The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has sworn in Daniel Nwafor as the new Imo State chairman of the party.
The inauguration occurred despite the Monday order of an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court which gave an order restraining the APC from conducting fresh congresses in Imo State until August 21. This followed a suit by a faction of the APC in Imo State led by Osita Izunaso, a former senator.
This order, although coming after the fresh congresses had been held, was expected to stop the swearing in of the newly elected chairman. It was not regarded.
The state chapter of the party had experienced parallel congresses between Governor Rochas Okorocha’s faction and that loyal to Mr Izunaso and the controversially removed deputy governor, Eze Madumere.
The former national leadership of the APC recognised Mr Izunaso’s faction led by Hillary Eke despite concerns raised by the governor.
The governor continued to agitate that the congresses be cancelled. On July 5, a Federal High Court in Owerri ruled that the controversial and parallel congresses held in the state in the lead up of the national convention be cancelled. The court said new congresses should be held in the state.
The party obeyed this order and conducted fresh fresh ward, local government and state congresses on July 20, 21 and 23 respectively; producing Daniel Nwafor as state chairman.
Speaking after administering the oath of office to the new state chairman, Mr Oshiomhole charged the chairman to do everything possible to ensure all members irrespective of the side they are on are carried along in the operations of the party.
Mr Oshiomhole promised that the national leadership will work with Mr Okorocha to ensure that varied interests are also integrated into the new party structure so that the party can operate as one family ahead the 2019 general elections.
At the event, Mr Okorocha said the situation in Imo State APC was normal politics, adding only the end “justifies the means.”
Speaking to journalists after the swearing in, Mr Nwafor, a former aide to the Imo governor, said he will be impartial in handling the affairs of the party.
When asked to comment on the legality of his swearing in despite a court injunction, Mr Nwafor said as far he was concerned, there was no infraction on the court ruling.