The All Progressives Congress in Abia State on Saturday held parallel congresses to elect party executives in the 17 local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the party had on July 31 also conducted parallel ward congresses.
NAN reports that the Local Government Congress Committee for Abia State, led by Rep. Israel Goli from Nembe/Brass Federal Constituency in Bayelsa State, only supervised the congress conducted by the faction loyal to Chief Ikechi Emenike, a chieftain of the party.
Nonetheless, the faction loyal to the state Chairman of the party, Chief Donatus Nwankpa, went ahead to conduct its own congress across the state.
Nwankpa had on Thursday inaugurated APC executive committees for the 184 wards in the state.
However, Goli told newsmen that “APC has no factions in Abia” and that his committee was not aware of Nwankpa’s list of ward executives.
He said: “I know the list of the executives elected from the ward congress held in Abia on July 31 that I submitted to the national secretariat of our party.
“Any list that was not signed by me as the Chairman of the Congress Committee and my Secretary is null and void and unacceptable to the party.”
NAN reports that both factions adopted consensus arrangement and affirmation by members to ratify the exercise, which was generally rancour-free.
A total of 442 LGA executive members emerged from each faction.
For the congress supervised by the Goni-led committee, Chief Iheanyi Ekwuribe emerged the Chairman, along with 26 other executive members for Umuahia North LGA.
Also, Chief Billy Amaechi emerged the Chairman for Obingwa LGA, while Chinedu Adindu was elected as Chairman for Ikwuano LGA.
Christopher Okoro, Ejiofor Okeudo also emerged as Chairmen for Isuikwuato and Bende LGAs respectively.
A chieftain of APC in Obingwa, Chief Friday Nwosu, described the exercise in the area as orderly and peaceful.
Nwosu said the party did not have any faction in the area and that the elected executives were the true choices of the people.
Also, a former Chairman of Umuahia North LGA, Rev. Sam Ekeledo, described consensus approach as economical and best method to ensure that political offices are shared among the component units of an area in a rancour-free manner.
In an interview with NAN, Nwankpa said the state leadership of the party was not aware of the presence of the Goli-led committee.
He said: “I did not see the committee members.
“They did not come to me nor the party secretariat.
“I only heard on good authority that they came and sneaked into the office of the Resident Electoral Commission at about 9pm on Friday and disappeared.
“It was the same clique that claimed to have come to monitor the ward congress.
“They also came for the same drama but we are not bothered.
“Our LGA congress was successful, peaceful and orderly and it was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and relevant security agencies in Abia.
Speaking in a similar vein, the Financial Secretary of the party, Chibuihe Onyemachi, who supervised the LG congress in Umuahia North, told newsmen that at least 300 delegates participated in the exercise in the area.
Onyemachi said the candidates emerged by consensus and were ratified through an affirmation by all the delegates.
He said: “By protocol, any congress committee from the national secretariat should on arrival present itself to the state chairman at the party secretariat.
“We have only one APC state chairman and secretariat in Abia and as far as I am concerned, the committee did not come to Abia.”
NAN reports that the congress produced one Samuel Akagu as Chairman for Umuahia North LGA, along with 26 other executive members.