uchenna Okogbuo, said the party decided to harmonise the two factions to make for a united front.
Okogbuo, the national deputy chairman of APGA, South, supervised the Congress with two other members of the committee set up by the National Working Committee of the party.
Swearing in the new state executives, Okogbuo tasked the new executive council to ensure that they carry everybody along. He said the national chairman, Victor Oye, was committed to moving the party forward.
In his acceptance speech, Ehiemere thanked members for reposing confidence in him and the other members. Ehiemere also promised to set up a reconciliation committee that will go round the 17 councils of the state and reconcile all aggrieved members of the party.
Some top members of the party, who were contacted over the emergence of the two chairmen, said that they would soon make their decisions known. This is as there were fears that some of the party members were already making plans on how to capitalise on the crisis bedeviling the party in the state to join other political parties.
By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia