2023: APGA leadership crisis deepens, party involves security agencies
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance ahead of 2023 elections deepened on Monday with a call on security agencies to arrest, investigate and prosecute its former national chairman and factional presidential candidate, Chief Chekwas Okorie and factional chairman, Chief Edozie Njoku, in order to save the nation’s fledgling democracy.
APGA, in a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting of its National Working Committee, accused both Okorie and Njoku of alleged illegal and criminal conducts.
The party said the security agencies should treat with dispatch, “all issues pertaining to the unlawful activities of Chief Edozie Njoku, Chief Chekwas Okorie and their co-travellers.”
The communiqué signed by all the members of the party’s NWC said the meeting deliberated on salient issues and other sundry matters affecting the party in the build up to the 2023 General Elections.
The document reads, “The NWC reviewed the activities leading to the nomination of its candidates across various states of the federation, particularly as it relates to the conduct of its ward congresses and primary elections nationwide.
The NWC also unanimously expressed its appreciation and vote of confidence in the national chairman Victor Oye and commends him on the manner he piloted the activities leading to the successful congresses and primary of APGA nationwide.
While calling on relevant security agencies to swing into action forthwith by investigating, arresting and prosecuting the duo, the NWC urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to continue to show its commitment, dedication and professionalism in defence of our electoral process.
The National Publicity Secretary of APGA, Tex Okechukwu, said APGA has only one National Chairman Victor Oye who, he said, was elected with other members of the NWC in a convention held on May 31 2019 supervised by INEC and which had in attendance the former governor of Anambra state, Willie Obiano, and 36 state chairmen.
But in his response, Okorie dismissed the call for his arrest, saying none of the individuals were around when he founded APGA in 2002.
He said, “The call for my arrest is not only gratuitous, it is a preposterous demand that either lacks understanding of issues being canvassed or a deliberate attempt to obfuscate a legitimate call for a just cause. Leadership is not a toga you wear only when it’s comfortable or serves your pecuniary interests.
“I founded APGA in 2002. None of these individuals were there. When brigands were sponsored to destroy APGA, and billions of Naira spent to fight me, I chose to step aside so as not to destroy a vision that encapsulates the political aspirations of Ndigbo.
“I voluntarily surrendered the certificate of our great party to INEC in 2012. INEC wrote to me in 2009 to reaffirm my chairmanship of APGA. These are facts that can be checked at the relevant agencies. It is also in my book, ‘APGA and the Igbo Question.’
“A delegation was led to my home to apologise and plead with me to return to the party I founded by Chief Edozie Njoku and the NWC. I really had no option but to accept and I re-registered as a member.
“My activism and political struggles of the past 46 years have been about Ndigbo; their welfare in the greater Nigeria and a better country where we all exist and progress as a nation.
‘People who are beneficiaries of fraudulent practices are panicked because the truth has come out. I have long expected them to throw everything they have at me. Nigeria’s security agencies are well aware of my residences.”