The gubernatorial victories at the electoral polls on February 2010 and April 2011 in Anambra and Imo States by gubernatorial candidates of the All Progressive Grand Alliance [APGA] in the persons of Governor Peter Obi and Governor Rochas Okorocha, respectively, saw a new nostalgia taking root in the south east political sphere particularly amongst the mainstream south east political pillars resident in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. But keen observers have come to note the nostalgia to have been mismanaged and probably mishandled by the overzealous tendencies of new politicians who fluxed into the party without knowledge of the conscience of APGA.
Founding members of APGA point to the recent actions by Gov Peter Obi and Gov Rochas Okorocha as indicative of foul-play and unacceptable to the original tenets with which the party was formed. Sources within the Imo State APGA executive cabinet informed 247ureports.com that shortly following the swearing-in of Gov Okorocha as the Governor of Imo State; he drafted a letter addressed to the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh seeking the dissolution of the Imo State APGA executive. He cited the reformation of the party as his principal reason for wanting to sack/dissolve the entire Imo State APGA executive cabinet. Chief Umeh, in response, presented the contents of the letter to the National Working Committee [NWC] of the party for deliberation. The NWC rejected the request stating that the Imo State APGA executive labored to see the victory of APGA in the gubernatorial seat in Imo State – and should be given the opportunity to reap the benefits of their labor.
Undeterred by the NWC rejection, Gov Okorocha approached Gov Obi. He impressed on Mr. Peter Obi on the need to begin the reformation of APGA – starting with the dissolution of the State party executives. Gov Peter Obi took the bait. Okorocha’s request came at a time when Peter Obi was caught between a latent battle between two party chieftains in the State, Chief Victor Umeh and Chief Nwaobualor. Both want control of the Anambra State APGA executive. So it was welcoming for Mr. Peter Obi to entertain the notion of dissolving the APGA State executives. Mr. Peter Obi then drafted a letter addressed to the Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh requesting for the dissolution of the State executives. Upon receipt, the APGA NWC rejected the request citing similar reasons.
The NWC’s refusal to heed to the request of the two south east governor’s further changed the chemistry of power struggle in APGA. It immediately turned the two south east governors against the NWC and the National Chairman of the party. On the part of Gov Okorocha, he extended his arms of friendship to the deposed founding chairman of APGA, Chief Chekwas Okorie, and brought him in as partner in the ensuing intra-party battle. Okorocha also reached out to Chief Nwaobualor to join in the battle – that has turned its guns to the APGA National Chairman and his National executive members.
In this new battle posture, the duo of Gov Obi and Gov Okorocha jointly sought for the removal of Chief Victor Umeh from the top seat in APGA.
And “coincidentally”, a group within APGA sprang up to denounce the chairmanship of Chief Victor Umeh – leveling charges of alleged financial misappropriation. The group, which is believed by political insiders in Imo State, to be funded by Gov Okorocha, announced the ousting of Chief Victor Umeh as the Chairman of the party and the entire executive cabinet –and named their replacements.
However recent developments in Anambra and Imo State indicate that all may not be going well in the battle to “revamp” the National executives of APGA. This is as 247ureports.com gathered through a source close to the activities in the government house in Awka, the capital of Anambra State, that the Governor of Imo State may have decided to abandon the idea – midway. This was gathered during a closed door meeting at the government house in Awka held September 4, 2011 between the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, his cabinet members and members of the Anambra State House of Assembly where Gov Peter Obi addressed the meeting indicating that Gov Okorocha appears to have lost steam in the battle to remove the National Executive – that the National Chairman remains Chief Victor Umeh – and that the honor due to the National Chairman of APGA should be accorded him. Gov Obi went on to comment that he had gone to Owerri for the Odenigbo meeting and had made efforts to see Gov Okorocha but Okorocha was being evasive. Gov Obi stated that Okorocha’s evasiveness occurred in more than occasion.
Through deductive implication, Gov Okorocha may have turned away from the APGA battle to face the myriad of administrative maladies in Imo State. Perhaps as the electioneering campaign for council elections begin to take hold in Imo State and Anambra State, the postures of the two State governors towards the present APGA executive will be clearer.