This interview below was filed by the APGA UK Chapter.
In the interview, the Secretary of APGA UK,Onyeka Mbaso states that APGA UK Chapter backs Victor Umeh, Gov Rochas Okorocha and Gov Peter Obi.
Please let us know who you are and what you represent?
Thank you very much my name is Sir Onyeka Mbaso the General Secretary All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) UK Chapter. We are members of APGA in the United Kingdom Chapter with our headquarters in London. APGA UK Chapter stands for a future of Nigeria that is anchored on good governance that will be fair for all. We are part of the APGA in Nigeria and we work closely with APGA National Working Committee (NWC) in Nigeria to establish good governance and help rebuild our economy to enable us secure the recovery and investments in growth and jobs.
APGA UK Chapter wants to restore trust in politics with greater transparency and accountability in a system battered by looting of public funds and electoral malpractices. We represent our values; will of people, a nation of laws, good education, good leadership and diplomacy.
There is a report in Nigeria Compass that APGA in Diaspora are in support of efforts to rebuild APGA.
First, I will start by saying that the article in question was written by Mr Nnamdi Kanu who does not represent APGA UK Chapter. He is an Igbo indigene that resides in London and he should not be parading himself as the Chairman of APGA UK Chapter
The National Executive Committee of our great party APGA recognized Mr Uzonna Udemba as the substantive and duly recognized Chairman of APGA in UK. APGA UK Chapter will always welcome a genuine rebuilding of our great party if need be and not some individuals rebuilding APGA for their selfish interests. The able leadership and an excellent Party structure articulated by Chief Sir Victor Umeh of our great party APGA enabled the Party to capture Imo state and Anambra state respectively. The Chapter is continually propounding the ethos of good governance and supporting the ongoing electoral reform both in the Party and in Nigeria that will govern elected individuals of the party and the country.
Our main focus in UK is to support our national Party in Nigeria to continue the excellent work already on the way for a modern progressive APGA based on fairness, respect, decency and openness which we strongly believe that the current leadership of Chief Sir Victor Umeh is practicing. His able leadership and documented achievements has made tremendous impact in stamping integrity in governance of APGA as a national Party in Nigeria and has linked the party to the hopes and aspirations of the Nigerian people. The UK Chapter therefore gives kudos to the leadership integrity of Chief (Sir) Victor UMEH (KSJ, JP)
In the modern societies today, the progressives’ political parties are constantly rebuilding and reforming their policies and strategies and if there are any problems to overcome, the party will pull their intellectual resources together, work together and stop blaming one another. In essence individual’s members of the party should remember that we are all in this together and that real change comes when people are inspired and mobilized. We should focus on the fact that our political systems have betrayed the people and not the leadership of Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh. If you look deep into the current leadership of APGA in Nigeria, you will notice that the real change came from collective endeavors and that was what brought Governors Peter Obi and Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha into the Anambra State and Imo State government houses respectively. APGA UK Chapter supports a change that can offer a new approach, a change with policies and ideology and the point that stresses that the role of the state is to strengthen society and make public services serve the people who use them.
What is All Progressives Grand Alliance Membership strength?
APGA UK Chapter membership strength is very strong now and it can be measured by the influx of new members. We have had series of meetings since we started our meeting in London led by our current Chairman Mr Uzonna Udemba and his Executive Members. We started the meeting with few committed members but today I can tell you that we have over eight hundred members. The way the membership is expanding has prompted us to start making plans of establishing more chapters within and outside the United Kingdom. The simplest measure of any party’s strength lies on the number and commitment of its members.
Thanks to the leadership of the APGA National Chairman Chief Sir Victor Umeh through the APGA policies and ideas that has lifted our current member’s status to an all time high.
Do APGA UK Chapter participate in voting in Nigeria and what is our relationship with APGA in Nigeria
The process of ongoing electoral reforms in Nigeria is already accommodating Nigerians in Diaspora whereby people can vote from where ever they live abroad. This is a welcome development which APGA UK supports and has a position statement from UK Diaspora perspective. We however indirectly participate in elections in Nigeria because we have families back home that we have a great influence on the way our loved ones in Nigeria cast their votes at the polls. We can recall that Governor Peter Obi lived in London before he contested for the Governor of Anambra state. If there is no relationship between Diaspora and Nigeria how would he have been elected as the governor.
Our relationship with APGA in Nigeria is very cordial and we work alongside the APGA National Working Committee by consulting them in all matters pertaining to policy implementation.
