Abia state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress on Saturday elected Emmanuel Ndukwe, Chidi Avajah and Mike Ozoemena as its Chairman, Secretary and Publicity Secretary respectively.
Secretary of the congress committee for the state, Hajiya Rabbi Gambari disclosed this in Umuahia, the state capital, according to a statement signed by the newly elected spokesperson of the party in the state, Mike Ozoemena.
The statement also noted that 24 other members of the executive were elected in the keenly, free and fair contest.
“We are here for the rule of law, we will obey the rule of law, our party believes in the rule of law, we were sent by the national leadership of our party to conduct the state congresses.
“As we entered Umuahia we asked questions and we were told that the right venue is in this place.
“As you can see some of our members are not here and we don’t know where they are but as the Secretary of this committee, the state congresses must go on and I enjoin all of you to continue to maintain the peace I have seen here today,” the statement quoted the committee’s scribe to have said.
Meanwhile, two parallel congresses were said to have held in the state, leading to the emergence of two factional state executive committees.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two congresses, which held at different venues, under heavy security, were peaceful.
While the Donatus Nwamkpa-led faction held its congress at the Umuahia Township Stadium, the faction loyal to Ikechi Emenike, held its own in a private building on Ossah Road, Umuahia.
While Nwamkpa and Perfect Okorie were returned as Chairman and Secretary, respectively, along with the former executive members, the Emenike-led group elected Emmanuel Ndukwe as the Chairman.
While the congress at the stadium was conducted by a four-member State Congress Committee led by Jonathan Zwingana, the one at Ossah Road was conducted by Rabiu Sulu-Gambari and Garba Sani.
In separate speeches, Ms Sulu-Gambari and Sani said that the national leadership of the party sent them to Abia to conduct the exercise.
They described the congress that produced Ndukwe as the authentic and legally recognised one.
They said that the committee was committed to upholding the rule of law.
NAN reports that all the contestants at the Ossah congress were returned unopposed.
Notable chieftains of the party who attended the exercise at the stadium included a former deputy governor of Abia, Chris Akomas; Nkechi Nwogu and former governorship candidate of the party, Nyerere Anyim.
On the other hand, the congress at Ossah Road was attended by Emenike and Paul Ikonne, two notable chieftains of the party.
In an interview at the end of the congress at Ossah Road, Ndukwe said his leadership would make APC strong and capable of winning the 2019 governorship poll in the state.
“Therefore, I’m inviting everybody who wants a change in Abia to come and join APC right now so that we can salvage Abia.”
He promised a level playing field for all the aspirants, saying “There will be equal opportunity for everybody.”
The party held similar parallel congresses at the ward and local government levels following a protracted leadership tussle between Emenike and Nwamkpa factions.
The parties are currently in court over their disagreement.
…additional reports from NAN