TIME FOR ABIA APC TO SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE
On Friday the 7th of October, the High Court in Umuahia will give its judgement on the case of who between Dr Uche Ogah and High Chief Ikechi Emenike is the eligible candidate of APC in Abia State. The case has been brought forward for determination of whether High Chief Ikechi Emenike’s emergence through the indirect Primary election is legally tenable as against Dr Uche Ogah’s emergence through a purported direct Primary.
It’s important to note the word ‘purported’ used in describing Dr Uche Samson Ogah’s Direct Primary election submission against the backdrop of the fact that Uche Ogah and his supporters thronged the Chidi Ebere venue of the APC Governorship Primary at the due date of the Primary election but refused to participate in it. INEC observers, Security agencies, National Officers of APC, other independent observers where all at the Chidi Ebere official venue as approved by both the Party and INEC. Other challengers for the singular ticket were there: Obinna Oriaku and his supporters, Emeka Atuma and his supporters et al. It was indeed a full house on the day of the Primaries.
While others and their supporters stayed to see the events that produced Ikechi Emenike as the Candidate to its end, Dr Uche Samson Ogah left with his supporters and never to return. We were later told they went to conduct their own Primary election just like that.
But some of us are witnesses to the fact that they never left with the INEC observers nor with the Party National officers charged with the conduct of the Primary election. So when we’re told that there was another APC Primary election in a different venue that did Direct mode of electing Dr Uche Ogah, it sounded like a miracle.
I do not know the figmentation of the law that will invent a yes outcome for Uche Ogah and his lawyers on Friday the 7th of October than to conclude that Uche Ogah and his legal team are on a voyage of discovery or better still are treating us to another cosmetic academic exercise. They will obviously get nothing from the court.
I want to assume without conceding that Uche Ogah and his legal team are relying on the extant letter from the National Chairman and his Secretary authorising a Direct Primary mode for Abia and two other States, which letter was later withdrawn through another counter letter saying Abia State Primary election was not supposed to be among the states granted Direct Primary status, which withdrawal letter is legitimate and within the confines of their powers under internal Party constitution to make.
The courts cannot ultra vires any decision taken by NEC of the Party as represented by the signatures of the National Chairman and the Secretary in the conduct of internal Party democratic strictures. The doctrine of supremacy of Party decisions taken under the aegis of NEC will continue to remain unchallenged in so far as those decisions do not ultra vire the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The judgment on Friday will be cresting on the pillars of the supremacy of Party decision. Nothing can change that for now.
Let us for the sake of modesty concede that Uche Ogah and his legal team will indeed get something from the court, the decision of the High Court will be stayed and appealed at the superior courts of competent jurisdiction up to the Supreme Court while the status quo ante bellum happenstance remains, the litigation will still be on by the time the election results of 2023 will be announced.
Where in God’s sake does all this leave the average Abian that pray and cry daily for good governance and a return to decency in our state? Amid the growing call for a total change of government structures in Abia, all leading parties and their candidates are supposed to put their houses in order for Abians to choose the best materials to govern us come May 29TH, 2023.
APC in Abia State are among the parties that hold promise for the electorate and therefore should settle their internal dispute out of the courts in the interest of the generality of Abia citizenry who are looking up to the Party in the state for a breath of fresh air.
I want to posit that the vested interests in APC should pick up the gauntlet and reign in peace among the warring parties because divided we fall. The imperatives of unification of the APC ticket under High Chief Ikechi Emenike should no more be emphasised. It has become the winning formula for the party, and hopefully will become the winning ticket in the State when all hands are placed on the deck.
Odo Ijere, Okpotemba Ohafia.