By Vincent Ujumadu,Awka
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has elected Mr Sly Ezeokenwa as its national chairman following the completion of a two-term eight years tenure by the former national chairman, Chief Victor Oye.
Ezeokenwa, 38, a former national legal adviser of the party, was until his election, the Anambra State Commissioner for Special Duties. His father was previously the local government chairman of APGA for Onitsha South.
The national chairman and other members of the National Executive Committee of the party were elected unopposed during the national convention observed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, led by the national commissioner in charge of voter education, Chief Festus Okoye.
National leader of the party and governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, at the convention described APGA as the party of the masses and a party for the Nigerian youths.
He commended the former leadership of the party led by Victor Oye for leaving commendable legacies by building its national and regional offices.
According to him, while the national headquarters built by the party is located in Abuja, a five -storey APGA South East regional office commissioned on Tuesday is located in Awka.
Soludo said: “The former national chairman also handed over cash of over N300 million to his successor. APGA is getting stronger and the party is systematically surpassing others.
“What Oye has done by handing over N300m to his successor is unNigerian in comparison to what people do in public offices. You left APGA better than you met it.
“I also commend my predecessors for laying a solid foundation for the party and I urge those who lost in the last election not to despair because win or lose, the important thing is the spirit of APGA which lives across the length and breath of the country.”
Soludo insisted that there are no factions in the party, adding however that some people might be expressing their individual political opinions.
He also said that APGA would partner with the government at the centre for the good of the country.
“We are a party that believes in partnership. Because we want to see the country make progress, we will partner with those who want to move Nigeria forward.
“We will continue in the policy of partnering with the government in power. Elections are over and governance has begun. We congratulate INEC for the conduct of the election,” Soludo added.
The former national chairman, Victor Oye while handing over, stated that his leadership has been able to make her members across the country proud as APGA is the only political party with a permanent secretariat in Abuja.
Also speaking, the new national chairman, Ezeokenwa appreciated Governor Soludo for making it possible for him to emerge as the youngest national chairman of a major political party in Nigeria.
“I pledge that we will take APGA to its main owners namely, peasant farmers, artisans, professionals and others. We will launch project ‘drive APGA’, which will embark on a membership drive, and will move the party from where it is today to a higher pedestal, ” he said.
At the Convention, a new Board of Trustees, BoT, was constituted, with the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano as chairman. Other members of the board include the immediate past national chairman, Victor Oye, governorship candidate of the party in Enugu State and former Minister of Information, Frank Nweke Junior, the Senator representing Abia South, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the former member representing Orumba North and South in the House of Representatives, Hon Ben Nwankwo, speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Uchenna Okafor, former governor of the state, Dame Virgy Etiaba, former Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, among others from all the geographical zones of the country.