By Douglas Okoro
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi, on Monday in Abakaliki, held a reconciliatory meeting to reunite feuding factions in the party.
Those who spoke at the reconciliatory meeting, included the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief Martin Elechi, former governor of Ebonyi, among others.
Onu said that the reconciliation was necessary as the party need to be strong and united ahead of the 2019 general elections.
He said that the faction, comprising 13 aggrieved members of the State Working Committee (SWC) were given unconditional welcome back and urged the mainstream APC members to receive them with open arms.Onu, who commended the 13 returnees for the voluntary decision, however warned them against indulging in any form of anti-party activities or fomenting further crisis in the party.
He assured the aggrieved returning members of equal opportunity in the party and appreciated APC members for their resilience and hard work.
He urged members to keep up with the spirit of hard work and commitment to ensure the party’s victory in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
“History is being made today as we achieve a total reconciliation that will enthrone lasting peace and unity in our party through the reconciliation taking place today.
“We receive our party men and women who left the fold in open arms and assure them of equal treatment and opportunity.
“Together we must work in unity and in peace to ensure that APC emerges victorious in the forthcoming general elections.
“I appeal to our returning aggrieved members to eschew any form of anti-party activities or any activity likely to generate another crisis in the party, “Onu said.
In his own remark, Chief Martin Elechi, immediate past governor of Ebonyi, while receiving the 13 returnees, enjoined them to work for success of the party in Ebonyi.
He warned them against indulging in acts that could derail the progress of the party but to commit their energies in building the party.
Earlier in his speech, the Acting Chairman of the APC, Chief Eze Nwachukwu, described the reconciliatory meeting as an epoch making event, explaining that the move would further strengthen the party.
He said that the reconciliation had laid to rest the over two years of bickering and rancour among party members, leading to the breaking away of the 13 SWC members.
He said that the reconciliation with the aggrieved APC members would reinvigorate the party to achieve better political results.
“We are happy as we receive our members who have stayed away from the party activities for over two years and this coming together has once more make the party one indivisible family.
“We welcome our brothers and sisters back to where they rightly belonged and I call on them to work towards the victory of the party in the 2019 general elections.
“APC with this reconciliation has come out of the crisis more united, stronger and better repositioned to capture power in 2019, ” Nwachukwu said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mike Okoro, Chairman of the APC Reconciliation Committee, described the event as historic and expressed joy over the reconciliation and return of the 13 SWC members.
He urged the mainstream APC members to put aside the ugly incidence and embrace the returnees in the spirit of party brotherhood.
“We must as party members remain committed to the reconciliation and reunion of the erstwhile breakaway members of our party.
“We must remain committed to the peace that we have achieved today and must welcome our returning members in open embrace, ” Okoro said.
Mr Victor Elem, one of the returnees and state secretary of the APC on behalf of the returnees, expressed joy and gratitude to the party for the peace move.
He said that true reconciliation was needed to build more virile and stronger APC and assured that the group would work for the victory of the party in the 2019 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that APC after the 2015 general elections was embroiled in leadership crisis leading to the suspension of the state party chairman, Chief Ben Nwaobasi.