Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra State and a founding member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has expressed shock at the purported merger of the party with other opposition parties in the country.
Obi who spoke to Thisday on phone yesterday shortly before he departed to South-Africa on the federal Government delegation to cheer up the Super Eagles said he was not aware of the APGA they were talking about, assuring the reporter that it certainly was not the APGA he belonged to but could be the one that existed in some other people’s imagination.
‘As far as APGA faithful are concerned, there is no merger because, ab initio, APGA has not even discussed such a matter not to talk of consummating the process,’ Obi stated.
The governor was speaking for the first time since the announcement of a merger said that he had refrained from making a spontaneous comment as a father and a leader intent on reaching out to the APGA family to know if any consensus was even reached without his knowledge.
‘I consulted widely on the matter. I called the party leadership and they said they heard it on the media. I called notable foundation members one after the other. When I got the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Bianca Ojukwu who is the wife of our late leader and hero, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and who from the onset was part of the entire process; she expressed outrage at the development. I called the only Board of Trustees member of APGA (BOT), Dr. Tim Menakaya, who said he was not aware. I called the Nigerian Ambassador to Burundi, Odi Nwosu, who was the closest person to Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu who also expressed shock. I called other notable foundation members of APGA and they expressed the same sentiments.
I also decided to call our recent notable members, namely, Sen. Chris Anyanwu; Former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili; former Ambassador and Minister of Culture and Tourism, Frank Ogbuewu; some other National Assembly members, namely, Hons. Uche Ekwunife, Eddie Mbadiwe, Chris Azubogu, Emeke Nwogbo, Victor Ogene, Cyril Egwuatu. I also called Chief Reagan Ufumba, a former governorship candidate in Abia State; Chief Chuma Nzeribe, a former House of Representatives member as well as Senatorial candidate, among other members and they all said they were not aware of the development that led to the so called merger,’ Obi said.
On what probably led to this, Obi said there was no way he could know as he was not a prophet. However he decried the situation where those that had not stayed up to three years in APGA and in some case, non-members are the ones bringing the Party into disrepute.
Speaking further, Obi said it was unfortunate that those who were the foundation members and contributed in nurturing the Party through great personal sacrifices and have not in any way undermined its integrity and stability were the ones being hounded in the party. He recalled how he sustained the party for many years and was in court for three years fighting for his mandate and how he fought his impeachment and removal, pointing out that if not because of those victories there would not be a party called APGA today.
Concluding, Obi expressed faith in APGA and said that the party would, like the phoenix, grow from its present problems. He called on all those in love with the ideals of freedom, equity and justice to join APGA, while urging those already in the party to cultivate the spirit of working with one another for the growth of the party.