The All Progressives Congress South-East stakeholders have endorsed the retention of national officers representing the zone at the party’s National Working Committee.
Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State and chieftain of the APC, stated this after a meeting of the stakeholders on Thursday in Abuja.
Kalu said: “We had a very successful fruitful meeting and have decided to endorse by affirmation from all the states, the return, through democratic means, of the three members occupying national offices.
“They are the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso; the National Vice Chairman, Emma Enukwu; and the National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu.
“We have equally secured the support of the National Convention Committee Chairman who is also the Governor of Jigawa State.
“We have told him that they are our candidates and we did it through democratic arrangements.”
Kalu, however, noted that few people might be unsatisfied with the decision, but added that about 93 per cent APC stakeholders from the zone agreed to it.
The former Abia State Governor added that those that might be aggrieved by the decision would be reconciled.
He equally spoke on the crises rocking the party in the South-East, saying there must be a misunderstanding in every setting, but assured that they would be resolved.
Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, while speaking at the occasion, said though the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, could not make it to the meeting, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly attended.
“We are all working together to continue to lift the country as one and to ensure massive improvement in the region and the country at large,” Onu said.
Okorocha, who was represented by Raphael Igbokwe, however, said the positions zoned to the South-East would be contested.
Okorocha alleged that all the 24 members of Imo State House of Assembly were shut out of the meeting.
He added that the chairman of the APC national convention had been urged to allow a level playing ground for the contest of the position of National Organising Secretary, which has been zoned to Imo State.
According to him, Emma Ibejiro has been penciled down to contest the position of the National Organising Secretary at the convention slated for June 23.
The meeting, which was tagged: “South-East Executive Committee Meeting: Towards 2018 National Convention,” had in attendance Izunaso; Kalu; and former Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime.
Also in attendance were former Governor of Ebonyi State, Martins Elechi; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Senator Hope Uzodinma; Ben Uwajimogu; and Andy Uba.
Others were Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Senator Jim Nwobodo; Senator Uche Ekwnuife; Senator Nkechi Nwogu, and Moghalu.
The meeting was also attended by the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu; and Enukwu among others.
Enukwu, who chaired the meeting, stated that attendance was based on the party’s Constitution.
According to him, those qualified to attend the meeting are sitting and former governors, past and serving Senators, former House of Representatives and National Executive Committee members, zonal executive committee members, APC State Chairmen and State Assembly Speakers.
He said that the Ministers were not part of the Executive Committee meeting of the zone but were admitted as a mark of respect.
Enukwu stated the essence of the meeting was for the zone to speak in one voice at National Convention of the party.
He told Executive Committee members that the remarks that Igbo people don’t agree on issues was not a good one
According to him, for the Igbos to assume the position of the presidency in the country they must speak with one voice.
Enukwu also said the issue of the South-East presidency in 2023 should be of concern to everybody, adding that Igbo presidency would ensure development of the country.