APGA Raises 14-man C’ttee to Reconcile Factions

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
Mr. Maxi Okwu
Mr. Maxi Okwu

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has raised a 14-member committee to reconcile its two warring factions.

Members of the committee, chaired by Chief Regan Ofomba and Mr. Obi Okafor as secretary, members are Hon. Eugene Chukwudi Orizu, Hon Chris Azubogu, Alhaji Tijani Idris, Samuel Ebogbodiri and Chief Ray Morphy.

Others are Hajia Zainab Nnena Abdullahi, Mrs. Chika Gbugu, Alhaji Abubakar Adamu, Joseph Tondo, Mr. Ezekiel Adegboyega, Hon. Ikechukwu Ejesiene and Chief Peter Orji.

National Chairman of the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi-led faction of the party, Mr. Maxi Okwu, told reporters yesterday in Abuja that the constitution of the committee signalled an impending end to the crisis rocking the party.

According to him, the major assignment of the committee is to reconcile the Obi and Chief Victor Umeh factions of the party.

"I am happy Umeh is making the moves, I enjoined him to be committed to it in the interest of our party and the nation's democracy,” Okwu said.

The peace moves came just as Okwu insisted that the outcome of the April 8 national convention that produced him remained sacrosanct.

When asked what would happen to a similar reconciliation committee set up by Umeh, Okwu said it was clear that it had been overtaken by the Awka High Court judgment that validated the April 8 national convention that produced him, adding that it was the reason why he is setting up his own committee.

Okwu, whose leadership is not recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), explained that he had initiated reconciliatory talks with Umeh, which were yielding results.

He also said with the recent court judgment, all the legal hurdles confronting his leadership had been cleared.

He said: “After the judgment of the Awka High Court, we asked INEC to give us a certified true copy of their report on our convention which they did. We have written to them to rescind the letter they wrote to Umeh validating his chairmanship of APGA.

"I must tell you that on April 8 APGA Convention we stand. It is a final judgment. What you people referred to as the position of the Court of Appeal is ruling on interlocutory matters. Of the four reliefs sought in that ruling, three were refused and even at that, it is not a judgment of the court and did not remove the declarative orders earlier given by the High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezuruike.

"The issue of reconciliation of aggrieved party members is an issue I am personally pursuing. Recall that I had problems with the party and I left. Now, I am back to the party so you can understand why I am taking the issue of reconciliation very seriously.”

However, he explained that due to the need to ensure unity in APGA, he heeded the advice by Obi, who is the national leader of the party, that inauguration of the Board of Trustee ( BoT) should be shelved till the end of June when the Chief Regan Ufomba-led committee would have submitted its report.

“In line with the Article 10 of APGA Constitution we would have named the BoT members, but we were asked by the elders of the party to wait till the end of June when the 14-man committee would have finished its assignment, including holding public sittings in Abuja, Enugu, Awka and Lagos,” he added.

Speaking on the problems in the Anambra State chapter of the party over the non-conduct of local government elections, he said the elections had been fixed for October and that the party would use the space between now and then to ensure reconciliation among members so that it would go into the council polls as a united party.

On the status of the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, he said Okorocha, who is fraternising with the All Progressives Congress (APC), might lose his membership of APGA if he did not return to the party.