Published On: Wed, Nov 29th, 2017

I Am The Undisputed Founder Of The All Progressives Grand Alliance – APGA

I Am The Undisputed Founder Of The All Progressives Grand Alliance – APGA

I Am The Undisputed Founder Of The All Progressives Grand Alliance – APGA


My Book on the conceptualization and formation of the All Progressives
Grand Alliance, APGA is work-in-progress that will come with details
on the background, motivation, vision, ideology, agenda, challenges
and the actualization of the noble and historic objective of founding
APGA.

However, the mischievous and deliberate distortion of the history of
APGA especially by persons who are basically smitten by unprovoked
envy and malice have compelled me to narrate a brief historical
account of the formation of APGA in order to set the records straight
and avail the unwary public with the incontrovertible truth about the
formation of APGA.

The strong desire to found a national political party based on Igbo
initative motivated me to rally a few associates on the platform of
Igboezue Cultural Association which I founded in 1991 with the Motto
of Onye Aghala Nwanne Ya (Be Your Brothers Keeper) to embark on the
mission of forming a political party. In 1996 we submitted the
application to register the Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC) to the
Electoral Commission. PDC was not registered. In 1998 we resubmitted
the application to register PDC, we failed the second time. Not
deterred by these failures we approached the Independent National
Electoral Commission, INEC, the third time to register the United
Progressive Grand Alliance, UPGA. Let me recall that in all three
applications we used the Motto: “Onye Aghala Nwanne Ya” Be Your
Brothers Keeper, and the Logo was the Cock, for reasons that will be
found in the main Book that is in the making.

I performed the public presentation of UPGA at the Nike Lake Hotel,
Enugu on 28th of July, 2001. Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd), the President
General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo who was to be the Chairman of the occasion,
directed his Special Assistant, Mazi Kalu Onuma to represent him. I
then appealed to Professor Ben Obumselu of the blessed memory to
preside over the event while I did the presentation. Late Elder
Statesman Senator Francis Ella, a chieftain of Ohanaeze from Ikwerre
in Rivers State was on hand to deliver his goodwill message, at the
occasion.

It was at this well-attended event, which Victor Umeh also attended
that he spoke and announced his resignation from the PDP to join the
unregistered UPGA. In recognition of that gesture I appointed him
Protem National Treasurer of UPGA. In October, 2001, Victor Umeh
walked out on UPGA when he was confronted with his double dealing of
still belonging to a faction of PDP in Anambara State, as State
Treasurer while at the same time holding the office of Protem National
Treasurer of UPGA. He shamefully returned to PDP. Umeh was not sighted
again until July 2002, nine months after UPGA had transmuted to APGA
and registered as a political party. In other words Victor Umeh only
became a member of APGA in July, 2002. He was not part of the
formation of APGA.

INEC announced the registration of APGA, NDP and UNPP on Saturday 22nd
June, 2002 and I received the Certificate of Registration of APGA on
Monday, 24th June 2002 in an impressive ceremony at INEC Headquarters
presided over by late Dr. Abel Guobadia, the Honourable Chairman of
INEC at the time. On Tuesday 25th June 2002 and at the instance of
late Barr. J.S.P.C. Nwokolo, I made a discreet return to Enugu. At the
wee hours of Wednesday, 26th June, 2002, Barr Nwokolo came to my
Independence Layout Residence at Enugu in the company of a young SSS
detail attached to him Mr. Mike Obagu. Together we drove to late Arch
Bishop Albert Kanene Obiefuna at his official residence at Onitsha,
where he prayed for and blessed me and sprinkled the Holy Water on us
and the Certificate of Registration of APGA. We proceeded from Onitsha
to the Enugu Airport where I returned to Abuja with the morning
flight. Mr. Mike Obagu was to become my Chief Security Officer for
many years. He has recently retired from the DSS as a very Senior
Officer. My attention has recently been drawn to the fact that Victor
Umeh lied to a group of Catholic Priests that he was the person who
made this spiritual visit to Arch Bishop Albert Kanene Obiefuna with
Late Barr. J.S.PC. Nwokolo. Umeh was not even a member of APGA when
this trip with Barr. Nwokolo was made. Mr. Mike Obagu, alive and well.
He is a living witness to this incident. Nothing is too sacred for
Umeh to lie with.

