• As NWC meeting ends in turmoil
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Oye has dismissed claims by some members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) that he has been suspended from office. Oye said that contrary to such insinuations, the meeting of the NWC was peaceful and that it considered the report on the outcome of the just-concluded Edo State governorship election.
He insisted that APGA remains one family and that it would continue to uphold its constitution and the ideology, which has produced a model in governance in Anambra state. On the party’s position on the Edo election, Oye said that APGA condemned the wanton manipulation of the electoral process during the gubernatorial contest. He alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) connived with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to divert the huge chunk of votes that APGA got in the Edo election.
He said: “From the returns that we had, we scored 30,000 votes. The 30,000 votes were allocated to All Progressive Congress (APC) to boost its votes in other to beat Ize Iyamu the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). So APGA as a political party condemns in no unmistakable terms what transpired at that election.”
Oye also pointed at what happened in Nassarawa State where the party participated in a bye-election held for the Toto Federal constituency, describing it as daylight robbery “What took place there in the name of election where the total number of voters was recorded as 500 is a daylight robbery, while accredited voters was 117 while number of votes return was 1700,” he said.
He wondered why such a thing would be tolerated in this country, saying it was a shame on all the stakeholders. Some members of the NWC led by the Deputy National Secretary, Jerry Obasi had addressed a press conference in Abuja shortly after a marathon meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party which lasted till the wee hours of yesterday. He noted that they have passed a vote of no confidence on the chairman for gross misconduct.
He said the meeting had suspended the chairman for violating several sections of the party’s constitution, ranging from gross misconduct to financial misappropriation. The other officers affected are the deputy national chairman (north), Alhaji Abubakar Adamu and the deputy national chairman (south), Uchenna Okogbuo.
They 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, in addition to seven other offences. The National Vice Chairman (south east), Ozo Nwabueze Okafor, was appointed by the aggrieved NWC members as an interim chairman pending when a seven-man disciplinary committee must have concluded its assignment of looking into the alleged infractions levelled against the suspended officers.
Briefing journalists outside the party’s national Secretariat in Abuja at the end of the tension-soaked meeting, Obasi said the suspended chairman violated several sections of the party’s constitution ranging from gross misconduct to financial misappropriation, running the party like his personal empire and donating tickets to aspirants and candidates. He alleged that there was no transparency in the manner Oye piloted the affairs of the party, after which a statement signed by 13 members of the NWC titled ‘Constitutional Provisions Breached by Victor Ike Oye’ was distributed to journalists.
He said:, “We don’t know how much the party generates, that is the income of the party; we don’t know from where this income comes. He would only tell you I gave this person this amount as if it is his personal business, whereas APGA is supposed to be a party that is governed by laws and certain regulations.
“But all these things were diminished, neglected and abandoned by Ike Oye and these things were done very violently and in total disregard to our constitution. “Oye, immediately we were sworn in as officers, was supposed to run the party in uniformity but decisions as it concerns APGA have been taken by him unilaterally and very incongruous with the value that the party had put in place.
There is a template that has been set by the party but the emergence of Ike Oye as national chairman has wasted all these tenets and principles. In fact, the image of the party under Ike Oye is near zero; the only thing going for APGA is its good name as left by leaders of the party like late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu but Ike Oye has abandoned the party and running a personal course using APGA as a bait,” he said.