A storm appears to be gathering in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Enugu State chapter, with the party setting up two disciplinary committees to investigate its Publicity Secretary, Mrs Kate Offor and the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu.
The duo were accused by the party of issuing unauthorised press statements “that, most often, do not conform with the party’s positions.”
The latest of such publications, Daily Sun gathered was the release issued by Mrs Offor, where the party purportedly advised the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu not to contemplate switching membership to APC because he would not be welcomed.
Daily Sun gathered that, already, the two committees have been constituted and Mrs Offor and Okechukwu notified to appear before them even as the committees have one month to submit their reports.
But when contacted, Mrs Offor and Okechukwu said no disciplinary committee had contacted them, saying the party leaders in the state only wanted to be unnecessarily busy.
However, the state APC Chairman, Dr Ben Nwoye and his Deputy, Mr Adolphus Udeh confirmed that the party was investigating the two stalwarts for publishing unauthorised materials, particularly the one on Ekweremadu.
Nwoye said the committees set up border on publications that are unauthorised.
He said: “A committee was set up for that; they said Ekweremadu should not join the party, and you people published it. You people knew there are many inconsistencies between Kate Offor’s position and the party’s position.
“There are certain things, as chairman of the party, I don’t have the authority to say except after meeting with the state executives, I can then represent their views; but that view has to be a majority agreement…” For example, if we say we don’t want Ekweremadu, then we should call a meeting in the state and agree that we don’t want Ekweremadu by giving our various opinions than this waking up by an individual to start insulting the man.
“What they do is, one person will write the release and sign it with another person’s name, we know that. Reporters know that there are conflicts in those releases. As chairman, I cannot just wake up and say something without consultations; we have to articulate it before saying the state APC has agreed on so, so issue, we have a constitution,” Nwoye said.
But insisting that no party disciplinary committee has invited her, Mrs Offor said: “I don’t know about any disciplinary committee. They have not given me any notice or invitation to that effect. I am the publicity secretary of the party, so I don’t need the permission of anybody to do my job.
“I was elected and the chairman was elected, too. Our party constitution did not state anywhere that the publicity secretary will have to take permission from anybody before he or she can issue a statement. Somebody said Ike Ekweremadu should join APC to retain his seat as deputy senate president and I said Ekweremadu does not need to join APC to retain his position. If he wants to come into APC it should be that he wants to be a progressive, not on the grounds that he wants to retain his seat.
“The chairman (Nwoye) issued a statement that he will register him, personally, if he decides to come in, but his men issued a counter-statement that Ekweremadu is not ready to join APC.”
Also, Okechukwu, when contacted, waved aside the disciplinary committee set up by the party to investigate him, saying, “please go and publish it, they only want to be busy.”