Stakeholders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State under the umbrella of Ebonyi State APC Critical Stakeholders, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the state governor, David Umahi against employing dictatorial tactics in the party.
The stakeholders who welcomed the governor’s decision to join the APC from the People’s Democratic Party, however, said it was necessary to warn that any attempt by him to impose his will on the party would be counter productive.
The statement reads:
“We, the major stakeholders of our great party, the All Progressives Congress(APC), welcome our August visitors from the National Caretaker Committee of our great party, the APC. We want to thank our Leader, President Mohammadu Buhari for setting up the National Caretaker Committee of this great party, headed by His Excellency, Alhaji Maimala Buni, the Governor of Yobe State, with our Son, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani as a Member. Within a short period of time, the National Caretaker Committee has restored the confidence of our teeming members by resonating a revival of the party and restoring the faith of our party faithfuls. Our Party Stakeholders are coming back together and we want to thank the leadership of the Caretaker Committee for offering our teeming members a listening ear to take stock of the past and chart a new course for the growth of the party.
2. APC IN EBONYI FROM 2015
The APC in Ebonyi state came in the wake of the internal crisis of PDP in 2014. The PDP Primaries of that period was characterized by terrible machinations. A lot of political banditry, muzzling, arm-twisting and outright treachery were orchestrated by Gov.Umahi and his proxies. It was by fire by force and eventually resulted in mass exodus. Many PDP members who were cast overboard collapsed into the Labour party. But after the 2015 general elections, many people moved over to the APC. The party membership rapidly increased from about 36,000 to 230,000. In the build-up to the 2015 elections, the membership of the party grew even bigger and recorded over 560,000 persons in the state. The APC became a rallying point for the people of Ebonyi state. The popularity of the party was demonstrated by the fact that 9 aspirants bought the Governorship forms, 13 aspirants for Senatorial seats, 20 for House of Representatives and 80 aspirants for the State House of Assembly.
3. BUNGLING OF THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS
1.The APC had very bright chances of winning the 2019 general elections in the state. Gov. David Umahi’s anti-people’s policies had alienated his government from the people. Ebonyi civil servants were placed on half salaries for no just cause. Umahi had stopped the payment of gratuities to all retiring workers in Ebonyi state from 2015 when he was inaugurated. He ran a reckless and strange administration which legitimized open looting of public treasury, by refusing to work with Permanent Secretaries in the civil service. Workers, artisans, traders, professionals and all viable groups in the state wanted Umahi out. All of them coalesced into the APC to boot out Gov. Umahi and the PDP. But the inner weaknesses of the APC began to manifest. Many members of the APC were moles working for Gov.Umahi and the PDP. Many APC stakeholders had to battle against internal and external enemies. The supposed National Leader of the Party at Abuja was neither here nor there during the 2019 elections. He was behaving like an aristocratic Prince, having hailed from the same village and community from the Governor. Whichever way the game went, it was a win-win situation for him. The then National leadership of the party was fed with falsehood about the Ebonyi situation.
2. 2019 Presidential Polls
The 25% votes generated for PMB during the Presidential Elections in 2019 came as a result of the sweat and blood of the hardworking members of APC in the state, but Gov. Umahi lied to the authorities and claimed to have made it happen. But in Ohaozara LGA where the Governor hails from, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP Presidential candidate polled 33,000 votes while PMB of APC polled 2,000 votes. It is on record that Gov.Umahi’s agents were busy cancelling Buhari’s votes at Obiozara Collation Centre at Ohaozara Council Headquarters, after destroying Buhari’s votes. So who was fooling who?
3. 2019 Guber Polls
In the Guber elections proper, Gov. Umahi used his moles within APC to commit political crimes unheard of in history. He incapacitated his opponent, Sen. Sunny Ogbuoji, the APC Guber Candidate. Umahi bought over some top leaders of the APC at the National level and succeeded in preventing them from sending money to Ebonyi state for the 2019 Guber elections
in the state. There was no money in Ebonyi APC to prosecute the Guber elections. So, Umahi was returned unopposed. Since the end of the 2019 elections, every individual member of the party embarked on a process of self-survival. Some members had to align with like-minds and it resulted in party factionalization based on self-help. It is only now that the new National Caretaker Committee came up that a new hope has arisen for a virile and listening National Leadership of the party.
4. SUFFERINGS OF APC MEMBERS
Several members of the APC in Ebonyi state have suffered untold hardship because of Gov.Umahis reign of impunity and brutal dictatorship in the governance of the state. During the 2019 general elections, many APC members lost their lives in Izzi, Ezza North, Ezza South and other places. Many members, supporters and sympathizers of the party were brutally dealt with and thrown into jail. Several of them are still in detention till date. There are other APC members who have suffered because of their opposition to Gov.Umahi’s government. Many members of the party had their houses burnt down and properties destroyed. Unfortunately, Gov. Umahi does not care about the plight of such persons.
5. RE-EXAMINATION OF GOV.UMAHIS DEVELOPMENTAL TRAJECTORY
Gov. Umahi’s development paradigm had been based on white elephant projects. He has to change focus to concentrate on the basic needs of the people. He should go back and pay attention to sectors like Education, Health, Water Supply, Agriculture etc The leadership of APC should enquire into his leadership style and fine-tune it to have a human face, if the party is serious about winning the governorship seat in 2023.
We have every hope and conviction that Ebonyi state would be better for it if the National Caretaker Committee of APC can compel Gov.Umahi to toe the path of political inclusion, genuine reconciliation and un-adulterated patriotism in running the affairs of the party in Ebonyi state.”