APGA crisis not over — Factional chair

A leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Mr. Maxi Okwu, who was elected the party’s national chairman, has faulted reports that his faction of the party had reconciled with the faction led by Victor Umeh, who is recognised as the national chairman by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

He said the reconciliation between Umeh and the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, was driven by personal interest in the forthcoming governorship election in the state and did not mean the APGA crisis had ended.
Okwu told SUNDAY PUNCH that he still stood on the April convention, where he was elected national chairman and would not accept Umeh as the national chairman of APGA.

He said, “APGA has not reconciled. It is only Obi and Umeh that reconciled, but that is not APGA. Other leaders of the party, including me, were not carried along. Of course Obi and Umeh are two prominent players, they can attract attention but they alone don’t make up APGA.

“I believe the urgency of the Anambra election has influenced a lot of things. I’ll like to believe that Obi reconciled with Umeh only because of the forthcoming Anambra governorship election. That is the only way I can explain what happened. I’m only speculating. I won’t say that Obi betrayed me. I understand that politics is about reality. I believe politics is being played. Politics is about doing your best to secure your interest. I will secure my own interest. My interest is that I stand on the 8th April convention. I have reasons to legitimise it and see that it is effective.”

Okwu said he believed that the INEC would soon recognise him as the national chairman of APGA.
“INEC will be made to recognise the April Convention too. INEC monitored it and that was the first time APGA had a credible convention that rose from the wards and delegates were elected. The other ones have been some kangaroo conventions done at the national level only and INEC turns a blind eye. INEC will be made to open their eyes,” he said.

Okwu added that he was out to protect his interest as a politician, just as Obi and Umeh had done with their reconciliation.
“I pray that APGA secures Anambra State, because it is important to all of us. Anything that can be done to see that Anambra is APGA’s territory should be done, but in doing it, nobody should be treated as inconsequential. After the Anambra election, depending on how we run it we can then look at the table and get the best,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Committee set up to reconcile the factions said it had recorded 40 per cent success in its task.
Chairman of the committee, Mr. Reagan Ufomba, told one of our correspondents on Friday that the committee was pleased that its efforts had yielded fruits in reconciling Obi and Umeh.

He said, “Holistically, we have achieved 40 per cent progress and we still have 60 per cent left. Our resolve is to make the reconciliation all-inclusive. This is our task if we are talking about truth and reconciliation.

“The reconciliation has been designed to trickle down all the party’s factions in the state, local governments and wards. It is not just reconciliation between Obi and Umeh but all other members in the party.”
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