We learnt that there was an article on Nigeria Compass.com, Tagged how the party faired in the face of seven years leadership crisis between Chief Sir Victor Umeh and Chief Chekwas Okorie
Thank you very much for drawing my attention to that article. I want to clarify to you once more that there is no leadership crisis between Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh and Chief Chekwas Okorie at the moment that will warrant a press interview by Chief Chekwas Okorie’s agents. The matter has been concluded by the Supreme Court of Nigeria judgement of the 13th June 2011 where Chief Chekwas Okorie was defeated in the court and has since been expelled from the party.
I will refer you to the Nigerian weekly law report of 13th June 2011 (part 1250, 427-642) page 544, APGA versus Umeh. It’s a big shame that no proper checks are done in Nigeria before any publication is made on the local newspapers. We APGA UK Chapter will always abide by the rule of law. We do not support any particular individual in our great party but we do support a legitimate leadership which is the one in which Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh is the National Chairman. Our advice to any Igbo citizen is to join hands to promote our great party APGA. APGA UK chapter will not sit and watch some selfish individuals to destabilize our great party.
We recognize the fact that Chief Chekwas Okorie was the founding chairman of APGA but we cannot fail to give credit to current chairman, Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh for the leadership role he has played in steering our great party to this level today. Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh has sustained the movement, the party solidarity in spite of all opposition’s and distractions.
We understand that APGA has been in existence since 2002 in the United Kingdom
Well that is a fact but the APGA of 2002 under the leader of Andrew Emelife, Iyke Oti and the then National Chairman Chief Chekwas Okorie has seized to exist immediately the group noticed the crisis in the party under Chief Chekwas Okorie. They have delinked themselves from the National Working Committee for the past eight years and some of their executive members have joined other political parties in the United Kingdom. This is a very normal thing when any organization is no longer functional. No one heard about APGA in Diaspora until the National Chairman Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh came to London to inaugurate the APGA UK Chapter executives.
Do the 2002 APGA Diaspora members play any role in the last poll?
I have stated these before that those 2002 APGA UK executives had seized to exist for nearly eight years now with every person coming up claiming to be the past Chairman or Chairwoman. To be very honest with you, they did not play any role as APGA members in the last poll because they were not a functioning chapter. As I said earlier they have assimilated themselves into other political parties.
We learnt that Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh was in London recently to inaugurate the APGA UK Chapter Executives
That was true, Chief Sir Victor Umeh inaugurated the APGA UK Chapter Executives in London under the leadership of Mr Uzonna Udemba, the chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) UK Chapter and the General Secretary is Sir Onyeka Mbaso. There is no other APGA Chapter except the APGA Chapter in London in which the Chapter Secretariat is located at No 2 Station Rise, Tulse Hill, London, SE27 9BW. On the inauguration, the National Chairman charged the UK Chapter to work assiduously in promoting the image of our great party APGA in the United Kingdom.
We learnt that some factions of Chekwas Okorie was in your last general meeting in London
Yes some individuals that have lost touch with APGA came and claimed that they are Chief Chekwas Okorie’s faction in the meeting. We made it clear to them that the man himself has been expelled from the party. We advised them to obtain a membership card and become a card carrying member so that they will be current with APGA as a political party.
APGA UK Chapter welcomes anybody that will abide by the APGA constitution because our great party is the peoples party. APGA UK Chapter is the only recognized chapter in UK at the moment under the leadership of Mr Uzonna Udemba and his Executives.
How does APGA UK Chapter rate the leadership of the two APGA state governors?
The visions and innovations of Governor Peter Obi and Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha are second to none. One thing I must spell out in Nigeria is that our people don’t have patience, if you look at what is happening in Anambra state, you will notice the good works of Governor Peter Obi. Some cynics who are opposing his gigantic reforms and policies are those who are bent on corruption and looting of the state treasury and benefactors of his predecessors. Governor Peter Obi has done more than five hundred kilometers of road construction in Anambra state. His innovations have touched the lives of ordinary citizens by providing transformers, computers to schools, the economy, the construction of libraries and hospitals.
The pacesetting progress of His Excellency Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha in Imo state with his rescue mission agenda is evident for all to see. In his first one hundred days in office the Governor has extended his commitment to attracting investors to Imo state. He has flagged off an internal security outfit christened operation rescue with one hundred vehicles to ensure effective policing in the state. Governor Rochas Okorocha has rehabilitated the water scheme project in Imo state, disbursed monies that is accrued to local government areas to name but a few. APGA UK Chapter members are fully behind the leadership of Governor Peter Obi and Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha.
