Why APGA merged with UPP – APGA National Chairman
Reasons for the recent merger of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) with the United Progressives Party (UPP) have been made public.
They include: The party being engulfed in an intractable and lingering leadership tussle for the past 13 years, with the likelihood of the court litigations lasting till 2019 general elections. That Imo, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi State stakeholders perceive the way their Anambra counterparts run the affairs of the party (as if it were only an Anambra affair) as a betrayal of the mission of the founding fathers of APGA.
These facts were contained in the address by the Acting National Chairman of the party Chief Chris Ejike Uche to Imo Local Government Chairmen of the party, in Owerri last Tuesday. The purpose was to brief the grassroots leaders of APGA on the recent merger of his group with UPP at Enugu on Friday October 4, 2016.
Chief Uche also gave the recent confirmation of Mr. Victor Oye as National Chairman by an Owerri Court against the wishes of APGA stakeholders, a judgment which will prolong internal feud and legal battle in APGA as informing the decision of his National Working Committee to seek a merger with another party that will uphold the interest of Ndigbo, as originally conceived by those who founded the party.
“APGA”, he said, “has remained in court over one crisis or another for the past 13 years and might remain in court till 2019, all to the detriment of Ndigbo, who ought to have their own political party as other ethnic groups have”, warned Uche.
Chief Uche (aka Dimpka Asaa) who stated that his, is the authentic APGA structure (as he was elected Acting National Chairman of APGA by 18 out of the 27 Board of Trustee members), said that any other group parading its members as APGA are imposters and Charlatans.
He said that a look at the political history of the South East since independence shows that apart from Chief Sam Mbakwe, no other Igbo political leader has ever given Ndigbo good leadership. The rest have been leadership of merchavalism as they couldn’t carry along the people.
Chief Uche said that APGA NWC decided to merge with UPP with which his group has been in dialogue for quite a long time, under the leadership of Chief Chekwas Okorie, the founder of APGA, who was wrongly and unjustifiably booted out by forces of conservatism and selfishness.
The reason why APGA NWC decided to merge with UPP was because of Chief Okorie’s antecedents and track record, he stated.
“For over 40 years, Chief Chekwas Okorie has been consistent with championing the course of the Igbo race. He has contributed so much to the development of Ndigbo and has boldly spoken up on critical issues concerning Ndigbo where other Igbo leaders and South East governors had failed to do so. We see him as a trusted politician and so assessing other political parties, we decided to cast our lot with him”.
First and foremost, UPP is a party that loves all Nigerians especially Ndigbo. The rest of ethnic groups have their own political parties, so Igbo should have theirs too. On why APGA has failed to lead Ndigbo to the Promised Land, Chief Uche said: “APGA failed because of its inherent contradictions and curses placed on it by its Founder, Chief Okorie, who was wrongfully and unjustifiably booted out”. He recalled what Okorie said as he was leaving APGA. “I have gone with the soul of APGA, the carcass remaining will soon decay”. This is why APGA has been in court for the past 13 years and has now gone back to the court, likely to remain there till 2019. The curse will remain until they do restitution to Okorie”, said Chief Uche.
Other APGA National Officers present at the interaction were: Prof Francis Dike (SAN) a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Imo State and High Chief Uche Njoku, both members of APGA Board of Trustees. Chief Cymbo Okafor, zonal chairman of Orlu and chairmen from other local government areas were present. The national officers assured the local government chairmen that APGA did not collapse into UPP but went into the merger as an equal partner.
They assured them that everybody will be fully accommodated and nobody will be short changed as a result of the merger and that four committees have been set up by the merging parties to ensure a smooth take off. The committees are: Contact Mobilization, Finance, Harmonization and Constitution Drafting Committee.
They also informed them that the new UPP has now assumed a wider reach as a national party with stake holders across the entire federation. In their responses speaker after speaker, among the local government chairmen, expressed satisfaction with the merger and pledged their continued loyalty to their National leaders.