On Thursday, 27th June 2002, I then made a triumphant return to Enugu
in which a large crowd of supporters and a battery of media men were
on hand to receive me. From the Airport we drove in a long Motorcade
to present the Certificate to the Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu
where he could not hold back his emotion as he gave me a bear hug when
he beheld the Certificate. We then proceeded to the residence of Late
Dr Alex Ekwueme, where he was on hand to receive us at his
Independence Layout Enugu, residence. We then moved to Justice Eze
Ozobu’s residence to yet another emotion laden speech and prayers. We
ended the day’s event with a visit to late Chief C.C. Onoh’s residence
at Ngwo but unfortunately he couldn’t wait for us because of our
apparent late arrival.

In all of these, Victor Umeh was not present because he had not become
a member of APGA, after jumping off the UPGA ship in October, 2001. In
July 2002, Barr. J.S.P.C Nwokolo passionately appealed to me to
forgive Victor Umeh and admit him into APGA. I obliged. I appointed
him the Assistant National Vice Chairman of APGA for the South East
Geopolitical Zone, after Chief Edozie Njoku who held the office at the
time respected my appeal to accept the position of Assistant National
Secretary to pave the way for Umeh who later turned out to be an
ingrate. Umeh couldn’t return to the office of National Treasurer,
because the nominee of Late Dr Chuba Okadigbo, Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu
had to be appointed into the office when Umeh lost faith and backed
off. Chief Nwosu was to resign in protest when Mr. Peter Obi emerged
as the Governorship candidate of APGA. Victor Umeh at this point
crawled back to me begging me on his knees to reinstate him as
National Treasurer, since Chief Okey Nwosu’s resignation created a
vacancy. This office was actually zoned to Anambra State. In my
benevolence and soft spot for a man that turned out to be worse than a
vampire, I reappointed Chief Victor Umeh the National Treasurer and
presented him at the Party’s National Convention on January 10, 2003
for ratification. Note that prior to the convention I exercised the
power to appoint Protem Officers of the party. It was from the
position of National Treasurer that Victor Umeh rewarded my
benevolence to him with an unprovoked Political Coupe d’état  at the
instigation and inducement of some elements in the Obasanjo
Presidency. The Obasanjo presidency regarded APGA as a National
Security risk, from the very moment Late Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu emerged
as the presidential candidate of our party. Chief Obasanjo told me
this much. They had the morbid fear that if APGA was allowed to spread
and gain root in the East, that Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu would re-enact his
Biafran Mission. To halt APGA’s expansion and if possible destroy it
became a state policy of the Obasanjo Administration. Victor Umeh was
quite handy to do the hatchet Job. This is the truth of the matter.
This is the genesis of the APGA imbroglio.

Let me recall that at the Ohanaeze General Meeting held at Asaba on
the 30th of June, 2002 the President General, Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd)
urged Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu to leave the APP which later became ANPP and
join APGA. In September, 2002 Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as a Guest at a
ceremony by the students of the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka,
dramatized his resignation from APP by tearing his APP membership card
in public. On the 24th of December 2002, he agreed to become a member
of APGA after I had consented to propose him as our Presidential
Candidate for the 2003 Presidential Election. This took place at his
No 4 Isiuzo Street residence, in Independence Layout, Enugu, in the
presence of Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd), Dr Joe Nwaorgu, Prince Richard
Ozobu, Chief H.B.C Ogboko and Chief Onwuka Ukwa. On the 26th of
December 2002, I proposed Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as our presidential
Candidate in a well-attended World Press Conference at the Zodiac
Hotel, Independence Layout Enugu. On the 10th of January, at the Old
Parade Ground, Garki, Abuja, I proudly raised the hands of Dim
Odumegwu-Ojukwu and Alhaji Sanni Bayero as our Presidential and Vice
Presidential candidates respectively.

