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APGA Crisis: How Umeoji floated factional APGA – National Chairman reveals

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By Chinagorom Ugwu

The national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Oye, has revealed how the factional party gubernatorial candidate, Chukwuma Umeoji, floated a faction of the party after being disqualified from participating in the party’s governorship primaries.

Speaking during the Channels TV’s ‘Politics Today’ on Wednesday, which was monitored by our correspondent, Chief Oye confirmed that Umeoji was a member of the party and that he, indeed, purchased the party’s governorship form. However, Oye claimed, apart from returning the governorship form, which he allegedly filled, with errors spilled all over it, the party’s screening panel found him unworthy to contest the governorship position under the party’s platform, and he was, therefore, disqualified.

Oye said, “Chukwuma Umeoji has been a member of our party. We considered him in 2019; we gave him ticket to (contest for Federal) House of Representatives seat. I signed the form.  He came to APGA and purchased a form to contest for governor.

“He filled the form and returned it. If you go through the form; the form was filled with errors. Tippex everywhere. Apart from that, the committee’s screening panel did its job thoroughly and found him not worthy to contest for governor and he was disqualified.”

The APGA chairman, who did not give details of why the former lawmaker was found unworthy, added that Umeoji wrote a petition ‘by proxy’ and that it was dismissed by the petition screening panel of the party for lacking in merit. He expressed shock that, rather than embrace the party’s verdict regarding his disqualification from the gubernatorial race, Umeoji and his group later went ahead and formed a factional APGAin an unnamed hotel in Abuja.

He (Umeoji) wrote a petition by proxy and the petition lacked merit and it was dismissed by petition screening panel of the party. The next thing we heard, after three days, was that he had formed his own APGA in a hotel at Garki, Area 7 (Abuja),” Chief Oye revealed.

The APGA leader, however, expressed satisfaction with the judgement of the Appeal Court sitting in Kano, which set aside the judgement of the Birnin Kudu, Jigawa state High Court and reaffirmed him as the authentic APGA national chairman. Describing the Jigawa High Court judgement as ‘fraudulent’, Oye challenged the Jude Okoye-led faction of the party to move up the rungs of the judiciary hierarchy and further pursue their quest for redress at the Supreme Court, if they were not satisfied with the judgement of Court of Appeal. He stressed that the party remained supreme and with zero tolerance for injustice, irresponsibility and indiscipline.

His words, “The (Appeal Court) judgment was very clear. If they were not satisfied with the judgement of Court of Appeal, the right thing for them to do is to go to Supreme court without making any noise. There is no crisis in APGA. The so-called crises are man-made (and) created by some persons for their self-aggrandisement.

“APGA is supreme. We accommodate any person, wherever you come from, once you conform to our ethics and ethos. APGA does not tolerate injustice, irresponsibility and indiscipline. The party is supreme. Once a party disqualifies you, must you throw yourself at the party by force? It is not done anywhere.”

It will be recalled that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has been enmeshed in leadership crisis, resulting to splitting of the party into two factions. Both factions had held separate primaries to produce two different candidates for the same November 6 governorship election in Anambra state. While the Jude Okoye-led faction elected Chukwuma Umeoji as its governorship candidate, the Victor Oye-led faction elected Chukwuma Soludo as its own governorship candidate.

However, in last Tuesday’s judgement, delivered by three justices, the Appeal Court in Kano Division, set aside the judgement of the Jigawa High Court and affirmed Chief Victor Oye as the national chairman of APGA and Chukwuma Soludo as the party’s authentic governorship candidate.

On his part, Chukwunyere Ikechukwu, the Jude Okoye-led APGA publicity secretary, through telephone call on the same programme, maintained that his faction would challenge the Appeal Court judgement at the Supreme Court. He, however, contended that the Appeal Court ruling bordered on whether or not the case was a pre-election matter and not on the authenticity of the national chairman and the governorship candidate of the party, insisting that it was the matter that was set aside by the Appeal Court.

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