By Augustine Anioke
The leadership of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Ebonyi State has debunked claims that Governor David Umahi plans to sideline party chieftains during the forthcoming state congresses.
State Publicity Secretary of the party, Simbad Ogbuatu in a statement said promised that the elections will be free and fair.
He was responding to a petition written by a group known as ‘old APC members in Ebonyi’ wherein they accused Umahi of plots to sideline party chieftains ahead of the congresses in the state.
The group had written the petition to the Chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention and Planning Committee and Executive Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
Mr Ogbuatu expressed regret that some members of the party in the state have allowed themselves to be used by enemies of the party to cause confusion ahead of the congresses.
He said; “It is regrettable that this petition came at the time that we are highly expecting the leaders and the members of our great party, APC to close ranks, unite and come out with oneness to conduct peaceful, free, fair and credible congresses at all levels.
“It has been visibly the wills of the opposition elements in the state that our party floods in uncontrollable crises during the congresses as they watch with mischievous interests, expecting the party leaders to clash in divergent and conflicting partisanship.
“It is pertinent to note that the petition is a devised, contrived and stage managed means to cause disharmony among party leaders by some disgruntled elements so as to be able to hijack the congresses, or launch parallel ones, otherwise, why is the petition coming now that we should have been on the activities marking the ward congresses if not that they were shifted to a later date?”
He noted further that: “On the allegation that Chief Umahi wanted to undermine the party leaders against the forthcoming congresses, we wish to rebute it by informing Your Excellency, that APC in Ebonyi issued out public announcement that were run on the state and federal owned radio and television houses for about one week.
“Letters of invitation were also sent to the relevant stakeholders informing them about an extraordinary stakeholders meeting of party that was later convened on 2nd of July, 2021 where elaborate discussions were held against the forthcoming congresses.
“The leaders agreed on the template and guidelines which all agreed to respect. Almost all the leaders of the party attended the meeting including the Elders of the party the petitioner mentioned,” the statement added. Ends