Amby Uneze in Owerri and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) yesterday conducted parallel congresses in Awka, Anambra State and Owerri, Imo State with each faction announcing the election of a National Chairman.
While the Awka group which allegedly has the backing of Governor Willie Obiano produced Dr. Victor Oye as its national chairman, former first National Vice Chairman (South) of the party, Chief Edozie Njoku emerged the National Chairman at the Owerri faction.
The Awka group also retained the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano as the chairman Board of Trustees of the party, while in a surprise move, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu Jnr, son of the late leader of the party who had earlier moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was also named as members of the BOT.
Oye was reelected in a national convention of the party held in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Friday, with delegates from all the 36 states of the country and the federal capital territory.
THISDAY reports that the convention was conducted peacefully, using an affirmative system, in which the delegates voted by voice vote.
Though there had been rancour in the party, during the buildup to the convention, with some aggrieved members of the party mounting a campaign for Oye to be stopped, but presenting acceptance speech after he was elected, Oye described such characters as ‘never-do-wells’.
He said, “We are building a new party, and we urge all to put behind them everything that happened in the past, but there are people who will never be happy with our achievement no matter how visible.
“My business in APGA is to win election, and I have no other business as the chairman of the party than that. I urge you all to put the past behind and join hands with me. We are going to do great things in this party in the next four years. My governor, Chief Willie Obiano is here, and I am assured of his support.
“In Abuja, they are shouting next level, but in Anambra, with Obiano as the governor, they will see what next level truly is.”
Speaking on allegations that he embezzled funds belonging to the party and also extorted from aspirants during the last general election, Oye dismissed them as mere smear campaigns mounted against his person by enemies.
“Every kobo that was realised during theelection is in the coffers of the party, and none of it was tampered with. We made N1.3billion during the election. What we did when we came to office was to outlaw payment of money by cash, all monies went straight to the account of the party, so it couldn’t have been tampered with.
Njoku also while addressing the Owerri crowd at the Concorde Hotel, Owerri, disclosed that the party’s convention and his subsequent emergence was consequent upon the nullification of the outcome of the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party held on the 14th of May in Awka, Anambra state by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“I will take all necessary steps to reconcile all aggrieved members and rebuild our party and if we must support President Muhammadu Buhari or Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, it will be a collective decision and not a one man show.
“All we want is for democracy to reign in our party family and we should desist from unwarranted criticisms and put heads together to rebuild APGA”, he said.
According to Njoku “Delegates from the 36 states including Abuja, came and I emerged as the National chairman. We are now the authentic leadership of APGA, you see that APGA are now happy.
“Like what we are saying what they are carrying out in Awka is an illegality. They just brought few people in government House, and say that they are doing convention.
“But here the original members of the party have come to decide who they want to be their national chairman.”
On the court order, he said: “There was an expert order which stopped that meeting by the National Executive Council, NEC, the meeting which took place on the 14 May, as I am talking to you now, by that exparte order, it has stopped every decision that came out of that their NEC, meeting.
“That meeting in which they also expelled the Board of Trustees members which is meant to have started their life with that of the NEC.
“As a result of the sack, of the BOT, members, the BOT, members went to court and got and exparte order stopping Victor Oye and APGA, from using anything that came out of the 14 May, NEC meeting including holding a convention.”