Abia State women on Wednesday stormed the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in droves, protesting against the imposition of Chief Ikechi Emenike on their state chapter by the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
The APC women who carried placards, with different inscriptions, barricaded the entrance gate of Buhari House for hours, crippling vehicular and human movement, even as they refused to leave the entrance of the party’s secretariat from 12pm when they came till almost evening.
Some of the inscriptions in their placards read: ‘Buni and Akpanudoedehe should not kill Abia State APC’, ‘Ikechi Emenike not a grassroots leader and can’t lead Abia State APC’.
They threatened to strip naked if the caretaker committee chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State or the secretary, Sen John James Akpanudoedehe, refused to address them.
Categorically, they demanded that the national leadership must end Ikechi Emenike’s “abnormal control of Abia State APC.”
Speaking with journalists, Abia APC women leader-elect, Mrs Ezinne Ude-Uduma, warned that if the right thing is not done “the party will go the way of Anambra state.
“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 Acho Iheanacho Obioha as Abia State party chairman and we want him, he is a grassroots leader instead of the other man, we don’t even know his name.”
If their demands are not met, the Abia 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 of this party 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 from anything after suffering for the party since 2014 when 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.
“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,” the women threatened.
Addressing them, the ruling party’s Director of Administration, Abubakar Suleiman, however 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 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 assured.
Although some of them stood their grounds, 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 leadership