By Ogbonna Casmir
The National Executive Committee of the United Progressive Party (UPP)
has formalised the merger between members of the party and a section
of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Enugu State.
Addressing members of UPP at the state secretariat, Thursday, the
Chairman of the harmonisation committee and the deputy National
Chairman of UPP, Chief Chris Uche said the exercise became necessary
to forestall mutual suspicion between the founding members of the
party and the new entrants.
Uche said that the national leadership of the party had agreed a
sharing formula between the two groups, adding that no one needed to
feel cheated under the new arrangement.
He said that 70 per cent of the party structure in the state would be
retained by the founding members of the party while those from APGA
would get 30 per cent.
“This meeting signals the birth of the merger between the two parties
as we formally receive the APGA structure in the state.
“Some founding members of the UPP have been jittery, thinking that
their positions will been usurped under the new arrangement,” he said.
Uche said that the leadership of the party wanted to carry everybody
along to justify the confidence it had on party faithful.
He noted that similar harmonisation had been done in states in the
South West which he said had embraced the party.
The chairman said that same exercise had also been perfected in Abia,
Anambra and Imo, adding that Ebonyi had no issues as the entire APGA
structure in the state had collapsed into UPP.
Uche said that the party had taken roots in the South East and was
ready to prosecute the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra.
Speaking during the event, the Chairman of the state chapter of the
UPP, Mr Ken Onyekaonwu described the occasion as historic.
Onyekaonwu said that members of the UPP were ready to receive APGA
structure in the state which had subsumed to their party.
“UPP has come to stay in Enugu and we see it as a way of having a
total control of our state.
“The foundation members of the APGA with 90 per cent of members of the
party in the state are joining us today and we are happy,” he said.
Onyekaonwu said that the party had a unique ideology and believe in
the welfare of the people.
Also speaking, the Chairman of APGA in the state, Mr Ogbonna Agu said
they decided to join UPP due to the incessant crisis that had
bedeviled the party since 2011.
Agu said that remaining in APGA would amount to going into political
oblivion, adding that the party had collapsed in the state.
“APGA is in a big trouble in Enugu. It has been enmeshed in one
problem or the other since 2011 and we see UPP as the most credible
option,” he said.
Agu said that he joined the new party with all members of the APGA
State Working Committee and their supporters.
The ratification of the state working committee is expected to take
place at the forthcoming National Convention holding later this June
in Awka, Anambra State.