Former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Senator Victor Umeh, has insisted that his successor, Dr Victor Oye must refund monies allegedly extorted from governorship aspirants of the party in Imo State, and also resign his position.
Oye, in a leaked email written by Umeh and sent to Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, who is also the chairman Board of Trustees of the party, had been accused accused of collecting over N800million in bribe from aspirants in Imo State with a promise to hand them the gubernatorial ticket of the party.
The letter, however, resulted in a protest against Umeh by loyalists of Oye, but Umeh has insisted that no amount of protest against him would stop him from demanding that the right thing be done in a party he struggled to build.
In an interview with journalists, Umeh said, “Let me start by saying that I forgive the protesters, for they do not know what they were doing. I, Senator Victor Umeh is the oldest member of APGA in Nigeria today, from 2002 till today, I’ve been in this party.
“I have a very huge stake in the party, in the sense that I with my colleagues in leadership nurtured this party out of the turbulent times and established it firmly in Nigeria as a very popular political party.
“I am a life member of the Board of Trustees of this party. Whatever happens in this party, I have more than any other person’s interest in the party. I am the number one person that’ll see to protection of this party.”
Umeh said he was not ready to leave the party, but would remain to fight whatever wrong doing that could arise, to fulfil his promise to Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, who he said handed him the party before his demise.
“When Ojukwu was dying he handed this party over to me and enjoined me never to allow this party to die. So, at any time I see things that are not working well in the party, I will remember that directive from Ojukwu to act.
“I am somebody nobody can intimidate, once I see anything that is not going well in the party. I will speak out to ensure that this party is kept very strong for our people. It is clearly obvious to all party members that in October 2018, when we had our primaries, party people complained across the South East, that they were not treated well.
“I felt that the National Chairman did not do his work well. It was clear to me that he did what he ought not to do at all. If you are in a position of leadership, you must ensure that you do not do things that will tarnish the image of the party.
“When people produced evidence of huge sums of money collected from them for the same position and at the end nothing was done. It became a moral burden for me to intervene on their behalf.
“I won’t be alive and somebody will endanger this party and lead to its death and I will keep quiet. I will not. So I maintain my stand. I am not supporting him to continue as Chairman of APGA because if he continues this party will die,” he said.