NDUBUISI Ugah’s analysis titled “APGA’s Unending Crisis”(THISDAY-Tuesday , November 27,2012) made interesting reading because of so many reasons.
He first traced the crises in the All Progressives Grand Alliance to December 15, 2004 when, according to him, the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, suspended its pioneer Chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie “for alleged gross anti-party activities”.
Ugah then went ahead to discuss how Okorie filed several suits in the courts of Law to challenge his suspension and eventual expulsion. Thirdly, he dwelt on the judgement of the Supreme Court, which affirmed Okorie’s expulsion; and then stated extensively, albeit smartly, the numerous contributions made by Chief Victor Umeh (who assumed the chairmanship of APGA at the National level following Okorie’s ouster) to the electoral success recorded by Governor Peter Obi in 2010.
The writer also made mention of the role played by Umeh to reverse the impeachment of Gov. Obi ; how he (Umeh) saw to it that the APGA ticket was not only taken from George Ozodinobi ( to whom the Okorie faction had given it), but also “made sure Obi defeated the Peoples Democratic Party candidate,Prof . Chukwuma Soludo and Action Congress of Nigeria’s Chris Ngige” at the 2010 gubernatorial election.
It is necessary at this point to state that the aim of this piece is not to argue that Chief Umeh as National Chairman of APGA did not contribute anything to Governor Obi’s re-election in 2010 or to the growth of the party. After all, if as the National Chairman, he took Governor Obi’s completed governorship form to Abuja for submission to the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, as was the procedure, it amounted to a contribution; if he accompanied Obi to campaigns and spoke at campaign grounds, it was another contribution; if he went on television programmes and spoke glowingly of his party’s candidate, Obi, it was yet another contribution and so on and so forth.
One is responding to Ugah’s piece simply because it was an attempt to paint Gov. Obi in bad light- portray him as an ingrate who, having risen to power on the platform of AGPA, now denigrates not only the party, but also Umeh without whom probably, he would not have made success in his political expedition.
All the talk about Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Governor Rochas Okorocha, Massala, etc, were merely calculated ‘digressions’ deliberately aimed at convincing readers that Umeh is a political wizard for whom even the great Ikemba Nnewi , Ezeigbo Gburugburu and APGA leader doffed his cap.
Throughout Ugah’s piece , there was no categorical statement that showed the spectacular role played right from the outset by Mr. Obi to nurture APGA from its inchoate stage, through the trying period (the campaign period in 2003 to the stealing of a mandate freely and massively given to him and his party in 2003) and then more importantly, how he almost single –handed wrested and recovered his mandate from the political buccaneers through the law courts.
Why, one may ask, did Ugah find it inexpedient to state that Obi was almost the sole financier of APGA and has remained so, even now? Why did he fail to state how Chief Umeh, the then National Treasurer of APGA transmuted into its National Chairman when Okorie’s role became suspect? Why should Ugah use the phrase “Obi’s alleged stolen mandate” when he wrote thus: “Together with other stakeholders, they (meaning Umeh and others) were able to recover Obi’s alleged stolen mandate from Ngige”? Is the stealing of Obi’s 2003 gubernatorial mandate still an allegation? Didn’t the Election Tribunal andAppeal Courtconfirm the thievery by affirming that Obi won the election? If they did not confirm that, why was Ngige sent packing mid-way into the 2003-2010 tenure? Why did the Supreme Court hold that Obi should be allowed to complete his tenure, a judgement which sent Andy Ubah away from the Anambra State Government House after merely spending 17 days?
The truth of the matter is that one does not want to re-open old wounds. But it is fit to call the attention of some non-discernible fellows to the true position of things , especially given the avalanche of “sponsored “ media reports, analyses and commentaries in recent times.
Today the news media are awash with comments from APGAUK, APGAUSA, APGA this, APGA that. It remains for us to be treated to cock and bull stories from APGA Worldwide! The pertinent questions are: Where were all these APGA groups in 2003,2010 and even a few months before now? What have they contributed to the growth and nurturing of APGA? Do the members of these new- found groups have APGA membership cards? Do they know their wards? When last did they visitLagosorAbuja, not to talk of visitingAnambraState?
It is indeed heart -warming to read that the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has taken an interest in resolving the crisis or do I say crises in APGA. Crises are ill winds that blow no one any good.
I do not believe that any sane fellow will destroy a house which he has built. I find it very difficult to fathom that Mr. Obi contemplates dumping APGA. If he enjoys good relations with the Federal Government today in spite of his membership of APGA, why must he dump APGA at the twilight of his administration? He does not have to jump ship; he has no reason to do so. He does not show any signs of contemplating so. He still tours the communities and local council areas ofAnambraState, discussing and felicitating with APGA members.
The crisis in APGA is not a Peter Obi affair. It is not Obi versus Umeh. It is a move by the APGA as a party to retool for the better.
One hopes that CAN will help bring about the desired change in the affairs of the party to the happiness of all members.
Mr. MIKE UDAH , a public affairs analyst, wrote from Awka, Anambra State.