By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—THE battle over the leadership of Abia State Chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, further deepened weekend, leading to fist-cuffs as the two factions of the party clashed while struggling to take control of the party secretariat. The incident left some party members seriously injured.
Crisis over the leadership of the party has raged for some weeks now when the Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe group got a Court Order that sacked the Hon. Donatus Nwankpa led executive committee. The matter is however still in Court.
In a move by the Ndukwe group to take possession of the party secretariat following the Court Order, pandemonium broke out when the Nwankpa group resisted them. The meeting ended abruptly when a police team led by a deputy commissioner, Mr. V.O. Brown interrupted it following complaints by the Donatus Nwankpa faction.
Following the entreaties of the deputy police commissioner who ordered his men to close the doors of the secretariat, Dr. Ndukwe and his group came out in compliance to the police order while the DCP asked Ndukwe to follow him to the command.
In the meantime, the Hon. Nwankpa faction that was holding a meeting somewhere in the town hurried to the party secretariat in a determined mood to engaged the Ndukwe group most of who had left the place because of the police order.
Party chieftains in the camp supporting Nwankpa were all at the party secretariat wearing angry faces. They included former deputy governor, Dr Chris Akomas, APC governorship candidate in 2015 poll, Chief Chinenye Nyerere Anyim, former Abia House Speaker, Hon Stanley Ohajuruka, DIG Azubuko Udah (rtd), among others.
However, the arrival of the state commissioner of police, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi further helped to save the situation as he ordered his men to release and protect the few unfortunate members of the Ndukwe camp trapped by the arrival of the Nwankpa group.
But Dr. Ndukwe lamented the turn of events at the party secretariat as according to him, the heads of all security agencies in the state were duly informed of the court order and also aware that his executive committee members were taking over control of the party office.
“The court order of 8th March sacking the former Exco was given to the state commissioner of police, the state director of DSS, the commandant of Civil Defence and other security agencies in the state were given the court order alerting them of our desire to take over the party office.
“Therefore what we are doing here is not illegal and I wonder why the state deputy commissioner of police DCP V. O. Brown is now asking to see me without delay while the meeting is going on”, Ndukwe said.
He accused Nwankpa of flagrant disobedience to rule of law by resisting the takeover of the party office in line with a subsisting court order that sacked and ordered to stop parading himself as the chairman of Abia APC.
But Nwankpa said “the office was not opened by those who are authorized to do that and when they saw us they took off. We are yet to ascertain the amount of money and other materials taken away by the hoodlums”.
Nwankpa claimed that those who claim to be party officers have nothing and no right to be in the state party secretariat, adding that the police should do all within their power to arrest those found to be involved in breaking into their office.
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