By CHRIS OCHAYI
ABUJA — The National Working Committee, NWC, of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, yesterday suspended indefinitely five leaders of the party over alleged anti-party activities. Until their suspension, they were members of the party’s NWC.
Those suspended include Deputy National Chairman, North, Alhaji Sadeeq Massalla, National Vice Chairman, South East, Mr Morgan Anyalechi, Deputy National Organising Secretary, Sunday Obasohan, Deputy National Legal Adviser, Bala Bako, National Youth Leader, Mr. Ferguson Okpara and National Women Leader, Mrs. Ella Nwabueze Ezeanya.
The NWC, at its meeting in Abuja, set up a seven-man disciplinary committee headed by Alhaji Tayo Sowumi, National Vice Chairman, South West, to probe the suspended officers over alleged disobedience of the party’s constitution.
However, it took the timely intervention of the anti-riot policemen to disperse some hoodlums who stormed the party’s National Secretariat yesterday, ostensibly to disrupt the NWC meeting.
The protesters who arrived the party office at about 9.30 am armed with placards while chanting war songs, were prevented from gaining access into the national secretariat by the policemen who had been stationed there since Wednesday.
Sets up 7-man disciplinary committee to investigate suspended members
The National Chairman, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, who announced the development while addressing newsmen after the NWC meeting, said the suspension was endorsed by 18 members of the NWC.
According to him, on June 19, 2012, five members of the NWC accompanied by hoodlums broke into the party’s national secretariat and addressed the press where they purportedly announced the suspension of the National Chairman and National Secretary of the party.
“These five NWC members further declared Alhaji Sadeeq Massalla, Deputy National Chairman, North, as Acting National Chairman and one Dr. Ifedi A. Okwenna, a member of the PDP, as the Acting National Secretary of APGA. The activities of these dissident NWC members have since been closely monitored by the party.
They have been sponsored overtime to undertake in dissidents and anti-party activities in order to destabilize the party. Their nefarious activities culminated in the unfortunate event of the 2012 aforementioned.”
He said “after a thorough deliberation, the NWC unanimously resolved to suspend the following members indefinitely.”
Arguing that the suspended officers lacked the constitutional capacity and quorum to do what they purportedly did on June 19, Chief Umeh, urged the disciplinary committee “to investigate the flagrant and brazen display of disobedience to the party constitution by the suspended NWC members and make appropriate recommendations to the National Executive Committee, NEC.”
“The NWC also condemned activities of Dr. Tim Menakaya, a member of the Board of Trustees, BOT, of the party, who randomly calls meeting of the party, thereby interfering with the day-to-day running of the party, contrary to the Article 11.1 (1) of APGA constitution, which forbids the Board of Trustees from taking “part in the day-to-day activities of running the party.”
The NWC also called on the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi to ensure that his administration conduct the local government elections in Anambra State without further delay, adding, “since the new voters register has been made available by INEC after the 2011 general elections, the NWC in compliance with Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution, as Amended, hereby calls for the conducts of the council polls.
Denies plans to merge with ACN, CPC
On the rumoured proposed merger of the party with CPC and ACN, Chief Umeh said the NWC made it clear that APGA would not merge with any political party, instead,, the APGA is ready for alliance talk with other political parties for the purpose of presidential elections in 2015 wherein APGA will field a presidential candidate.