Nigeria’s High Commissioner to India and immediate past Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Maj. Gen. Chris Ezeh (rtd), has attributed the prolonged leadership crisis rocking the Party in the state to its failure to investigate the individual characters of those who presented themselves for various leadership positions when the executive organ of the party was constituted in 2014.
According to him, those who became Party executives in the state did not sufficiently know each other prior to their inauguration.
He said it was so, at that time, because the separate groups that formed the APC in the state merely took the words of each bloc which fielded candidates on face value without proper character analysis of the individuals.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, Ambassador Ezeh said: “it was only after the executive was constituted that we began to know ourselves in details and the individual characters.
“But because the Party is going along with its constitution, it is when the next elective congresses come around in 2018 that the members of the Party, having known who is who, will be a little bit more discriminatory when certain individuals bring themselves up for election into executive positions.”
He further disclosed that had “the National headquarters of the Party intervened in the allegations and counter-allegations regarding the misappropriation of Party finances earlier by sending a visitation panel to Enugu state, it would have helped a lot to catalyse a catharsis” in the leadership crisis rocking the state chapter of the Party.
Ezeh said: “In 2014, we had to virtually beg people to come into the Party then. Not many people believed in the Party as opposed to what is happening now as it is growing exponentially.
“The parties that came together to form the APC in Enugu state were different from other parties in other places, because in other states they had a semblance of national spread like the ACN, the CPC.
“But in Enugu State, the Labour Party from which my group joined ACN and from there APC, we were the most ‘effective’. We were the party the grassroots knew much better than other opposition parties in the state.
“However, we didn’t know each other very well, especially those that joined from outside. The result was that when we constituted the executive, we had to do it by mutual agreement amongst the members of the parties that merged. We had to take the words of the different blocs that was fielding different persons for certain position.
“It was only after the executive was constituted that we began to know ourselves in details and the individual characters. But because the party is going along with its constitution, it is when the congresses come around the members of the party must have known who is who. So when they bring themselves up for election into executive positions, we would be a little bit more discriminatory.
“Added to that, I feel that if the National headquarters of the Party had intervened in the allegations and counter-allegations regarding the misappropriation of Party finances by sending a visitation panel to Enugu state, it would have helped a lot. It would have help catalyse a catharsis.
“That means that even if some merits were found in the doubts expressed by those who did not understand how the Party finances were spent, may be, whoever must have come short of accountability would have apologised, turned a new leaf and the Party would have started afresh.
“But since all those accusations have been made, there has been no outside arbitration. And I believe that arbitration is needed more and more as the days go by.”