*Party chairman, Gov. Okorocha, others boycott parley
By Tony Nwankwo, Tony Edike, Enugu and Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
By voice vote, members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), yesterday, in Enugu consented to plans to structure the party so that it could emerge as a formidable platform for future electoral contests.
At the enlarged meeting of all state chapters of the party held in the residence of the leader of the party, Ikemba Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, wife of the Ikemba, Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, warned the national chairman, Victor Umeh, to desists from acts capable of destabilizing the party.
The meeting was boycotted by Imeh, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State; Senator Chris Anyanwu, also from Imo State; and the party’s seven members of the House of Representatives, among other stakeholders.
In a five-point communiqué read by the National Vice Chairman of APGA, Morgan Anyalechi, the party agreed to build and strengthen its structures at ail levels without delay in such a way to reflect the core values and strengths of the party as well as restructure and establish all organs of the party including Board of Trustees, (BOT) National caucus, National Executive Council, (NEC) and National working Committee, (NWC) among others.
Part of the communiqué read: “We call on the National Executive Committee, (NEC) of our party to organize a national convention without further delay and arrange to conduct proper congresses throughout the federation. Our party constitution provides that the convention and congresses of the party at the national, state and other levels shall be held at least once a year”.
While affirming unequivocally that the supreme leader of APGA remains Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, even in death; the party resolved to decentralize party structure and introduce derivation principle in the management and administration of party funds at all levels.
Some of the party’s stalwarts that attended the meeting at the CasaBianca residence of the late Ikemba included Governor Peter Obi; Vice Chairman BOT, Dr. Tim Menakaya; wife of the late Ikemba, Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu; Political Adviser to Governor of Imo State, P. C. Onuoha; the party’s leader in Enugu State, Dr. Emmanuel Ozoeneh; Dr. Odu Nwosu, among others.
In his remarks at the occasion, Obi regretted that most of people vilify him after all he suffered to bring the party to its present level, pointing out that, right from 1999, he had been personally bearing the financial burden of sustaining the party even through the three years of protracted legal battle to reclaim his mandate.
Bianca, after thanking Menakaya for the “spectacular courage in summoning this meeting”, warned Umeh not to destroy the legacies the Ikemba left for the Igbo, stressing that no officer is greater than the party.
Tracing the litany of what she described as the destabilizing public utterance of the national chairman, she noted that though the call for peace is strident, “peace is expensive; it comes with a price” adding that “if we cannot pay the price, we cannot move this party forward”.
Earlier in his opening address, the Vice Chairman, BoT explained that he summoned the meeting for the members to take a look at the party and resolve on how to make it stronger and more cohesive.Vanguard Nigeria