No End in Sight to APGA’s Crisis


Despite the re-instatement of Victor Umeh as the national chairman of APGA, the personal agenda of the party’s two governors tear it apart

|  By Anayo Ezugwu  |  May 27, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

THE unending crises rocking the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, is not likely to abate even with the reinstatement of Victor Umeh as the national chairman by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the departure of Rochas Okorocha, Imo State governor with his supporters to the All Progressive Congress, APC. The INEC, said it would continue to relate with Umeh as the national chairman of APGA, adding that its action is in compliance with the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which ordered a stay of execution of the Enugu High Court.

Reacting to the development, Umeh said the action of INEC was a demonstration of its commitment to the rule of law. He explained that the recognition of his leadership would go a long way in reinvigorating the APGA. He noted that with his recognition by the INEC, the party’s leadership would commence efforts at rebuilding the party. “It will be recalled that in recent times, our party has been reported as a party that has been factionalised.  We patiently waited for INEC’s response to the ruling of the appeal court over the party’s leadership. This development has also straightened things in the APGA and for those who want to do business with the APGA, you now know who to deal with. I want to use the opportunity to thank the INEC for obeying the decision of the court and upholding the rule of law. For this action, we applaud the INEC,” he said.


Meanwhile, Okorocha on May 7 formally joined the All Progressives Congress. He said that his intention of joining the APC was to ensure that the people continue to benefit from the dividends of democracy under his administration. He explained that the APGA had engaged in the merger and not in alliance with any party, noting that a two party system was good for the country’s democracy.

But, Peter Obi, Anambra State governor’s-led faction of the party, has advised Okorocha to re-think before joining the APC. Francis Edeh, senior media assistant to Maxi Okwu, national chairman of the faction said that Okorocha needed a re-think on joining a yet-to-be registered party. “Since Okorocha was elected on the platform of the APGA in April 2011, the party wishes to advise him to have a re-think on his decision to join the APC. The APC is still a political association that has not been registered as a political party by the INEC and the acronym is being contested by another political association. The APGA gives this timely advice to the governor to save him from becoming a political orphan wandering in political wilderness in Nigeria’s political horizon,” he said.

On the reported merger, Umeh on his part, dismissed the claim by Okorocha, that the APGA was part of the merger. He said the APGA is not part of any merger. Okorocha is not talking for the APGA. “I have severally advised Okorocha against this for over three months but he chose to go to the APC. If Okorocha still claims to be a member of the APGA, he must fall in line with the authority of the party. It is unfortunate that we have produced two governors and these governors have continued to cripple the party.”

Nonetheless, some stakeholders in the party have accused Okorocha and Obi his Anambra State counterpart of acting in a manner that tends to cripple the party. Prince Marshall Okaforanyanwu, Imo State chairman of the party, said the crisis plaguing the party should be blamed on governor Obi. He accused the governor of having a secret agenda to destroy the platform which made him what he is today before he leaves office next year. According to him, Umeh as the party chief, had advised Obi to conduct local government elections which would confirm the popularity of the party, but he refused and began to work against the Umeh-led executive of the party.


Willy Ezugwu, a chieftain of the party, said Obi and Okorocha should be blamed for the crisis rocking the party. According to him, their personal interests have undermined the progress and development of the party. According to him, Obi’s interest to become the leader of the party by all means and Okorocha’s plan to drag the party to a merger are the problems killing the party today.

Emeka Ojukwu Jr., son of the former leader of the APGA, said governor Obi has killed the ideology and principles his father left in the party. He accused the governor of betraying his father and noted that the governor chose to personalise the party and annihilate the real grass-roots members in order to bring in strangers who he wanted to do his bidding.

“I resigned as commissioner in governor Peter Obi’s government and some people felt that I should not do that. Today, I am vindicated for that decision I took.  There were several irregularities that I saw then which made me leave the government of Peter Obi. What my father had in mind for the APGA is not what is happening now. Ezeigbo had a vision of a party like APGA which would accommodate all and sundry and give Ndigbo a voice in the comity of states. But when my father died, Governor Peter Obi chose to carry out his own agenda to the detriment of the party. May be he was waiting for my father to die so that he can take the APGA to where he wanted and do whatever he wanted with it. Today, we have a crisis that is man-made and it all boils down to who will succeed him. But he is not fit to carry the members along and that is why we are in this situation,” he said.

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