How Ebonyi IPAC rages in 3 factions over chairmanship position


By Victor Nwegede 

In Ebonyi State, the members of Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, have continued regrouping into factions following the deregisteration of some political parties by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which affected their elected Chairman, Comrade Nwogba Morgan Nnaemeka.

The deregisteration saga has led to the constitution and inauguration of an Interim Committee members chaired by Comrade Nchita Samuel Akahite by the successive National officials to Nwogba's group from Abuja.

The lingering crisis seemed to have no end in Ebonyi State even when the Supreme Court is yet to pass judgement on the deregisteration matter as there are currently three factions of IPAC in the state, each believing to be on the right lane to take the mantle of leadership.

The three groups include Nwogba Morgan Nnaemeka's group, Nchita Samuel Akahite's loyalists and those waiting the apex court's verdict before choosing their leaders in Ebonyi IPAC.

However, Comrade Morgan Nwogba on Thursday 5th November, 2020 claimed to have reconciled the rift with all the IPAC members in the state and assured them of his sincere service as their authentic Chairman.

Comrade Morgan Nwogba in a group picture with his supporters as the state IPAC Chairman after their reconcilation meeting in Abakaliki.

Nwogba made the pledge in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State Capital shortly after their meeting and further urged the chairmen who were still in the opposition groups to shealth their sword to enable them move IPAC forward in the state.

He frowned at the report which stated that an IPAC member, one Comrade Nchita Samuel Akahite is  parading himself as their Interim Chairman in the state, and pointed that there was no provision for such position in their code of conduct.

Nwogba advised general public to disregard every report stating that IPAC has two chairmen, and maintained that the council remained united and resolute in championing their course in the state.

In a release endorsed and made available to newsmen by Nwogba as the state Chairman, he equally urged the aggrieved members of IPAC to continue giving him their maximum support for having accepted to work together for the progress of all the parties under his watch.

"I wish to thank our members who see reasons to reunite and form a formidable ground for our progress.

"IPAC as an independent body with its core mandate to advise government. I want to sound it clear that there's nothing like interim Chairman of IPAC in Ebonyi State.

"We don't have two chairmen in Ebonyi State, rather, somebody influenced, my Assistant Secretary who was elected and sworn in together with me same day to be acting as a distractor to my government for his selfish interest but I must say that Ebonyi State Chapter of IPAC is united and formidable.

"I have been able to reunite our aggrieved members because of the trust and this is clear with our esteemed members who graced today's meeting and are the pillar of the opposition party in the state," part of the release read.

In a swift interaction, the Ebonyi IPAC's Interim Chairman, Comrade Nchita Samuel Akahite described Nwogba and his group as the disgruntled elements in the state chapter.

Comrade Nchita Samuel Akahite in a group picture with the IPAC National officials and the state members after his inauguration as an interim Chairman with his members in Abakaliki.

Nchita said the situation of IPAC in Ebonyi State has been very peaceful since he came on board as its Interim Chairman following his inauguration after INEC deregistered some political parties which affected some of their officials including their elected Chairman, Comrade Nwogba.

According to Nchita: "The situation of IPAC in this state has been very peaceful. I am now the Interim Chairman. I know that some people, the disgruntled elements that have been fighting against the correct thing that was done by our National IPAC Executives from Abuja. The National came and inaugurated us on 29th of July, 2020, following the deregisteration of some political parties.

"So, it became very imperative that we now have an interim government to watch over the affairs of IPAC in the state, as this was done in all the states in the country including at the national level. 

"This is what we did in Ebonyi State, and some people especially the former Chairman of IPAC, Morgan Nwogba.  Our inauguration did not go well with him, and he began claiming that he is the one given the mandate.

"But the truth is that there is no way he will be claiming   the Chairmanship position, because his party was deregistered. And one of things that will qualify you to be a member of IPAC is if you are the Chairman of a registered political party. Morgan Nwogba's party was deregistered and there is no how he should continue claiming to be the Chairman of IPAC in Ebonyi State.

"It is true that they went to court and there is still conflicting issues following the upholding and nulifing of the parties in dispute. The  matter is still in the court and the fate of the deregistered political parties is not known yet pending when court passes its final judgement and that's why we can't leave the IPAC leadership to be in a vacuum in this state.

"The main thing now is that INEC has not re-registered them, and they are still out of the INEC's register after High Court ruled in their favour. INEC said they are going to supreme Court because it will not accept the rule made by the High Court. So, the matter is still pending at the Court.

"The man who is claiming that his party is restored by that judgement should see himself as not being truthful, because, the matter is still in the Court. The man is trying to pre-empty issues, and therefore, any one claiming to be the Ebonyi State IPAC Chairman is null and void.

"We don't have two IPAC Chairmen both at the National and in Ebonyi State. Morgan Nwogba is not an IPAC Chairman at all, because he represents no political party right now. 

"The man is just shooting unnecessary troubles, contesting a position he does not qualify. As far as IPAC is concerned in Ebonyi State today, we have one Chairman, I, Hon. Nchita Samuel Akahite is the Chairman."

Nevertheless, a confirmed IPAC member in the state anonymously revealed that IPAC is not yet functional both at the National and state levels pending when the Supreme Court would give its verdict on the lingering case of deregistered political parties by INEC.

The IPAC member said: "The clear point is that we have no functional IPAC now, both at the National and state levels. The reason is that, some political parties were deregistered by INEC and this affected the National Executives. The IPAC officials were dissolved. The affected parties made appeal to court and the court ruled the case in their favour.  Appeal court said no to INEC. The deregisteration of the political parties was rejected by the Court. Court asked INEC to follow the due process. But INEC refused and proceeded to Supreme Court, and the case is still in the court. 

"So, as am talking to you, the supreme Court has not passed its verdict to know who is at the favourable side or disfavored in the case. Because of that, a very good number of IPAC members in Ebonyi State including myself decided to wait to hear the apex Court's final rule before talking about who is the Chairman and who is not. We have to follow the status-quo.

"Gathering in INEC Office or at anywhere, with deregistered political parties now simple entails you are encouraging illegalities. I heard that the IPAC office in Ebonyi State is still locked up, and tell me where the group with Nwogba held their meeting to raise their purported communique on the day before yesterday. I can't be party to that."

It could be recalled that Comrade Morgan Nwogba had in an interview with newsmen on this contending issue immediately the interim Committee of the state IPAC was inaugurated said: "Even if I should handover, I have to handover officially. My request in that regard is that, nature abhors vacuum. The moment I should handover, I think it is wise, we follow the due process. I have to be notified formally. You can’t just hire people to constitute an interim leadership not obtainable in our constitution. And it is clear, if for instance, the governor of a state is not around, I think the deputy should take over his office. If am to hand over, the next officer whose party survived the deregisteration saga should have been my successor because he was legitimately elected and our tenure has not elapsed. He should be handling the office in acting capacity because we don’t allow interim leadership in IPAC.

“In this instance, I think, my deputy, I mean Chief Nwobegu Moses, the Ebonyi State Chairman of Labour Party qualified to take over from me because his party survived the  deregisteration exercise by INEC if I should handover my office and other officials have to be treated the same."

NATIONAL PANEL also  gathered that some IPAC members spoke against Nwogba's claim as the authentic Chairman and expressed surprise at the absence of their key members especially his supposed deputy, Chief Moses Nwobegu, the immediate past Chairman, Comrade Mrs. Jenifer Adibe-Nwafor who is currently the Special Assistant to the Ebonyi State Governor on inter party and labour relations, and as well the state's interim committee Chairman, Comrade Nchita Samuel Akahite during 'the acclaimed reconcilation meeting.'

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