Stakeholders of the Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have risen in condemnation of an elder of the party, Prince Benedict Benjamin Apugo for inciting party members against the national leadership of the ruling party.
Apugo drew the ire of concerned party stakeholders following his utterances at his Nkata Ibeku Umuahia country home during which he reportedly disparaged the Secretary of the APC National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John Akpanudoedehe, accusing him of causing a crisis in Abia APC and promoting anti-party activities.
The party elder, popularly called ‘BB’ by his supporters, also supported the group in Abia APC led by Hon. Donatus Nwankpa for taking the party to court over the outcome of the ward congress which did not favour them.
Apugo, who was visibly angry over the humiliation that the group he supported suffered after losing out in the ward and local government congresses of APC, insisted that it was proper to take the party to court, even though the national leadership of the party had seriously warned members against such action.
Reacting to the outbursts from Apugo, party chieftains, who spoke at a stakeholder meeting in Umuahia yesterday, all descended heavily on Apugo, describing his conduct as “irresponsible and anti-party”.
One of the party chieftains, Hon. Sterling Uruakpa, said that it was unbecoming of a party elder like Prince Apugo to engage in inciting party members against the national leaders thereby promoting indiscipline in the party.
“These unguarded statements coming from Apugo are quite unbecoming of a party elder of his standing, who is expected to help in building the party and not encouraging members to engage in anti-party activities,” he said.
Uruakpa stated that the first and second stages of the party congresses have come and gone and the national committee that was sent to Abia for the exercise had carried out its assignment without fear or favour and submitted its report to the CECPC hence both the winners and losers should join hands and work for the common goal of the party.
According to him, Abia APC has commenced “a mass movement to save Abia State from misrule and stunted development” adding that it behoves every party member to subsume personal interest and key into this noble agenda of the party to take control of Abia government house in 2023.
Uruakpa also called on party members to disregard the claims by Apugo and his group that the Secretary of APC Contact and Strategy Committee, Chief Ikechi Emenike had been suspended from the party, saying that they invented the deceitful narrative because of their frustration and envy of Emenike’s high political profile.
He described Chief Emenike as the engine room of Abia APC and called for unity of purpose in the task of building a strong, united party that would sweep out the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power in 2023.