Abia APC women protest alleged imposition of leaders

Several women from Abia state, Wednesday, barricaded the entrance to the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress, accusing the Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of imposing Ikechi Emenike as chairman of the State’s APC chapter.

They demanded that the national leadership end Emenike’s “abnormal control of Abia State APC.”

The women who were wielding placards barricaded the entrance to Muhammadu Buhari House for hours, grounding vehicular and human movement and defying all requests to leave their post.

Instead, they threatened to strip naked unless the party leadership, especially the Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, or Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, addressed them.

The placards had inscriptions such as “Buni and Akpanudoedehe should not kill Abia State APC,” “Ikechi Emenike not a grassroots leader and can’t lead Abia State APC,” among others.

In her address, Abia APC Women leader-elect, Ezinne Ude-Uduma, warned that “the party will go the way of Anambra state if care is not taken.”

“Our demand first is for the national chairman, Buni, to do the right thing. He should wait for the recommendation Committee report to come out. They should not impose anybody or impose any candidate. We voted for Chume Obioha as Abia State party chairman, and we want him; he’s a grass rooter instead of the other man, we don’t even know his name.”

Asked what actions they will take if their demands are not met, the women leader said: “What happened in Anambra will happen in Abia state. We would lose the election. Everybody will go to another party and PDP will take over Abia state and we want APC to take over Abia State. We are here because we were reliably informed that the national leadership wants to inaugurate the newly-elected leadership of the party in our State. We demand that either Buni or Akpanudoedehe must address us or we won’t leave this gate.

“We are ready to strip naked here if the party inaugurates those taunting and embarrassing us for identifying with APC those early days of the formation of the party in the State. We have not benefited anything after suffering for the party since 2014 we became members of the party. We have nothing to show for the humiliation we suffered in the hands of those that just joined and hijacked the party now.

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“We won’t leave here; we will shock you what we will do here if we are pressed. We will not be ashamed to strip naked if the party leadership fails to address us now,” they threatened.

In his address, the APC Director of Administration, Abubakar Suleiman, assured them that no newly-elected State executive will be inaugurated before the conduct of the national convention.

“I want to assure you that we are not inaugurating any State executive today or tomorrow. The inauguration will be done after the national convention. We want to inform you that we will reconcile all the aggrieved party members before even talking about the inauguration.

“I appeal to you to leave the gate. Bring a formal letter or petition detailing your grievances, and I promise you it will be attended to,” he said.

Despite Suleiman’s intervention, some women stood their ground, accusing their women leaders of betrayal. They, however, finally left the gate to allow vehicular movement after nominating three of their members to meet the party’s leadership.

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