Ben NwoyeEnugu East Zonal Vice-Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Anike Nwoga, yesterday accused the party’s chairman in the state, Ben Nwoye, of running the party as a personal empire and attributed the lingering crisis rocking the party in the state to the intense lobby for federal appointment in the incoming administration of president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.
The APC chieftain also faulted the recent courtesy visit by a faction of the party to the former Minister of Power and a Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain, Professor Bart Nnaji, noting that the visit was not endorsed by the party’s State Working Committee, SWC.
Disclosing this to journalists on Sunday, Nwoga alleged that there was more to the visit than meets the eye, stressing that if indeed the party wanted to embark on membership drive, it must not start with PDP chieftains.
According to him, “We are not against the visit to Professor Bart Nnaji. He is our son. He is a son of Enugu East senatorial zone and he is a son of Enugu State and son of Nigeria, a prominent one. We are not against any visit to him or any other prominent person in the zone.
“But what we are against is the way it was done. Ben Nwoye, who is the Chairman of the party went on his own without telling anybody. The SWC is not aware. The SEC is not aware. This happened on the ninth of this month. Then on the 11th of this month which was Monday, we had the state executive meeting, an enlarged one.
“And when we were meeting at the office of the state chairman, the matter came up. Many of us opposed that visit. As we were holding that meeting, they had planned to visit Jim Nwobodo after the meeting. We said no, that we object to it. Why should he be visiting people who are PDP members? Are they APC members? He should know why the visit is going on,” Nwoga said
He continued that even if APC Enugu State wanted to visit people in Enugu State, the first person he thought it should be grateful to and pay a courtesy visit is Chief Maduka Onyishi, the owner of Peace Mass Transport, who provided them shelter.
The Vice Chairman recalled that Onyishi provided the State and local government offices which they are occupying now until he left them and went back to PDP when they threatened him.
He added that they also owed a lot to Chief Onyemuche Nnamani who put in big money in the Buhari campaign and donated more than 16 of his vehicles, branded with Buhari and his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo.
His words, “These are people we should pay courtesy visits and it must be discussed. But because Ben has been running the party as his private company, he does it the way he wants. That is why we were against this visit. We are not saying that anybody should not enter the party. APC belongs to everybody. But the question is; these VIPs that want to enter now, where were they when we were suffering?”
He categorically called on the chairman to heed the timeless adage that charity should begin at home and forthwith desist from using Professor Barth Nnaji and Chief Jim Nwobodo as cannon fodder for the crisis in the party.
Nwoga recalled that on completion of nationwide registration exercise in 2014, over 100,000 members voluntarily registered as valid members of APC, but they were frustrated and alienated and are still being owed today, while the national secretariat had since remitted the money to the state chapter.

The APC stalwart insisted that any meaningful membership drive must start with aggrieved members of the party and not PDP chieftains who contributed nothing to the success of the party in the April 2015 general election.