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Soul of APGA: Between Agbaso and Oye – By Ezeocha Nzeh

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Again, the soul of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), is engulfed in another protracting legal battle, over which group will emerge as the authentic leadership of the party, ahead of the 2019 general elections.

In 2003, APGA was bitterly involved in a leadership battle that no doubt affected its fortune and performance at elections, especially in the South east, when its founding national chairman,, Chief Chekwa Okorie, battled Chief Victor Umeh and former governor Peter Obi up to the Supreme Court, before the later was declared the authentic national chairman of the party, leaving Okorie and his group to float the United Progressives Party (UPP), which has no doubt depleted the APGA membership and strength.

APGA leaders recently returned to battle trenches in the law Court, when the NWC rose to impeach its national chairman, Victor Ike Oye, on October 5, 2015, following allegations of financial impropriety.

The NWC, after impeaching Oye and his two deputies, announced former vice chairman, South east, late Ozo Nwabueze Okafor (Okpche Ngene), as the acting chairman. It also set up a committee to investigate the suspended national chairman.

This is a move which was however rejected by Oye and his team, who in return, staged a factional NWC meeting at Awka, later in December 2016, where they  sacked both late Okafor and his group from the party, and the rest is the series of litigations that have trailed the soul of APGA in the country.

National Youth leader of APGA, Chuks Nwoga, explained upon enquiry by The AUTHORITY that the suspension and eventual sacking of Oye  was taken in the interest of APGA, in line with the members desire to rid the party of people of questionable character, adding that the NWC was convinced that Oye, who he noted was imposed on the party by Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, was not the type of leader the party needs to have a national outlook, claiming that he lacked political foresight.

“ Oye’s impeachment became very necessary for the party to move on and be transformed into a truly national party. He was committing impunity with the name of APGA, after he collected nomination fees in cash for the Kogi, Bayelsa and Ondo state governorship elections, instead of through bank draft. Such singular act means he was acts against the party, since the money collected would not be fully accounted for. When you collect money in draft, it is lodged into the party’s account, so it is recorded, but when you collect it in cash, there is another thing to it.

“So the NWC members suspended him in a meeting that he convened on October 5, 2016, after he could not give reasonable answer to series of allegation against him.  Also a committee was set up to investigate the allegations, and they confirmed all the allegations, as well as recommended his sack, which was affirmed by the NWC of the party. With his sack, the highest officer from the zone where he comes from, the national vice chairman, South east, took over from him. It was here that we looked at ourselves, in our desire to rebrand our great party, that we looked towards Ochiudo Martin Agbaso, as one party man, a founding member, who has both national and international appeal and clout to come and take over the leadership of APGA along with the then acting national chairman, late Ozo Nwabueze Okafor (Okpoche Ngene). This decision was taken because it became very obvious that Victor Oye lacked the clout to make APGA the truly national party we desired, after Victor Umeh. He has no political and business experience. The highest political experience was when he served as the Personal assistant to the mother of former Abia state governor, Orji Uzor Kalu”, Nwoga notef.

 “That was why we kept coming to woo Ochiudo Martin Agbaso to come out and save the soul of APGA, and we are happy that he listened to us and accepted to work with the late Nwabueze Okafor (Okpoche Ngene)

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