By Daniel Edu
The Abia State faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is reportedly facing a crisis due to conflicting efforts to nominate a member for the position of National Welfare Officer, a vacant slot within the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
The state chapter appears to be split over the selection of two individuals for the role, which is designated for the state’s representation.
The vacancy in the position of National Welfare Secretary arose following the passing of Friday Nwosu in March.
Reports indicate that on March 28, 2023, the State Executive Committee proposed Rev. Dan Imo as a nominee. However, this decision encountered opposition from certain stakeholders in the state due to the fact that Rev. Dan Imo had only been a member of the party for two years.
A prominent party official disclosed that the state executives seemed to have disregarded the established guidelines governing such nominations.
According to “Vacancy,” as stipulated in Article 31.5 of the APC Constitution, “In the event of a vacancy, the office shall be filled as follows: In the case of a National/Zonal Officer, the State Executive Committee shall propose a replacement to the State Congress and Zonal Executive Committee for endorsement. Thereafter, the name shall be sent to the National Working Committee, which shall forward same to the National Executive Committee for approval.”
Furthermore, it has come to light that the Abia executive neglected to arrange a state Congress and sidestepped the involvement of the zonal executive committee. Instead, they directly submitted the nominee’s name to the NWC.
“In just a span of four months, the Abia Chairman, without engaging in consultations with state stakeholders and the state congress, submitted another letter proposing a different individual, Deacon Obinna Atuonwu. This action, done at their discretion without a state congress, was intended to replace the late National Welfare Officer,” questioned a notable party figure from Abia.
He continued to elaborate, “Even if one were to hypothetically concede them the authority, which of their two nominees would the NEC honor? The Constitution does not accommodate the proposition of a replacement without convening a congress. The Constitution explicitly dictates that the state executive committee suggests a replacement to the state congress and subsequently the Zonal Executive Committee for approval.”
“The underlying intent of Article 31.5, as interpreted, is that the state executive committee raises a proposal, merely a proposal, which necessitates calling for a state congress. This congress would then consider and endorse the proposal before presenting it to the zonal executive for their endorsement. Only upon satisfying these steps should a name be sent to the National Working Committee, which would then forward it to the National Executive Committee for ultimate approval,” he concluded.