APC chieftain ‘slaps’ Enugu gov candidate over ministerial slot

A major crisis has hit the All Progressives Congress in Enugu State after report emerged on Friday that the APC National Vice-Chairman, South-East, Mr. Emma Eneukwu, allegedly slapped the party’s governorship candidate, Mr. Okey Ezea, following an argument over ministerial slot in the forthcoming Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

The alleged incident happened on Thursday during a meeting of South-East APC leaders at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.

It was gathered that the closed-door meeting was chaired by Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and had Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Osita Izunaso, Gen. J. O. J. Okoloagu (retd.), and others in attendance.

Ezea disclosed the development in a text message that was forwarded to journalists in Enugu on Friday.

Apparently, the meeting discussed the sharing of key appointments as Ezea, in the SMS, said Eneukwu slapped him because he (Ezea) told the South-East leaders that Nsukka zone, where he hailed from, should produce the minister.

He accused Eneukwu, who is from Udi, Enugu West Senatorial Zone, of wanting the ministerial slot for himself and trying to actualise the ambition through violence.

The text message read, “Emma Eneukwu slapped me today because I told South-East leaders that Nsukka has not been minister since 1999.

“He did this before Rochas, Ngige, Izunaso, J. O. J, Gen. Eze, Ucha etc.

“I just said the truth and requested justice and equity in the affairs of our party and Enugu State.

“Emma (Eneukwu) wants to be minister by violence. Emma is from Udi Local Government Area which has been producing minister since 2007, including the incumbent, Chinedu Nebo.”

When our correspondent contacted him on the telephone afterwards, Ezea confirmed that the text message actually emanated from him.

But Eneukwu denied slapping Ezea, adding that such incident never happened.

He said, “I am surprised about that, nothing like that happened, I am very surprised.

“That story is alien to me; I don’t know anything about it.

“Maybe it is a calculated attempt to mar my image. I didn’t attack anybody, I am not a thug. I don’t fight.”

Asked what transpired at the said meeting, he said, “We went to see Buhari, that was all I knew. Nobody was talking about appointment.

“We will not be talking about appointment when the party has not decided on the positions that should come to the zone. We have not known the positions allocated to the zone.”

Our correspondent gathered that the alleged incident has thrown the Enugu State chapter of the party into confusion.

Some party members, who our correspondent sighted at the party’s state secretariat in Enugu, discussed the incident in hushed tones.

But they refused to comment on the matter when our correspondent sought their views.

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