The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) under the leadership of Chief Maxi Okwu has washed its hand off the emergence of Chief Willie Obiano as the party’s candidate for the November 16 Anambra governorship election.
In a statement issued after a meeting held yesterday at Sharon Regency Hotel, Abuja, the NWC dismissed Obiano as the candidate of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and APGA factional National Chairman, Sir Victor Umeh, both of whom they accused of running the party “as if it is a personal estate of Anambra brothers.”
“We therefore call on INEC to be wary of its dealings with Umeh and Obi as that does not represent the position of the party. We also wish to disassociate the party from any submissions made to INEC on behalf of the party by these two persons on the Anambra governorship election as they are not in conformity with the party constitution,” said the statement signed by National Publicity Secretary, Benard Akoma.
The statement dismissed claims of reconciliation in the party, declaring that Obi and Umeh are on their own and that “Peace (is) still elusive in APGA.” Below is the text of the statement by the Okwu camp which yesterday secured the nod of an Abuja Federal High Court to field Dr. Chike Obidigbo as the APGA candidate for the November 16 election:
“Contrary to the dramatized peace ceremony at government house Awka between the Executive governor of Anambra State Mr. Peter Obi and the erstwhile National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Victor Umeh, the parallel line dividing the party is still very much visible. Obi and Umeh had told the world in a rare display of love and conviviality, kissing and hugging each other at Awka, July 29, 2013, that the crisis in APGA has been resolved. The message to the understanding of many was that all the aggrieved members of the
party have been united under Obi/Umeh accord. But not many believed that that show was a mere display of a resolution of a personal misunderstanding between two brothers from the same community which is far from the resolution of the crisis bedeviling APGA. We wish to state that no other member of APGA was involved in that drama. We also wish to state that no member of APGA till date has been briefed of the terms of agreement between Obi and Umeh.
“Instead, the two have continued to run the affairs of the party as if it is a personal estate of Anambra brothers. For instance, Umeh the erstwhile National Chairman in his usual style has convened meetings of the proposed National Working Committees, NWC, and National Executive Committee NEC of the party with eight members of the NWC loyal to him under the very watch of Governor Obi, to the exclusion of other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, who opposed Umeh style of leadership. Again, Umeh the erstwhile National Chairman under the very watch of Governor Obi had conducted congresses and primaries for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State without the knowledge and involvement of the National Executive and National Working Committee members of the party. Umeh and Umeh alone with the full backing of his brother Governor Obi has advertised and published activities of the party without the endorsement of the NWC and NEC claiming that the party belongs only to him and his brother, the Anambra State governor.
“We wish to state that APGA is bigger than Anambra State and therefore cannot be appropriated by Anambra brothers as personal empire. We also wish to call on the general public particularly the independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not take resolution of personal issues between two brothers as resolution of APGA challenges we also wish to disassociate ourselves from any actions so far taken or to be taken by the two brothers. We describe such actions as pursuit of their personal interest which is at variance with the genuine of the party.
“Alhaji Sani Shinkafi who parades himself as national secretary was elected in 2003 and has outlined his tenure having spent ten years and seven months, two solid years above his statutory mandate as secretary of the part.
“We who have allied with Obi to persuade Umeh to abide by the party constitution, it is therefore believed that and peace deal between Obi and Umeh would accommodate the feelings of these majority members of the party. Meanwhile, the continuous alienation of majority members of the party by Umeh reinforces our consistent allegation of one-man show against him. It is our belief for any major decision to be taken in the party a quorum has to be formed to accommodate the feelings of majority members of the party. But such quorum cannot be said to have been formed in this case when majority are been kept away meaning that they don’t suppose to know what is happening in the party. We therefore call on INEC to be wary of its dealings with Umeh and Obi as that does not represent the position of the party. We also wish to disassociate the party from any submissions made to INEC on behalf of the party by these two persons on the Anambra governorship election as they are not in conformity with the party constitution. We want to say
that whatever reconciliation between Obi and Umeh which does not address the Constitutional provision of the party is considered unacceptable as we are not prepared to foist illegitimacy on the party and democracy.”