Sunday, 16 October 2016

APGA: One Party with Two National Chairman

Image result for pictures of Victor Oye
Okechukwu Onuegbu

Like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the one State ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) is fast becoming a political party with two National Chairmen in the country.

APGA, whose National Chairman, Chief Victor Ike Oye was suspended on Thursday October 6, by its National Working Committee (NWC) rising from its monthly meeting in Abuja, has equally appointed the party’s National Vice Chairman (South East), Ozo Nwabueze Okafor as an interim National Chairman pending when a seven-man disciplinary committee must have concluded its assignment of looking into the alleged infractions levelled against the suspended officers.

Oye, and others such as the APGA’s Deputy National Chairman (North), Alh. Abubakar Adamu and Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Uchenna Okogbuo, according to the NWC, were suspended in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution, following alleged constitutional breaches and inordinate practices of the chairman and other national officers.

The Deputy National Secretary of the party, Jerry Obasi, reportedly announced that those suspended were accused of gross misconduct, which included giving the party’s candidature tickets to non-APGA members without recourse to the constitutional provisions on applying for waiver through the NWC in violation of Article 24 (8) (a) (b); running the party without an approved budget against Article 12 (1) (9) and suspension of Edo State exco without approval or ratification by the NWC; not involving NWC in making electoral regulations to given nomination/selection of candidates and not involving NWC in day to day running of the party, which violates article 12 (3) of the party’s constitution; financial misappropriation, running the party like his personal empire and donating tickets to aspirants and candidates, among others contained in a statement signed by 13 members of the NWC entitled ‘Constitutional Provisions Breached by Victor Ike Oye.’

Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a member of the NWC alleged that, “The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano was calling us to stop the suspension, but nobody listened to him. Now what we are hearing is that the governor may join the APC to realize his re-election next year. If that happens, you know what that means to our party. Obiano is the only governor we have in APGA.”
But when contacted, Senior Special Assistants to Governor Obiano on Media, James Eze, and Emeka Ozumba, quickly refuted the claim, assuring that Obiano remains in APGA and was busy trying to realise his stimulus package on recession for the people of the state.

They also urged newsmen to contact APGA for a reaction on the matter, adding that Governor Obiano never intervened on the purported suspension, because according to them, what happened in the party was a minor disagreement within the leadership which had nothing to do with the governor’s position as both the only governor under the party platform and equally the party’s national leader.

Similarly, the Anambra State APGA Chairman, Sir Nobert Obi, and the State Working Committee, who briefed members of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) same day, said it was rumour yet to be confirmed, and as such would not want to comment till date.

In a swift reaction, Chief Victor Oye described authors of the suspension saga as saboteurs and dissidents who were working with those against the progress of APGA to destroy it.

Oye added that his party had concluded its monthly working committee meeting with all 29 members in attendance, whereon they considered the report on the outcome of the just-concluded Edo State governorship election, even as he wondered why just four members could generate such report even when they attended the meeting.

His words, “The report about my suspension or sack is rubbish; it holds no substance whatsoever. I am talking to you from my office where we just had our NWC meeting attended by all members. I am surprised that just four people could go and generate such malicious story from nowhere. It is unfortunate that some media organisations have used that story without confirmation; it is unethical not to balance a story, especially when it is not true.”

However, upon his returning to Amawbia, his country home last Saturday afternoon, Dr Oye refused to honour any appointment or telephone calls.

Speaking to, the new acting National Chairman of the party, Ozo Nwabueze Mario Okafor maintained that the NWC members listed a dozen "grievous" constitutional offences committed by Oye in his checkered 16months in the saddle, and urged Gov Willie Obiano who had been on a shuttle diplomacy since the crisis blew open, to allow him to his political fate, or choose any other person from within the party, "not any other imported person from outside like Oye".

Okafor noted that the party chiefs see Dr Oye as a 'non-member' of the party who was picked from nowhere and foisted on the party, hence his aloofness, cockiness and arrogance who has no close affinity with any one of them, and had vowed to accord respect and honour to Gov Willie Obiano's meeting (held on Tuesday, Oct 11,2016), pointing out that if given another of the many opportunities he had received in the past, Oye would not change, until he ruins the party completely.

But other APGA chieftains, who wouldn't want their names mentioned in the media presently, averred that they only go haywire after the Awka meeting with the governor, where Oye, according to them, had been going round the whole places collecting pittance and dragging the name and image of the party down in the name of "kola-nut breaking" and had lashed out at them that he was all these while running the party on charity and with personal funds, whereas grapevine had it that he collects N5million monthly.

Dr Oye, it was further learnt, invited all who is who in South East to Awka on Sunday in order to join him in begging the NWC and Gov Obiano to save his head. Sadly the party chiefs' minds appeared made up already, especially not after talking down on them like his housemaids all along before now. 

They equally came to listen to the governor and to throw more light on the weighty reasons for their action against Oye which they argue was advised by patriotic zeal to save APGA from a seeming political undertaker who may have come to destroy what they spent years building.

At the meeting, Governor Obiano tried in vain to nip it on bud, as the two sides refused to shift ground. Ozo Nwabueze Okafor had insisted that Oye must face the disciplinary panel before his suspension can be reviewed, leading to no clear resolution or communiqué reached, as both left governor's lodge without addressing the press.

It was further learnt that the acting National Chairman of APGA approached and filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja, asking the court to validate the suspension of Oye in-line with party's constitution. The court has not given any date for hearing.

A source also confirmed that Ozo Nwabueze Okafor's faction has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; notifying it of the leadership changes in APGA, with INEC acknowledging the correspondence although it’s yet to make public its position.

With this internal wrangling, political watchers observed that Oye lacked what it takes from the beginning, and that the crisis has exposed his lack of teamwork as it was clear he has no closeness or any interpersonal relationship with any of the NWC/party members at all who would have hinted him of the impending crisis.



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