19th June, 2022
By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom
The two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia have ended their eight-year-old leadership tussle, with a declaration that “there is no victor, no vanquished”.
Following a leadership tussle between the former state Chairman, Chief Donatus Nwankpa, and a chieftain of the party, Chief Ikechi Emenike, the party became factionalised in 2014.
In 2015 the Nwankpa-led faction presented Chief Anyim Nyerere as its Governorship Candidate against Emenike, who contested the governorship position under Dr Emmanuel Ndukwe as the factional chairman.
The party also presented two governorship candidates along with the two factional leaderships in 2019, with the former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Chief Uche Ogah, running against Emenike.
However, the two factions resolved to coalesce into one united APC after a closed-door reconciliation and unification meeting at the country home of a former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Atuma, on Saturday.
They resolved to bury their differences and work collectively for the party to take over Abia in 2023.
Addressing the leadership of the party from the 184 wards and 17 local government areas at the end of the meeting, the two gladiators (Nwankpa and Emenike) said that the war was over.
According to Nwankpa, in politics, there is no permanent enemy but a permanent interest.
“The common interest that binds us is our collective desire to create a better Abia and society. We fought and disagreed but never quarrelled,” he said.
“This is a new APC. We have interacted and everybody would have a sense of belonging. We are having a new rule of engagement and our desire is to take over Abia in 2023 to change the destiny of our people,” Nwankpa said.
He advised his following not to feel betrayed either by himself or his successor, Chief Obioma Acho, who recently defected to Labour Party or other party chieftains in his faction.
Also in a speech, Emenike urged all the party faithful to embark on a two to three days of fasting for God’s plan for Abia to come into manifestation in 2023.
He said that God had already delivered Abia, adding: “What is left is for us to do our own part. Today is a special day in the history of Abia APC.
“Truth is constant. I shall continue to speak the truth. Speak the truth and the truth shall set you free. What I shall continue to disagree with is anything that is not legitimate and properly done,” he said.
The governorship hopeful said that “the primary task before the party is to win the governorship of the state.
“What unites us in APC is more important than what divides us. It is a shame that, in spite of this array of quality people here, some people are holding Abia hostage.
“Since all of us are interested in moving Abia forward, let us come together and work to achieve this goal,” he said.
Thanking everybody that was instrumental in the reconciliation, Emenike added that the peace in the party would be beneficial to all.
“Nobody has won. We are still in the trenches. The main battle is to deliver Abia. Liberating the state is not for me or you but for our children, the youths and future generations.
“This is what we ought to have done some 20 years ago, but it is better late than never,” Emenike said.
Dr Kingsley Ononogbu, the state Chairman of the party, expressed joy over the reconciliation and return of peace in the party.
Ononogbu promised that any agreements reached in the meeting would be respected.