All is now set for hitch-free ward congresses in Abia and Ebony on Saturday, the chieftains of the party have said.
In Abia, the Chairman of the seven-member State Congress Committee, Rep. Israel Goli, gave assurance that the exercise would hold in the 184 wards of the state.
He gave the assurance on Friday in Umuahia, while addressing party chieftains from the state, local government and wards.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the party faithful loyal to the leadership of Chief Ikechi Emenike converged on his country home at Umukabia Okpuala in Umuahia to receive the committee.
Goli appealed to them to go about the congresses without bitterness, rancour and violence.
He said: “As you are aware, we are about going for our ward congresses on Saturday.
“This committee has been saddled with the responsibility to conduct the exercise for all of you from the 184 wards of the state.
“The party is set for the congresses and we are here with all the materials needed to conduct the exercise.
“It is our duty to ensure that the exercise is hitch-free, fair and transparent to every member of the party.
“All the people that have bought the forms to contest for various positions should be allowed to contest and winners must emerge on Saturday.
According to him, the results of the congresses would be announced immediately after collation and counting of votes.
“We want to have a stronger party in Abia so that by the next election, Abia must be APC and we must get it right.”The lawmaker said the committee had notified security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abia about its mission in the state.
Other members of the committee included the Chief Whip of Kogi House of Assmbly, Mr Muktar Bajeh (Secretary), and Mr Omubo Agala, representing Brass Constituency 2 in the Bayelsa House of Assembly, amongst others.
Also addressing the party chieftains, the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Rep. Nkeiru Onyejeocha, said the congresses marked the beginning of the party’s journey to take over the Government House in 2023.
Onyejeocha, representing Isuikwuato/
Umunneochi Federal Constituency, therefore urged the party members to vote for people of integrity, who would be ready to take on the ruling-Peoples Democratic Party at the appropriate time.
She warned that writing of list of ward executives would not be entertained, saying they successful ones must emerge from the exercise.
Also in Ebonyi, the party warned against conducting the congresses inside residential buildings and places of worship.
The Chairman of the National Ward Congress Committee to the state, Mr Ideato Okoli, issued the warning, while addressing the various party leaderships in Abakiliki.
Okoli said that all the congresses shall be held at APC ward offices across the 171 wards of the state.
“The congresses shall be held at alternate venues certified convenient by the congress committee in cases of wards without offices.
“The national ward congress committee shall appoint three persons from any part of the state, other than the wards they belong, to serve as local ward congress committees.
“They would be responsible for screening aspirants among other responsibilities and shall be under the supervision of the national ward congress committee,” he said.
Okoli further admonished the spirants to be of good conduct, threatening that the committee would deal with anyone who engaged in malpractice or violence.
“The concerned aspirants shall be subjected to fair hearing and be suspended or expelled from the party, if found guilty,” he said.
He also said that members of the outgoing caretaker committees, whose tenure had not elapsed, could still contest in the congress but must vie for the same positions held in the caretaker committee.
In a remark, Gov. David Umahi urged the party faithful not to be agitated over issues concerning Okoli’s eligibility to conduct the exercise.
He said: “The constitution of the party stipulates the formation of caretaker committees to oversee the affairs of the party, where there are vacancies.
“The argument is that the national caretaker committee chairman has dual executive positions but I make it clear that he is only operating on caretaker basis.”
The governor, who warned against the conduct of parallel congresses in the state, directed security agencies to arrest anyone found enagaging in such act.
Stanley Okoro-Emegha, the Caretaker Committee Chairman in the state, said that modalities had been in place for hitch-free exercise in the state. (NAN)