Cracks in Anambra APGA over guber race

Political gladiators have stepped up their preparations for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State.
In the new arrangement, which has been dominated by alignment and realignment of forces, the major goal is to stop the re-election of Governor Willie Obiano.

One of the major plots to unseat Obiano at the election is being championed by Chief Maxi Okwu, who is set to pull out more than 200,000 All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) members to¬morrow to the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA).
The AUTHORITY learnt that Okwu, a former presidential candidate of the Citizens’ Popular Party (CPP) and former factional national chairman of APGA, will lead his group in APGA known as “APGA Anyi Agaba” to declare for PPA to strengthen Chief Godwin Ezeemo’s ambition to govern the state.
Okwu, The AUTHORITY gathered, is angry with the shabby treatment given to his members and called for a political realignment of forces to ensure victory for a truly progressive party in Anam¬bra State – come November 2017.
Okwu is not alone in the move as his party’s Anambra State Chairman, Chief Shedrack Anakwue, a.k.a Oronukwu, said other groups were joining them to declare for the PPA.
Anakwue said that Okwu and all the over 200,000 APGA members from the grassroots are dissatisfied with “Obiano’s style of leadership of exclusion, divide and rule and clannishness.”
He said other associations and clubs, as well as leaders of thought, have declared support for the Ezeemo’s “Operation remove Obiano in 2017” for a purposeful administration for the benefit of Ndi Anambra.
He gave names of the groups which have endorsed Ezeemo as the APGA Market Rescue Team, now known as Anambra Market Rescue Team; APGA Ambassadors; Nigerian Youth Volunteer Service led by Prince Sunday Oforkaja and Anambra Victory Support Group, headed by Gilbert Obinwa as well as the Association of Non-Indigenes resident in the state.
Others are the Movement for Greater Anambra State (MOFGAS), Awka-South Grassroots’ Delegates led by Chukwuozie Aninri, Ibeh Movement Film Entertain¬ment and various women groups.
Former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, brought Okwu to APGA and made him the party’s national chairman when he fell out with the then national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, after he obtained a judgement from the Enugu State High Court.
Umeh fought back and got both the judgement from the Enugu High Court and the purported APGA convention in Awka which produced Okwu’s executive nullified by the Court of Appeal.
Anakwue was Anambra State’s Deputy Chairman in that congress which was held between April 4 and April 8, 2013.
Obi later reconciled with Umeh and dumped Okwu, a situation which led Okwu to conduct parallel state congresses that produced Dr. Chike Obidigbo as his governorship candidate while Umeh’s group produced the incumbent Governor Obiano as its candidate.
Speaking on the return of Okwu, Oye said: “A major step aimed at consolidating the remarkable gains APGA has made under my chairmanship was taken today at my residence in Amawbia with Chief Okwu leading members of his group back to the party.”
“This landmark event took place after weeks of a series of meeting brokered by the leadership of the party as a strategy to reunite all aggrieved members of the party. This has remained the major goal of the new executive which was elected on June 6, 2015.”
But, Mr. Moses Ikem Okeke, a renowned accountant, who is the Chairman, Organizing Committee of Saturday’s APGA members and others’ defection to PPA, said that the laudable speech of Oye was abandoned immediately hence APGA under Okwu, MOFGAS and other groups decided to seek refuge in PPA.
He said the real endorsement is what they would do tomorrow as nobody was forced or induced in some quarters. He said Saturday would start what will happen on November 18 as they would stop at nothing to ensure that Obiano does not return to the Government House.
He said the Association of Re¬tired Directors and Civil Servants, as well as local government pensioners who are being owed salaries and pensions, are joining Ezeemo for a better Anambra.
Meanwhile, the announcement of the Caretaker Committees for the 21 local government areas in the state by Obiano on Tuesday night has divided his politi¬cal camp.
Some of the influential APGA members loyal to him were hurt during the sharing formula in Anaocha, Orumba North and South as well as Dunkofia, Njikoka among others.
It was gathered Umeh’s interests and those of Prince Arthur Eze were not factored in by the arrangement as they were left in the dark. The same treatment was al¬legedly given to Chief Okey Udeh and Chief Okey Ezeibe.
A source close to the party said that the list was a shock to them as even in Awka North, the can¬didate who came prepared to be announced shed tears before the governor assured him that his case would be addressed.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused Obiano of planning to rig the November 28 governorship election, asserting that the appointment of caretaker committees was a pointer to that fact.
The APC Chairman in the state, Mr. Emeka Ibe, made the allegation in an exclusive chat with The AUTHORITY on Thursday.
Ibe, who was reacting to the approval of the caretaker committees by the House of Assembly and their swearing-in by Obiano on March 28, alleged that the appointment of the committees’ members was a ploy by the governor to rig the governorship election in his favour.
A crisis is also brewing in the state chapter of the United Progressive Party (UPP) as 14 of the 21 local government chairmen have accused the chairman, Dr. Sylvester Igwilo, of flouting the party’s constitution and running the party as his private business.
They are weighing the options of joining the PPA with the others decamping from APGA to ensure victory for Ezeemo.
When contacted on phone, Igwilo said that he was aware that some people met somewhere in Awka and passed a vote of no confidence on his administration of the state chapter of UPP, but that they were fake.

By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Awka
Cracks in Anambra APGA over guber race Cracks in Anambra APGA over guber race Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Friday, March 31, 2017 Rating: 5

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