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Suspense as Ebonyi Labour Party moves to join APC

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OYEGUN

APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun

9THE political realignments occasioned by the 2015 general election results have continued to dominate the polity. A segment of the Ebonyi State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) has finalised arrangement to join the All progressives Congress (APC).

The Guardian investigation revealed that opinions were divided within the party over the defection plans, with a faction contending that, since the governorship candidate of the party has filed a petition against the April 11 governorship election won by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Chief Dave Umahi, there was no need rushing into the APC.

However, the pro-defection members, consisting of transition chairmen of local government councils, insisted on defecting before the May 29, 2015 handover date. They stressed that candidates of the LP, who filed petitions at the tribunal, could remain behind in Labour Party to pursue their matter.

Already, a rally to announce the defection of the LP faction to APC has been scheduled to hold at the Abakaliki Township Stadium on Saturday May 23, 2015. A faction of the APC in Ebonyi has, meanwhile, started kicking against the idea of receiving defectors to the party barely two months after the election was won and lost.

It is not clear whether the entrance of the defectors could be hampered by the litigations with Ebonyi APC over the last state congress of the party, which produced Hon. Ben Nwobasi as state chairman.
The APC in Ebonyi has been dogged by existence of two factions led by former National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, and the 2011 governorship candidate of the party, Senator Julius Ucha, who defected from ANPP to the Action Congress of Nigeria (AC.N) before the merger brought the two leaders together in the APC.

While the Ucha group accuses Onu of doing next to nothing for the advancement and growth of APC in the state, the Onu group alleged that Ucha used rough tactics to take the governorship ticket from the preferred candidate and former chairman of Ebonyi State Universal Basic Education Board (EBUBEB), Chief Austin Igwe Edeze.

When contacted for comments, the State Chairman of LP, Hon Friday Sabastine, promised to get back to The Guardian, but could not return the call or take further calls as at the time of filing this report.


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