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THE crises rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) appear to have assumed a new dimension, with alleged plans by the national headquarters to discipline some top members, including Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi over last Saturday’s meeting in Enugu, which it described as illegal and anti-party.
This was disclosed in Awka on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the party’s National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, on Inter-party Affairs, Dr. Austine Ndigwe.
Others who may face the party’s disciplinary panel include Dr. Tim Menakaya, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu and others who attended the meeting which Ndigwe described as “unfortunate, disappointing and illegal.”
The meeting was held at the Enugu residence of the late standard bearer of the party, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu by some members of the party, led by Obi, Menakaya and Mrs. Ojukwu.
Ndigwe said that neither Obi, Mrs. Ojukwu nor Menakaya have the constitutional right, under APGA’s constitution, to call a meeting where members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), National and state assemblies as well as key stakeholders of the party would be mandated to attend, like they did.
The party’s National Secretary, Alhaji Sani Abdullahi Shinkarfi corroborated Ndigwe’s views. He questioned Menakaya’s right to call for the recent meeting of the party in the south east and the usual claim by some people that APGA is an Igbo party.
“This party does not belong to any Igbo man, it not a tribal or sectional party but a national party. This party belongs to us and not a singular tribe in Nigeria. In the Northern part of this country, we are the determinant factor because we host the highest number of delegates either in PDP ACN or CPC”.
“The Northern part of this country plays a determining role on who will be the leader of a party because the issue of democracy is a game of numbers and in the northern part of this country, we have the number, we can checkmate anybody in this party with our numbers. In a democracy, it is the people that count. In anything concerning any political party, we have 19 states and the Eastern part of this country has five states. What I will agree with any Igbo man is that APGA has more formidable structures in Igboland,” Shinkarfi said.
On his part, Ndigwe insisted that Menakaya remains a member of the BoT and nothing more, saying the position of Deputy Chairman of the BoT which he was arrogating to himself, was mere wishful thinking and is unknown to the party’s constitution or members.
Ndigwe said Menakaya’s membership of the BoT expires in January 2013 and may not be renewed, while the renewed tenure of the National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh who was given a fresh mandate during the June 2011 National Convention at Awka which was attended by Obi, Menakaya, Mrs Ojukwu and Sylvester Nwobu-Alor, would expire in June 2015.
He said Menakaya only joined APGA recently from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he served as the Minister of Health during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, hence he is not in a position to grandstand as a founding member of APGA.
Ndigwe who is also the Special Assistant to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Public Affairs, said the whole stakeholders as well as the state and national assembly members of the party have just passed a vote of implicit confidence on Umeh and his leadership, adding that that was why no one of them as well as other reputed members of the party attended the Enugu meeting last Saturday.