As lobbying continues in Abuja, the country’s seat of power over the appointment of ministers into the President Bola Tinubu-led government, the Anambra State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has marshalled out plans to ensure that only diligent and card carrying members of the party are given appointments.
The reason for the decision was because of the past experiences the party had with appointees of the federal government, during the President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight year term.
A source from the party who did not want to be named said: “The former minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige is an example of how the party has suffered in the hands of some people.
“He got the ministerial appointment under the platform of the APC, but after his appointment, even though he was then seen as the leader of the party in the state, he did nothing to improve the party.
“The two times that we fielded governorship candidates in 2017 and 2021, with Tony Nwoye and Andy Uba respectively as our candidates, he sabotaged the party as a minister.
“As an appointee of the federal government, who is making money from such an appointment, Ngige was supposed to be funding the state chapter of the party, but he never did. Young party men were supposed to be getting appointments through him, but the only people he empowered were people from his community, Alor.”
The outcome of the 2021 governorship election, where APC gave its ticket to Andy Uba, has brought a bitter war in the party, with Uba assuming a leadership role in the party, toppling Ngige, who is a minister and highest ranking officer of the party in the state.
We also learnt that the party is finding it difficult to remain afloat without funding.
This much was corroborated in a stakeholders’ meeting of the State chapter on Saturday.
The meeting, which had only selected stakeholders in attendance, was convened to tackle salient issues affecting the party.
The stakeholders resolved that only party members in the state will be given appointments.
The party resolved that in order not to have infiltrators, who will be given appointments from outside, there was need to write down the names of 50 prominent and recognisable members, from all the 21 local government areas of the state for submission to the federal government.
The meeting stated that the two ministers expected from Anambra will be chosen from the list, same for other appointments, including heads of agencies and parastatals, and heads and membership of board of organisations.
The state chairman of the party, Mr Basil Ejidike, who presided over the meeting, said the Tinubu presidency will not be business as usual.
He said the era when people bypassed state chapters of their party to move to Abuja and buy appointments were over.
He said Tinubu as a great party man and politician will give long suffering members of the party in the state the enablement to reap from their hard work, over the years.
He said: “Anambra APC is now more positioned because President Tinubu is a politician and a core party man. We are hopeful that the labours of our hands in the party will be rewarded under President Tinubu.”
Giving credence to fundings as a major challenge of the party, Ejidike inaugurated three committees, including finance committee, which will fashion out ways the party can be getting funds to run its affairs.
The inaugurated committees are: finance, eminent and disciplinary committees.
Ejidike said: “There is a need for us to have a disciplinary committee to sanitise our party. We are also inaugurating the eminent committee, and then the finance committee.
“The essence of a political party is to win elections, and where we fail to win elections, we would be a mere social club. It is from our members who are elected into offices that the party is funded. The finance committee will come together and fashion out ways to source funds to run the party.”
Prominent members of the party were appointed into the finance committee, with Engr Azuka Okwuosa and Amb Elijah Onyeagba as Chairman and secretary, respectively.
A source within the party said the committee will monitor those to be appointed into offices in Tinubu’s government, and now impose levies to be returned monthly to the party, for its running.
The state Chairman, Chief Basil Ejidike, said that his executive has been working round the clock to ensure unity in the party, including visiting all governorship aspirants of the party in the last governorship election in Anambra State, on ways to reconcile everyone.
He said there has been positive feedback.
“Anyone who is still bearing grudges is not telling himself the truth, because we have thrashed out all the problems, and all we need is to forge ahead.
“This is no longer the time when people abandoned the state chapter of the party and moved to Abuja and bought ministerial appointments for themselves, and now abandon the party. We are working to see that only Anambra APC members are appointed,” he added.