It was reported recently that the two APGA governors are working clandestinely to push out the APGA National Chairman Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh. What is APGA UK Chapter take on that?
Our members have expressed considerable disquiet with the publications in the newspapers in Nigeria and the developments at home and APGA UK Chapter will work very hard to make sure that peace reigns in our party APGA. From the recent developments you can see that everything is coming back to normal. Any normal person will want stability in his/her party because stability brings peace. The APGA UK Chapter position is very clear on our unequivocal support to the two APGA Governors and our able National Chairman Chief Sir Victor Umeh. APGA UK Chapter stands for justice and true governance at all times.
Has Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh grown the party since he became the National Chairman? How has he grown the party?
APGA UK Chapter can tell you categorically that the National Chairman has grown our party in different areas. He has installed trust in APGA and you are aware that trust is the basis for almost all the relationships in our lives. Without trust it is impossible to create healthy and productive environments. When people trust you they are ready to give their best. Chief Sir Victor Umeh’s vision and policy in APGA has brought about stability inspired people to work towards that vision and this is evident in the tremendous strides the party has made at both the national, state and local government level. It was this stability in our party that led to APGA capturing Imo state. APGA’s main targets come 2015 elections are to capture Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Rivers and Delta states respectively. Irrespective of what you may read on the pages of newspapers, Chief Sir Umeh still maintain cordial relationships with the two APGA governors – Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha and Governor Peter Obi. The National Chairman has grown the party through his exemplary leadership skills. He is a man with an impeccable character because it is very important that a good leader should be very trustworthy to lead others. The National Chairman has been a source of inspiration, a motivator and he is ready to roll up his sleeves and get dirty for the progress of our great party.
Chief Sir Victor Umeh has demonstrated that he is a confident leader through the way he functions in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. Last April Governorship Election in Imo state have proved to the whole Nigeria what a true leader can do in times of uncertainty. You can only identify a good leader by his/her ability to tolerate ambiguity, calmness, composure and steadfast to main purpose. All these good qualities of the National Chairman brought us to this level we are today. The APGA UK Chapter wants to thank Governor Peter Obi, Governor Rochas Okorocha and Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh for being proactive in raising the bar in other to achieve excellence in their various offices.
Who is Mr Nnamdi Kanu to APGA UK Chapter?
To be honest with you, this name only came to our attention after the APGA UK Chapter executive’s inauguration by the National Chairman Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh on the 28th of August 2011. As the General Secretary of this chapter, I read on the sun newspaper that a man is parading himself as the Europe/UK APGA Chairman. At the moment Mr Nnamdi Kanu has been advised to desist from such publication. The UK Chapter Press release has already disassociated itself from any such publication that may bring the party and UK Chapter into disrepute.
The Chairman of APGA UK Chapter is Mr Uzonna Udemba and the General Secretary is Sir Onyeka Mbaso. Here is the list of our APGA UK Chapter Executives.
Chairman –Mr Uzonna Udemba
Vice Chairman – Nnaama Ernest Ezeajughi
General Secretary – Sir Onyeka Mbaso
Assistant General Secretary – Dr Ifeanyi Onukwube
Co-ordinator – Kelechi Onuzulike
BOT Chairman – Sir Jude Ibe
Treasurer – Barrister Chiddi Akurunwa
Financial Secretary – Engr. Chijioke Okafor
Assistant Financial Secretary- Micheal Udeogba
Legal Adviser – Barrister Edwin Ajoku
Assistant Legal Adviser – Barrister Chi Chikwendu
Welfare Secretary – Chukie Ajoku
Organising Secretary – Steve Chukwunonye
Women Leader- Mrs. Nneka Ndigwe
Youth Leader – Martinsixtus Ezejimofor
Assistant Youth Leader- Okechukwu Agunanna
Provost – Okey Ibeabuchi
Special Adviser – Chief Engr. Victor Ihezie
Special Adviser- Chief Ben Amadi
Special Adviser- Chief Brown Obioha
Special Adviser- Chief Kevin Nwamma
Special Adviser- Chief Dan Otuonye
There is no faction in APGA UK Chapter; we have only one APGA both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom under the leadership of Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh. Thank you.