By Emmanuel Mogbede
Imo All Progressives Congress Stakeholders Forum has pleaded with the party´s National Working Committee(NWC) to intervene in the crisis currently rocking its ranks.
Mr Oke Ikoro, the Chairman of the forum, made the plea on Wednesday in Abuja when a delegation of the forum visited the NWC.
According to him, APC in Imo has been appropriated by Gov. Rochas Okorocha who ´´ has completely privatised the party´´ through his activities.
Ikoro said there was so much anger, acrimony and bitterness among party members.
´´This is why we have come here to lend our grievances to the NWC, we came to express our disappointment on the leadership of Gov. Rochas Okorocha, his activities and the APC under him.
´´ We didn´t want to say this with word of mouth but we have put it in writing so that you can have a critical look at it after we had gone,´´ he said.
Ikoro said that the stakeholders had to bring the matter to NWC after trying without success to address it at the state level.
He alleged that some of the governor´s actions in the state were not friendly and were forcing members out of the party rather than bringing membership to the fold.
Ikoro said the actions included the demolition of markets and indiscriminate revocation of land titles without due process.
He also criticised the governor´s plan to install his son-in-law as the next governor of Imo.
Ikoro said ´´all we are saying is that due process should be followed and that the state funds should not be wasted.´´
According to him, people are exiting from the party because of the highhandedness of the governor.
´´ We are calling on the party leadership to call the governor to order and to separate the party from him,´´ he said.
Ikoro expressed optimism that as the highest organ of the party empowered to bring peace and unity, the matter would be addressed by the NWC.
´´Furthermore, on Saturday, the ward congresses of the party will start and we know that what the governor is planning is to hijack the process,´´ he said.
He alleged that the governor`s plan was to influence the congress by ensuring that his cronies were put in elective offices.
He said that the party leadership should intervene to prevent the governor from hijacking the process.
In his response, the APC National Chairman, Chief Odigie-Oyegun, said there was nothing to celebrate in the report.
He said that the saving grace was that the stakeholders were all dedicated and did not storm out of the party.
He said Imo must lead in the South- East to ensure the party´s electoral victory in 2019 and as such the unity of the party was critical to achieve the goal.
´´ Some controversies are necessary to bring about unity that will bring victory, together Imo state will be almost a certainty but we will be in deep trouble if we are divided.
´´Without any prejudice, I want to assure you that we, on our side, will do everything possible to take up your complaints and reservations.
´´We will talk to the other side so that an acceptable compromise and understanding is reached to make it possible for us to work as one party and one political fighting force.
´´I am certainly not unaware of the issues; as the party’s national chairman, all these things end up directly or indirectly on my desk,“ he said.
The party chairman added that whatever the rights and the wrongs of both sides were, victory could only come through unity.
He said that to get unity, there must be justice, adding: “while am insisting on a united fighting force, I also insist that there is justice.’’
Odigie-Oyegun said that as far as the coming party congresses were concerned, the leadership was determined to ensure free, fair and level playing field for all aspirants in spite of what anyone thought.
He charged the stakeholders to prove their worth by ensuring that the right things were done and that true reconciliation was achieved in the party in Imo.