By Chijindu Emeruwa
Leaders and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ukwa West Local Government area of Abia State have condemned in strong terms, the defection of the immediate past Transition Chairman of Ukwa West LGA, Chief Sylvanus Nwaji from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressive Congress, APC, in the state.
On Wednesday, the Chief Whip of the Nigeria Senate and the leader of Abia State APC Caucus, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu received the former transition Chairman of Ukwa West, Chief Sylvania Nwaji, at his Camp Neya Igbere residence in Bende.
Addressing newsmen in a press conference held on Friday in Ukwa, the leader of Ukwa West APC, and the Deputy Chairman of the Abia State APC Caretaker Committee, Chief Ogunka Adiele John, flanked by party leaders and stakeholders, said it was an abuse of party procedure for declarations to be made outside the constituency of an intending party member, stressing that the recognition of people in political parties was done from the bottom to the top and not from the top to the bottom.
The APC Stakeholders however, said it was heartwarming that the Caucus leader, Senator Uzor Kalu advised the decampee to go back to his Ward and register immediately.
They said, “without prejudice to the position of the Chief whip of the Nigerian Senate who is the leader of the APC in Abia State, party procedures have to be respected in all ramifications. It is the culture of parties for people to join at their constituencies, after which such a person can be taken to other leaders of the party”.
The APC leaders said they was yet to come to terms with what motivated Chief Nwaji to go to Igbere for the Caucus leader to receive him into the party without first recognising the party hierarchy at the constituency where he comes from, adding that the action was an aberration and had the potency of causing disillusionment at the grassroots level of the party.
In his reaction, the youth Leader of Ukwa West APC, Chukwu Ogbuji, described the decision of Nwaji to go to Igbere to declare for the APC as a very wrong step, adding that it would be a dangerous precedent to receive recognition at top before coming to the grassroots, which is the foundation of any political party.
He said, “if Nwaji had meant well for the party, he would have made proper consultations at the local level before allowing Mr. Signor Kanu, former Aba Central State Constituency candidate for the APC in the last general elections, to accompany him to the leader of the party in the State”.
According to him, Kanu is yet to regularise his membership of the party in Ukwa West local government area and to that extent, cannot be said to be one of the leaders of the party in the local government.
Commenting on the development, the Chairman of Obuzor Ward, where Chief Sylvanus Nwaji comes from, Mr. Chinonso Ebere, said he was not surprised that Nwaji ignored his Ward and went to Igbere to declare for the party because he has never been known to have respect for people in his Ward and party discipline.
He said it was very sad that after all that members of the party had done to strengthen the party in the area, someone would come with destabilising strategies to thwart the intention of the APC to take over power in Ukwa West from the PDP in 2023.