Chief Victor Umeh
Three estranged members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Wednesday returned to the party.
Addressing the returning members at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, the party’s chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, said: “I had known that a day like this will come. The only thing I didn’t know was the exact date. I know that the strength of a body is not in having disputes, but in the ability to resolve the disputes when they arise.
“The return and visit of our three exco members is a welcome idea. I am assuring Nigerians that by the next time we will gather here, nobody in the old APGA fold would be missing. I owe God all the gratitude for a day like this. Because what is happening today is the real symbol of our strength and our motto of being one’s brother’s keeper.”
Umeh also called on all members and leaders of APGA to pull their efforts together and “revive the great qualities of our great party that made it spring from nowhere to win two states, a senatorial seat, over 10 House of Representatives seats and 34 state Assembly slots.”
Umeh urged the party members to remember that: “It is the same leadership, all of you, including our brothers who are yet to come back that did the magic of planting APGA as a strong party. I am sure we will do it again in Anambra State in 2014. I am from Anambra and I know for certain that the state is waiting to give us their mandate to continue leading the state in the next gubernatorial election. I have no grudge against anyone. Governor Peter Obi is my brother, and as the election approaches in Anambra, I know we will transparently choose a candidate who everyone will support and we will win the election.”
He also used the re-union to pay tribute to a member of the NWC who left with the faction and just died, Mr. Morgan Anyalechi, describing him as a great mobiliser of people and one of the pillars that made APGA a great party.
He said: “We will do more and that is the reason enemies of the party who are bent on putting us in disarray to have their way planted discord in our midst, but I am sure we have overcome today.”
The returning party members pulled out in June this year following disagreement.
One of the returnees, Chief Onwuka Ukwa, a national vice-chairman of the party in the South-east, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said: “Our decision to come back to the fold is partly to strengthen the party and also in honour of our great leader, the late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who died a year ago.”
He restated his support for the leadership of the party under the supervision of Umeh.
Ukwa also called on other aggrieved members of the party still in the splinter group to return home and rebuild the party.
He expressed the hope that if APGA puts its house in order, it would take more states in the 2015 elections, and called on the two governors of the party to work together and take the party higher.
The other chieftains who also returned from the faction include Mr. Tondo Joseph, the national vice-chairman, North-central and Chief Sunday Obasohan.