Old members of the All Progressives Congress, who otherwise describe themselves as Legacy Members, in Ebonyi State, have accused Governor David Umahi of high-handedness in his handling of the party’s affairs in the state.
This was as they observed that the governor’s actions and meddlesomeness in the party, if not urgently nipped in the bud, was capable of stifling life out of the APC, in Ebonyi State.
The Old APC members stated this during a press conference, in Abakaliki, on Wednesday, calling on the national leadership of the APC to urgently intervene.
One of the members, who read the group’s presentation, Haroun Ajah, said they were deeply worried with Umahi’s fire-brigade approach towards issues of the party. They also alleged that the governor was running the party as if it was his family business.
Ajah said, “Gentlemen, we convened this press conference to alert Nigerians on the destructive and dictatorial activities of Governor David Umahi on Ebonyi State Chapter of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.
“We, the Legacy and Loyal members of the APC in Ebonyi State also want the national leadership of the APC to intervene to ensure that the party, which we laboured to build, is not destroyed. “Evidence of this discrimination against Legacy members of APC in the state is the recent national convention of the party where the governor singlehandedly, without consultation, imposed the three slots zoned to Ebonyi State on the party.
“Without respecting the need for harmonisation and integration, the governor continues to deploy the handful of persons he brought into the APC in virtually all positions at the expense of old members that he met in the party.
“Governor Umahi is pursuing that narrow agenda by preventing original APC members from aspiring to any elective positions. He does not consult with stakeholders before taking decisions that affect the party. “He made sure that the few PDP members he brought into the APC made up 95 per cent of all the Local Government and Ward Executives of the party in the state.”
He added, “For instance, currently, the man he has anointed as the APC governorship candidate is an embattled speaker who has not defected to the party. The three senatorial seats, four House of Representatives, and twenty-four House of Assembly seats are all reserved for Governor Umahi for the PDP members who returned with him.
“We have been trying to make the governor see reasons and imbibe democratic ethos in the running of the APC in Ebonyi State, but Governor Umahi has continued to shun entreaties to follow the path of civility and fairness.
“The situation in the Ebonyi State APC is that, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party is bubbling with activities in readiness for the election, the APC is in near comatose as genuine members have been rendered docile out of fear and dread for the governor’s high-handedness. As the primaries of the APC approach, we want direct and not indirect primaries.”
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Chairman of the APC, Stanley Okoro-Emegha, had three days ago, while reacting to the complaints of the group, said they were being unfair to Governor.
He stated this in a letter addressed to the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu.