As the Appeal Court sitting in Enugu proceeds this morning in the leadership tussle presently threatening to tear down the once cohesive All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a group of 18 former National Working Committee members of the party have dissociated themselves from the appeal.
The group led jointly by Chief Chris Uche and Alh Sadique Masalla, both Deputy National Chairman, South and North respectively was before now arch rivals.
They said they have embraced the verdict of an Enugu High Court which voided the Feb 10, 2011 national Convention in Awka which elected them alongside the national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh. But were now working hard to contest their positions in the forthcoming convention already being planned by the interim national chairman, Chief Maxi Okwu.
They blamed Chief Umeh for choosing to unilaterally appeal the court verdict, “without consulting us who were affected by that same judgment…” They therefore emphasized that Umeh was “on his own and no longer enjoy our confidence”, in the appeal trip.
Acknowledging that the party had made mistakes in the past, repented and was now ready to make amends, Chief Uche said they have also resolved to be joined in the appeal suit since they should be directly affected by its outcome.
When taken up on why they chose to come up with the stand at a critical time like now, Masalla stated that it was the right of every individual to so at any point in time. More so, that they chose to come together and fuse into one in the best interest of the party and the nation’s democracy.
Member of the group Bernard Akoma told journalists that they reasoned that after being in court with sundry cases they were now weary to continue waging one legal war after another. Curiously at the venue of the meeting and briefing was Chief Maxi Okwu who was observed grinning from ear to ear all the while it lasted. But in his reaction, Umeh who spoke through his aide, Dr Austine Ndigwe traced the problem of the party to an initial disagreement between the erstwhile chairman, Chekwas Okorie and Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu.
He stated that “Chekwas started having problem with Ojukwu when objected to having Ojukwu as the BOT chairman, and himself, Chekwas as the national chairman. That with such arrangement it would have almost robbed the party of its national appearance, spread and distribution of such key offices. Chekwas had favoured having a Northerner or South Western to occupy the position of BOT chairman. That was the moment Obi started rooting for his ouster. When they eventually succeeded, they put in Umeh which was later ratified. Today he do not want the same Umeh again or even to talk. The governor actually wants to run the state and APGA as a sole administrator where nobody speaks. Little wonder he’s busy handpicking only yes-yes members. He needs to be told that he need not kill the party before leaving. We also want to let him know that our party is not opposed to President Jonathan, FG or the PDP. He should remember it was the same Umeh that signed his nomination form two times. That he holds the record of being the only governor who recommends, appoints Ministers, Ambassadors and members of Boards and other such top jobs alone single handedly without recourse to anyone or even his party
Ndigwe who is Umeh’s Assistant on Inter-party Matters expressed strong confidence and optimism that Umeh’s appeal would surely succeed. “The court will give us judgment and redress the illegality Gov Obi and his group are foisting on all of us I am also in court to stop them, as Okwu has made moves to conduct convention of the party. He is not our member. With latest moves, it has become very obvious that the governor is the architect of the crises in APGA. It is unfortunate that some elected members of APGA attended the illegal meeting where they discussed the move. Am very sad these are happening less than a year after the demise of our leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu”.
How can anyone dissociate himself froma case he is not a party to?
Can anyone dissociate itself itself from a case he is not a party?