The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Abia on Saturday held parallel state congresses, leading to the emergence of two factional state executive committees.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two congresses, which held at different venues, under heavy security, were peaceful.
While the Donatus Nwamkpa-led faction held its congress at the Umuahia Township Stadium, the faction loyal to Chief Ikechi Emenike, held its own in a private building on Ossah Road, Umuahia.
While Nwamkpa and Mr Perfect Okorie were returned as Chairman and Secretary, respectively, along with the former executive members, the Emenike-led group elected Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe as the Chairman.
While the congress at the stadium was conducted by a four-member State Congress Committee led by Sen. Jonathan Zwingana, the one at Ossah Road was conducted by Hajia Rabiu Sulu-Gambari and Alhaji Garba Sani.
In separate speeches, Sulu-Gambari and Sani said that the national leadership of the party sent them to Abia to conduct the exercise.
They described the congress that produced Ndukwe as the authentic and legally recognised one.
They said that the committee was committed to upholding the rule of law.
NAN reports that all the contestants at the Ossah congress were returned unopposed.
Notable chieftains of the party who attended the exercise at the stadium included a former Deputy Governor of Abia, Mr Chris Akomas, Sen. Nkechi Nwogu and former governorship candidate of the party, Chief Nyerere Anyim.
On the other hand, the congress at Ossah Road was attended by Emenike and Paul Ikonne, two notable chieftains of the party.
In an interview at the end of the congress at Ossah Road, Ndukwe said his leadership would make APC strong and capable of winning the 2019 governorship poll in the state.
“Therefore, I’m inviting everybody who wants a change in Abia to come and join APC right now so that we can salvage Abia.”
He promised a level playing field for all the aspirants, saying “There will be equal opportunity for everybody.”
The party held similar parallel congresses at the ward and local government levels following a protracted leadership tussle between Emenike and Nwamkpa factions.
The parties are currently in court over their disagreement.