At this juncture, it is important to debunk another blatant lie that
Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu “single handedly” appointed Mr.
Peter Obi as the Governorship Candidate of APGA for the 2003 Election.
The truth is that the National Working Committee of APGA appointed a 7
member Screening Committee to screen and recommend the best Candidates
to fly our Party’s Governorship flags in the South East. The Committee
was headed by Chief Maxi Okwu, Deputy National Chairman South. Others
were Prince O.N.C. Akanegbu, Chief Onwuka Ukwa, Chief G.U. Uba, Chief
David Ukeje, Chief Edozie Njoku and Chief Victor Umeh. The screening
exercise took place at the Hotel Presidential, Enugu, on 30/12/2002.
Chief Maxi Okwu in the company of members of the Committee addressed a
Press Conference on the same day at the same venue and recommended for
the approval of the National Executive Committee, the following
candidates: (1). Mr. Peter Obi – Anambra State, (2). Barr. Ugo
Agballah – Enugu State (3) Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu – Imo State (4) Barr.
Chief Onwuka Kalu – Abia State and (5) Barr. Sylvester Oduko – Ebonyi
State. It still baffles me why Victor Umeh will find pleasure in
spreading falsehood and fabricating malicious propaganda against his
benefactors even on matters of recent occurrence in which the dramatis
personae are very much alive with sound memories. What manner of human
being is Victor Umeh who has achieved notoriety in stabbing in the
back practically every one of his benefactors? I am yet to see any
benefactor of Umeh who did not end up being a victim of his
wickedness.

The New Webster’s Dictionary defines a Founder as one who initiated or
originated a project. Being the Founder of APGA ought not to be
controversial but for malicious, mischievous and envious characters
like Victor Umeh. I gave the late Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu over two decades
of unalloyed and unflinching loyalty. He celebrated me severally for
the accomplishment of founding APGA. Ohanaeze Ndigbo under the
leadership of Justice Eze Ozobu gave me the Traditional Title of
Ogbatuluenyi Ndigbo – A person who killed an Elephant for the Igbo
People. By this singular honour I remain the only Igbo person dead or
alive who holds an Ohanaeze Traditional Title. I wonder why any person
with any sense of proportion would want to ascribe the founding of
APGA to Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu. The Eze Igbo Gburugburu I associated with
for a long time never for a moment laid claim to founding APGA. God
knows that I genuinely and loyally added appreciable value to Dim
Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s Political Profile. I deserve nothing but gratitude.

Section 18(1) of APGA Constitution registered with INEC which was
there before Umeh joined the party states as follows. “The Founder of
the party CHIEF CHEKWAS OKORIE shall hold the office of the National
Chairman of the party for an initial period of Four Years and may hold
the office for a second term of four years if he so desires”. Umeh
aided by sponsors from the Obasanjo Presidency, struck when I was mid
way in my first term of four (4) years.

It is reassuring that none of the children of  late Dim Chukwuemeka
Odumegwu-Ojukwu has been tempted to ascribe founding APGA to their
noble father. Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Eze Igbo
Gburugburu, a man of immeasurable integrity would never desire to be
dressed with borrowed robes. I am unable to come to terms with the
reasons why his wife Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who is aware
of the veracity of the above narrative would want to join in
denigrating the image of the great leader by dressing her late husband
in borrowed robes as if he needed it to compliment his historic and
noble accomplishments. This is an obvious and regrettable disservice
to the personality of the sage.

The incontrovertible fact is that I, Chief Dr. Chekwas Okorie am the
Founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA 2002 and the
United Progressive Party, UPP 2012. By this feat I proudly join Chief
Obafemi Awolowo, Mallam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim, all of
blessed memory, as one of four Nigerians who founded two Political
Parties each in their life time.

No matter how hard my traducers may try, my hard-earned place in
Nigeria’s political history and the evolution of our democracy can
never be taken away from me till the end of time whether I am alive or
dead.

Those who wallow in distorting history and denying others their
genuine and hard earned achievements must be mindful of the merciless
verdict of Amadioha, the Igbo god of retributive Justice.

CHIEF DR CHEKWAS OKORIE
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, UPP

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