The Police Command in Enugu State on Tuesday sealed the Enugu office of the All Progressives Congress following ongoing leadership tussle between the two factions of the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited the office reports that a police squad led by the Commissioner, Mohammed Danmallam, cordoned the office and prevented movement in and out of the party house on Nike Avenue, GRA, Enugu.
NAN reports that the factional group led by Okey Ogbodo was holding a meeting in the office when another faction led by Dr Ben Nwoye attempted to scuttle the meeting.
The quick intervention of the police stationed at the venue saved the situation from degenerating into a violent clash.
The Ogbodo-led group later moved to a transport office company on Abakaliki Road and continued its meeting amidst tight security.
Speaking with NAN on the crisis, Ogbodo claimed that he was the recognised chairman of APC in Enugu State by the National Working Committee led by Adams Oshiomole after the failed congress in the state.
According to him, the faction led by Ben Nwoye had been declared illegal by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole and the court.
He said: “Ben Nwoye’s faction is illegal and you need be told this based on our National Chairman’s declaration and the court’s restraining order to Ben to stop parading himself as Chairman.
“My assumption of the State Chairman of the party is a product of the state congress held in 19th May.
“In as much as another congress has not held afterwards to select another chairman, no one has the right to claim chairmanship position of APC in the state.
“The decision of the congress is what is recognised by enforcement agencies and upheld by the law.”
Ogbodo, however, said those thinking the rift in the party currently would reduce the chances of the party in the state during the forthcoming election were wrong.
He said: “We are suing for peace and as soon as we reconcile with the other faction, we will become one and will come out stronger and better.
“Politics is all about conflict and conflict resolution. What is happening in the state is not new. It happens everywhere.”
The chairman disclosed that the party would adopt a direct system of primaries in the state.
He added that the essence of the gathering of party loyalists was to distribute materials that would set the conduct of the primaries in motion.
He said: “I have told party chairmen and their secretaries at the ward level to update the register of members.
“Primaries will begin immediately after we receive the guidelines from Abuja today or tomorrow.”
Ogbodo also disclosed that five aspirants had already shown interest to run for governorship position under the platform of APC.
He said: “In addition, three candidates have shown interest to clinch the Senatorial ticket from Enugu North, four candidates for Enugu West and three for Enugu East.”
He said a lot of candidates had bought forms for House of Representatives and National Assembly under his leadership adding that he would have to check the records to get the actual figures.
He enjoined members to embrace activities that would help the party win election and shun all forms of disunity perpetuated by individuals or groups.
Efforts to reach Dr Nwoye failed as his phones were switched off.
Meanwhile, NAN gathered that an APC chieftain, Chief Jim Nwobodo, has summoned an emergency meeting of all stakeholders apparently to look into the crisis.