A mild drama ensued yesterday in Enugu when private guards hired by the minister of foreign affairs, Mr Geoffery Onyeama, turned back supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari during a meeting of Enugu West Senatorial zonal of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The security operatives also disallowed some top officials of the Buhari Support Group (BSO) and other chieftains of APC from the district who came for the meeting.
The meeting which held at the Dome Event Centre, Enugu, witnessed heavy presence of both armed and unarmed security men.
The security men, clad in black uniform, who were hostile to the APC chieftains, said no amount of shouting will make them allow anybody who did not have the special WhatsApp invitation from the minister’s personal assistant, Mr Flavour Eze, into the venue.
Addressing newsmen on their encounter, the secretary of the Enugu State chapter of BSO, Barrister Godwin Onwusi, and a chieftain of the APC from Ezeagu council area of the state, Barrister Okenna Agubuzor, who were among those refused entry into the meeting, described the minister’s action as shocking and terrible.
Onwusi said, “I went there, I saw heavily built bouncers, about 10 at the gate, and they said I should show them the message inviting me for the meeting. And I told them the minister invited leaders of the party from Enugu West to the meeting, that having served this party since 2011, that I am one of the leaders of the party.
”I got to the place only to be told that I am not one of the leaders invited, and coincidentally, the people I am seeing there are the people who came into the party in 2015, after president Buhari had won the election, including the minister himself and his personal assistant who determines who to invite.
“People like us who have been following the party since 2003, up till 2011, 2015 and 2019 and so on, I can’t enter as big as I am in this party in Enugu State.
“Certainly, that meeting is unknown to APC constitution. It’s just a meeting of friends of the minister’s who are members of the party.
“There are organs of the party, some chairmen of the party at local government levels from Enugu West of the zone were also bounced. So whatever decision they are reaching there is their own cup of tea, because they have freedom of Association.
“The president has told us that during the forthcoming congress, the party will recruit leaders of the party through bottom top approach.
“In his reaction, Agubuzo said the meeting has shown such action of the minister had been responsible for the political woes of the APC since he joined the party.
“When you are organising this type of meeting, and scheduling who should attend, you have to be very careful,” he said.
Also reacting, APC secretary in Udi Council Area and a member of the State Caretaker Working Committee, Mr Felix Ebubeagu, said he was surprised that he was denied entrance by those he described as unidentified security operatives.
“What we have here is mobilisation of unknown people to scatter APC in Enugu State. There is no way that you can call a meeting of this nature without inviting the secretary of the party the zone.”
Other chieftains of the party who were barred from entering the meeting included, a pioneer APC chairman in Ezeagu Council Area and state ex-officio, Sunday Ezeji, BSO coordinator, Ezeagu Ogwudike Onworah, a state chairmanship aspirant, Hon. Chiedozie Nwafor, among others.