APGA Crisis: Gov. Obi Seeks Reconciliation With Umeh, Says Aide
Gov. Peter Obi has urged Chief Victor Umeh, the factional National Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to reconcile with the Chief Maxi Okwu-led faction of the party.
The Special Adviser to Governor on Political Matters, Mr Fidel Okafor, said this in Onitsha, Anambra, on Tuesday.
Okafor said the party was not chasing anybody out but had resolved to bring everybody back into the fold.
“Chief Umeh should soft-pedal on his stance against the current leadership of APGA and accept the truth in the interest of Ndi Igbo and the political legacy of Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu,'' he said.
He said that the current leadership was ready to welcome Umeh and other members back as well as accord them their due respect and regard.
He said, “I want to use this medium to advice Umeh to soft pedal.
“If all of us believe that this party is good enough for the Igbo people, one cannot continue going ahead creating impressions that there are problems. There are problems here and there.
“There is no problem again, the party is willing and ready to re-integrate him, but it does not make any sense if he continuous to fight to be national chairman.
“One, between you and I, there is no political party in this country that has retained one national chairman for 10 years.
“Victor Umeh started acting as national chairman in 2004, next year it will be 10 years and he is not tired.
“Look at, just go and study all the political parties in this country, there is no party that has retained one national chairman for more than four years.
“That is how parties grow, this party thing is not a personal business; you do your beat, you shift and another person will come in.
“It continuous to change, but in APGA it is as if it has become somebody's empire or dynasty, where you must be there, probably hand-over to his son.
“So, that is what we want to stop; it is a national party that gives the Igbo people identity, so we have to do things democratically to reflect how parties are run everywhere.
“Our party's constitution makes it clear that no one person can occupy one position for above, I mean more than eight years; from 2004 till now.
“You know what it means, that is nine already and by next year it becomes 10. Somebody is not tired, he wants to be there.
“My prayer is that he sees reason and accepts peace; if he wants to remain in APGA we can give him a pride of place as a former national chairman, maybe whatever thing he wants.
“But he must let the leadership of the party be, must let the party be because the implication of what he is doing is – if it is not me, let it die.''
Okafor noted that the convention that produced Okwu and others from the ward level to the national level was free and fair and had been upheld by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Responding, Umeh, factional Chairman of APGA, said that he would not join issues with aides and subordinates.
Umeh noted that Okafor should be making his appeal of reconciliation to people at his level.
“Do you know who Okafor is? Is that what you are equating me with?
“If you want to get a reaction based on what Okafor said, you find somebody at his level and call him to get his reaction. You can’t call me and start telling me that,” he said.
However, Umeh had gone ahead to get a stay-of-execution order from the court.