The Scramble for APGA: Presidency Checkmates Victor Umeh/Rochas Okorocha



Embattled APGA Chairman, Victor Umeh & Governor of Anambra, Peter Obi

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The crisis engulfing the All Progressive Grand Alliance [APGA] saw a cantankerous siege at the outside premises of the APGA secretariat in Wuse 2, Abuja today June 21, 2012 as would-be protesters gathered at the entrance of the secretariat to protest against the continued chairmanship of the embattled chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh. Information made available to indicates the embattled chairman who through his reaching contacts within the Nigeria Police Force [NPF], used the men of the police force to forcibly dispatch protesters – had been suspended by the National Working Committee [NWC] of the party last week – and thus barred from entrance into the party’s secretariat.

Today at the party secretariat

The activities of today tossed a new twist to the already wrinkled affair.  As the embattled chairman gained entrance into the party’s secretariat, it was reported that he held a meeting with some of his National Executive Council [NEC] – and at the end of the meeting, they reached resolutions that further threw a wrench to the already soiled party affairs.

As a caveat, the NWC suspension of Chief Victor Umeh and the National Secretary of party, Dr. Shinkafi – was followed the announcement of an acting National Chairman [Alhaji Sani] and an Acting National Secretary [Dr. Ifedi Okwenna]. The newly appointed officials in acting capacity were believed to have received the mandate of the NWC and that of a suspended chieftain of the party, Chief Nwaobualor. But Chief Victor Umeh and loyal followers within the NEC countered the suspension move by holding their version of a closed door meeting at the Secretariat to resolve on the suspension of the acting National Chairman and Secretary from the party. As a result, the APGA party paroles two suspended national chairmen and two suspended national secretaries – with each laying claim to the party secretariat – as true indication of the rightful faction with the true mandate of the party.

For this reason, the APGA which the late Ikemba Nnewi grandfathered as the main party for the south easterners dances on a limbo tattered by the unholy mechanizations of “latter day” politicians at the doorsteps of lunacy. As independent inquiry conducted by reveals what appears more complex than what meets the eye. Particularly, the popularity enjoyed by the APGA following the landmark victory at the polls by the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi to mark a second term at the seat of governor – and the disarray of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] in the south eastern geo-sphere – served the APGA as a virgin bride to many would-be candidates and would-be political godfathers. Personalities such as the governor of Imo State, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, a shabby oil mogul, Mr. Ifeanyi Uba, Prof Dorothy Akunyili, a shady politician, Uche Ekwunife and others moved in for the ‘purchase’ of political real estate within the party. Adding accelerant to the scramble for APGA is Governor Peter Obi’s expected exit as the governor of Anambra State in 2014 – and the import and/or implications of Ikemba Nnewi’s death.

The normally loyal party national chairman to the State governor of Anambra – which was at the time the sole elected office holder under the APGA banner – lost his loyalty to the new inductees into the party – persons such the governor of Imo State and other new financiers of the party – such financiers as the likely hopeful aspirant for the gubernatorial seat in 2014, the oil mogul from Nnewi, Ifeanyi Uba. A source close to the embattled chairman told our correspondent that Ifeanyi Uba had been promised/assured the gubernatorial ticket under the APGA banner by Victor Umeh against the 2014 elections – without due consultation to the present APGA governor of Anambra State who was a sole financier of the party.

With the new scramble for the party, the chairman armed with his new financiers found new embodiments and fortifications to chance wrestling away the structure and control of the party completely from the governor of Anambra state and the foundation stakeholders of the party. This move on the part of Victor Umeh brought him head on with the governor of Anambra State – as he was asked to account for the N20million paid into his Bank Account on a monthly basis for the upkeep of the party – and for the monies collected from the aspirants against the promise of an APGA ticket. In return, Victor Umeh threatened to open a can of worms of the Peter Obi administration.  The embattled chairman never made true on his threats.

Nonetheless, further inquiry showed that the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha whose presidential aspirations is no secret, has reached ‘soft’ agreements with the embattled chairman of APGA for mechanizations that will assure the conditions to set the ball rolling against 2015 are put in place now – such as wrestling total control of the party away from Anambra State. This is because the Imo State political players see the governor of Anambra State as a possible threat against 2015 presidential aspirations of Governor Okorocha – and have invested heavily on Victor Umeh’s quest to stay alive politically in his veiled battle against the Anambra political block.

Authoritative sources within the presidency have however revealed to that the president’s attention has been aroused toward the unfolding scramble for APGA – particularly the presidential aspirations of the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha. As learnt, the presidency is uncomfortable with the aggressive manner the APGA structure is being engineered away from Gov Peter Obi – an honorary member of the National Economic team. Our sources reveal that Mr. President has decided to throw his weight on the APGA imbroglio to ensure the status quo remains. A new party secretariat, as gathered, has been pledged by Mr. President to the party – along with other pertinent resources to enable the party operate without the undue control of Victor Umeh, Governor Rochas Okorocha and their loyalists.

Stay tuned

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