The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State has threatened to expel Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, for allegedly altering the list of delegates that will participate in the party’s forthcoming national convention.
Chairman of the APC in Enugu, Dr. Ben Nwoye, made the threat at a press briefing, where he accused the minister of ‘sowing seeds of discord’ .
The APC in Enugu has been rocked by crisis after a faction of the State Working Committee attempted to oust the chairman, Nwoye.
Confusion over the delegates list from the recent local government congress has deepened the crisis, following the alleged submission of a ‘harmonised’ list to the national secretariat of the party, after the party’s congress appeal committee had accepted the list submitted by the congress’ organising committee.
Onyeama is believed to be behind the ‘harmonised’ delegates list, in which the names of some prominent members of the APC in the state, who were not present during the congress, reportedly replaced those of persons who participated in the exercise, whose names were on the original list.
However, the News Agency of Nigeria had quoted Onyeama as saying that he was only working towards an amicable resolution of the crisis in the party.
Commenting on the list, the minister reportedly said, “I am not involved. In fact, I don’t know some of these people (delegates), so when there were agitations over the list, I got a number of stakeholders and told them that we should harmonise the two lists so that everyone will be included.”
Reacting to the development while addressing journalists in Enugu on Tuesday, Nwoye said the minister lacked the powers to ‘harmonise’ the delegates’ list.
Noting that Onyeama had done ‘more harm than good’ to the Enugu APC since he joined the party, following his appointment as minister, Nwoye advised the foreign affairs minister to study the party’s constitution, which he said did not give him (Onyeama) the powers he arrogated to himself.
The Enugu APC chairman warned that the minister was on the verge of being expelled from the party.
He added that the minister could face prosecution for the alleged alteration.
Nwoye said, “Now that the minister has admitted that he indeed doctored the party’s delegates list, we shall look at it.
“The punishment for such offence is expulsion from the party – if he is indeed the one that said that, he is liable for expulsion and possible prosecution.
“It goes to the heart of our democracy that those who participated in an election will have their names replaced.
“I am shocked that the minister did what he did in breach of Article 21 of our party’s constitution, which prohibits alteration of delegates list.