APGA CRISIS: OBI GAGS SUPPORTERS, AIDES
A looming stand-off between Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, was on Tuesday averted, following a resolve by the governor to brush aside swipes from Umeh.
He also went the extra mile to bar his supporters and aides who were spoiling for a showdown to refrain from joining issues with the national chairman.
Obi said the provocative outburst of the party chairman on the pages of newspaper would not make him to wash his dirty linen in public.
Umeh had in a well-publicized outburst last Monday accused the governor of lack of commitment to the party, greed and selfishness. He said: 'let nobody stir the hornet's nest. I am the custodian of everything happening in this state, and if they annoy me, I will open the can of worms. It is a challenge I am giving them.
'If they don't want to contribute to the growth of APGA, let them leave. This is my charge to anybody, no matter, how highly placed. I read in the papers two or three days ago, where President Jonathan was saying that nobody was greater than PDP including himself. It is only in APGA that somebody will get up and say he is the Alpha and Omega, and yet that money is the state's money, not his money. Let them do what is right. Victor Umeh is not the problem of APGA. The problem of APGA in Anambra State is Peter Obi and Nwobu-Alor.'
Supporters of both men might have taken the gauntlet to sue for peace. Although no headway is yet to be made in the new initiative, the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha is being prevailed upon to intervene to save the party from total collapse. A former member of the party, who represented Owerri Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Uche Onyeagocha blamed the unfolding scenario on the lack of effective foundation. He said the demise of Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, who was APGA's leader, had opened the way for unfettered freedom and careless speeches.
In the meantime, Umeh has tightened his hold on the party in the state, cashing in on perceived wide spread belief among the members of non-empowerment, and allegations of selfishness and lack of commitment to the party on the governor. The new twist had pitched the party against the governor, who some of the members who spoke to Daily Sun said had lost their respect.
A source close to Obi, however maintained that the governor had not lost control of the party. 'The national chairman is using blackmail to hoodwink unsuspecting members of the party. He has also taken unilateral decisions in pursuit of his goals.'