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Monday, July 22, 2024

APGA Crisis: On Chekwas Okorie’s Rejoinder



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The problem with this report is that it is unfortunately one sided and silent on the many salient issues that transpired on the day in question. I was not present at the occasion but was reliably informed and I verily believe my impeccable source that the many constitutional questions thrown at Chief Chekwas Okorie were either not satisfactorily answered or tacitly glossed over.  It maybe interesting to bring to your attention that APGA as a political party has a substantive National Chairman in the person of Chief Victor Umeh with functional executive members, a fact which you have duly acknowledged in this publication. But what is baffling in your publication is the fact that you fail to acknowledge the fact that Chief Victor Umeh in exercise of his constitutional powers as a duly elected National Chairman of APGA has properly constituted and inaugurated a new  executive team to pilot the affairs of the party in the UK for a more assured outcome. Chief Chekwas Okorie did that when he was the National Chairman of the party and since he has moved on by virtue of the legal pronouncements of the highest court in Nigeria namely the Supreme Court of Nigeria in respect of his membership of the party, the party felt the need to reconstitute the executive team in the UK for effective leadership. Something that falls within the constitutional purview of the substantive chairman & his executives.

It would have been really appreciated if Chief Chekwas Okorie had addressed the gathering as any other politician from Nigeria or under a different political platform. This would have cemented his claim to being a law abiding citizen and by extension, a man of peace. Addressing the gathering under the platform of APGA and his continued claim to the leadership of the party even in the face of the finality of the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria which affirmed his expulsion from the party as proper and legal says much about his vaunted claim to peace .It is a cardinal principle of law (and life) that “whosoever goes to equity must go with clean hands”. May I politely ask if the  flagrant disobedience to the well considered judgement of  a properly constituted court ( the apex court) in a country as big as Nigeria amounts to acting with cleans hands or an act of desperation? I was concerned for him because he was deliberately charting a collision course with the Supreme court of Nigeria with devastating consequences. To put it bluntly, he was consciously knocking on the prison doors. 

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I want you to place it on record that I personally consider Chief Okorie as a man of integrity and an industrious politician and I wish he will stay the course though he did make a terrible mistake by stabbing his party at the back with his ill advised offer to Dr. Chris Ngige. Such act in political parlance is unforgivable because it signifies greed and the worst form of anti party activities which is punishable with immediate expulsion from the party without any further proof of verifiable damage. In Military parlance, it amounts to treachery and the punishment is swift and severe. His feeble excuse of offering the Governorship candidate position to Dr. Ngige as a way of preventing him from joining another political party when there is a substantive Governorship candidate of his party who was waging a fierce battle to reclaim his stolen mandate smacks of political criminality. That decision and his subsequent inexcusable defense has scared him for life politically and I wish he will devout more time to repairing his image than committing more political illegalities.

I sincerely believe that Chief Okorie has more to offer Nigerians with his experience as a politician. It is very unfortunate that he has to part ways with APGA as a party but that should not be the end of the story. It is my sincere advice to him to explore ways to come back into the APGA fold as the party is large and progressive enough to accommodate all those that genuinely knock on it’s doors. He should re-apply to be re-admitted into the party and I am quite sure many people including my humble self will be more disposed to making strong representations to the party’s hierarchy to give his re-admission request  a favourable consideration. Anything short of that will not work. APGA as a political party under the able leadership of Chief Victor Umeh has demonstrated that it’s progressive march towards total political & economic emancipation of the geographical entity called Nigeria starting from the South East through good governance is credible. It does not need to be distracted from this onerous task. Therefore such unfounded utterances of the party having factions in the UK or elsewhere is not helpful because there is no FACTION in the party. We do not want to waste valuable time debunking such false reports. The task ahead is of such importance and of such magnitude that I will personally consider it a disservice to the nation if we are distracted.

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I do not begrudge Mr. Nnamdi Kanu for parading himself as the Chairman of APGA UK/Europe. I only want to remind him that “you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand”.  He has no mandate to act as such because an exercise on the basis of an expired and or non existing mandate is “null and void ab initio”. He should have a deep look and hopefully a deep knowledge of the constitution of the party to which he claims to belong and maybe he will realise that what he is doing is an exercise in futility.

I did not believe the report that APGA members that I know were engaged in violence at the said interactive meeting. I refused to buy that piece of thrash rather what came to my mind and which is more believable is that somebody wanted to sell his publication with fabricated sensational reporting. APGA UK chapter of which I am a member and the substantive Publicity Secretary is made up of men and women of impeccable characters, of the finest qualities and very law abiding who will NEVER dare disobey or flout court decisions.  I wish I can say that of others. The notion that anyone of them will engage in thuggery or violence is something I recommend to the writer to gladly tell the marines.

From Mike Merenini Esq.
Publicity Secretary  APGA Europe/UK Chapter

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