The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress in Enugu state worsened on Wednesday when major party stakeholders boycotted the APC presidential campaign rally in the state.
The party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, was reportedly welcomed by key APC stakeholders at Akanu Ibiam International Airport before heading to Michael Okpara Square, where he addressed his supporters.
However, party leaders in the state, including Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama; a former president of the Senate, Ken Nnamani; a former state governor, Sullivan Chime; a former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Eugene Odoh; and a former State Government Secretary, Chief Onymuche Nnamani, among others, stayed away from the demonstration.
Also absent were the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the immediate former Chairman of the state party, Ben Nwoye; and a presidential assistant, Ms. Juliet Ibekaku.
As the presidential candidate headed to the rally site, the aggrieved party leaders gathered at Chime’s residence in Enugu, where they addressed reporters.
They said their absence from the rally was to send a signal to the APC national leadership that something urgent must be done about the crisis in the party’s state chapter.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma was blamed for allegedly hijacking the APC structure in Enugu State, thereby disorganizing the party.
The various speakers, including Chime, Nnamani and Odoh, said they were not aware of all the preparations and schedule for the rally.
However, they described Tinubu as a good candidate and assured stakeholders that they would work for his victory in the presidential election.
Chime said: “We received our presidential candidate at the airport. We believe in him, he is the best.
“However, we are not in Okpara Square due to the internal problems we have in Enugu within the party. He has been there and this is because sometime in October 2021 a non-member was foisted on us after the party’s failed state congress as the presumed president.
“The party leaders went to Abuja, they complained but no one took them seriously, the problems continued. So we have to distance ourselves from the local chapter of the party.
“After today, we hope the party does the right thing.”
On the party’s nominee, Chime said: “We will make sure he gets more than the required 25 percent. Enugu must be counted.
“Today’s event is just a rally, the most important thing is the election, and we are working hard for the victory of the party.”
Meanwhile, at the rally which was attended by a large crowd, Tinubu assured his supporters that he would turn Igboland into an industrial hub.
He was harsh with successive governments for their failure to build the Second Bridge over Niger, which he said would be inaugurated soon after being completed by the APC administration.
The APC candidate asked Ndigbo to collect his permanent voter cards.
He said: “Let us tell the whole truth, we are still fighting for a railway line and fighting all over the country to build our port, to build a railway line from Zungeru to Lagos to Calabar to Enugu, railway to evacuate the coal and fire our kilns. to produce electricity. “Don’t come to me with that nonsense about the estimated billing and that they are not ready, no, we can do it ourselves. We not only export yams and cassava, we can be an agricultural processing center.
“We only have more than 200 million people to feed, we are not going to starve.
“As you pray, prepare to sacrifice yourself for Nigeria. Here it is, if the Federal Government works with you, if you elect me as president and we work together, we can place the industrial center for Enugu, an industrial center for Imo, for Ebonyi, Anambra, Abia, build seaports, two in Port Harcourt, manufacturing engines, manufacturing everything necessary, not just manufacturers of cutlasses and bags.
“Enugu will become a bigger industrial center than before. There will be work for all of you. You have the edible mineral resources to fuel economic recovery. All of you are equally an agricultural powerhouse that can produce many cash crops even before producing flowers and exporting them.”