The Conference 57 Chairmen, Ndigbo in APC Lagos State has urged the state leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to disregard another group, the Ohaneze Political Forum, accusing it of seeking the party’s electoral failure
The chairman of the group, Mr. Chima Ukwandu while addressing journalists in Lagos alongside the Grassroots Support for Tinubu 2023 stakeholders, alleged that the other group was going to the state secretariat to discredit them.
Ukwandu explained that Ohaneze is a socio-cultural organisation, but these people go to the secretariat to claim that they are Ohaneze Political Forum, which does not exist in the APC.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Conference 57 Chairmen Ndigbo in APC Lagos State is a body of all the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) harmonised Chairmen of Ndigbo in APC Lagos .
“It is therefore the main and only Ndigbo political structure, with its local government executives in place to man and mobilise all Igbo in their local areas and ensure maximum return of Igbo votes,” he said.
According to him, the group was formed following the harmonisation of all the five Igbo political groups – the Coalition, Igbo Vision, South East, Anioma and Mandate, which came together about three years ago to form what is today known as Ndigbo in APC Lagos State, under the leadership of Mr. Joe Igbokwe.
“Conference 57 Chairmen (as a body of all local government harmonised chairmen), therefore, became the grassroots political organ of Ndigbo in APC and also the APC Igbo political movement in Lagos State, and has remained formidable in Igbo politics here in Lagos.
” It has lived up to expectations and is still moving; we believe this upcoming election will show the strength of our work. We have worked and kept our various local governments intact for the success of our great party, even without much support from the party,” he said.
The group further passed a vote of confidence on Igbokwe and the Igbo in APC State Coordinator, Eze Uche Dimgba, saying: “We reiterate our total loyalty, determination and support to our great party, APC, and its candidates in this forthcoming election. We wish to unequivocally state that we believe in the leadership of lgbokwe and Dimgba.
“We have however observed some misinformation and misgivings on the part of some individuals and groups springing up to cause confusion in Ndigbo APC political family.
“Let it be known that Conference 57 Chairmen are strongly behind lgbokwe and Dimgba and shall only take instructions and directives from them accordingly.
“Rome was not built in a day. We have come a long way, worked so hard, sacrificed, laboured and are now determined to deliver our great party, and will not at this time wish to be distracted.
“We are therefore drawing the attention of our great party leaders to the grave consequences of this noise and distractions, and we charge them to call this to order.
“It is negatively affecting our grassroots members; our party card-carrying members (our electoral strength) are losing faith. We shall hold these distractors accountable for any negative consequences of these actions.”
To nip the development in the board, the group urged the state leadership and party presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to quickly investigate “the intents or remote motives of these characters,” adding: “We sincerely doubt their faithfulness to the cause of our great party’s victory and, as the grassroots-based Ndigbo in APC Lagos and as the electoral votes melting point, our ears are on ground to hear all things.
“There seems to be great compromises in the air. We earnestly request independent investigators into the cause of these actions. We believe there might have been a high level compromise across board to cause cold feelings among Igbo partisanship and destabilise our voting force.”
Rather than cause distraction, the group insisted that genuine party faithful should by now be concerned about how to ensure adequate mobilisation and maximising votes returns to win election, and not money.
“We should be talking of what unites us than who will control Igbo campaign materials. If indeed you are a true and faithful party man, you should be losing sleep that people are getting Obi-dients in disobedience, than this selfish desire for material things,” he said.