Fresh crisis rocks APGA •NWC members suspend national chairman, 2 other officers

•There’s no crisis —Oye

A fresh crisis has hit the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), as some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, on Wednesday night, passed a vote-of-no confidence on the national chairman, Ike Oye. Conseuently, they announced his suspension alongside two other national officers, the deputy national chairman (North), Alhaji Abubakar Adamu and the deputy national chairman (South), Uchenna Okogbuo.

They were accused of gross misconducts, including giving the party’s candidature tickets to non-APGA members without recourse to the constitutional provisions on applying for waiver through the NWC, in violation of Article 24 (8) (a) (b), running the party without an approved budget against Article 12 (1) (9) and suspension of Edo State exco without approval or ratification by the NWC, outside seven other offences.

The national vice chairman (South East), Ozo Nwabueze Okafor, was appointed by the disaffected NWC members as an interim chairman, pending when a seven-man disciplinary committee would have concluded its assignment of looking into the alleged infractions levelled against the suspended officers.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Tribune observed that a police van with some armed policemen were stationed opposite the party’s Secretariate on Thursday.

Some were equally deployed on Wednesday when the NWC meeting held.

Briefing journalists outside the party’s national secretariat in Abuja at the end of the tension-soaked meeting, the deputy national secretary, Jerry Obasi alleged that Oye chairman violated several sections of the party’s constitution ranging from gross misconduct to running the party like his personal empire and donating tickets to aspirants and candidates.

He alleged that there was no transparency in the manner Oye piloted the affairs of the party, after which a statement signed by 13 members of the NWC titled, ‘Constitutional Provisions Breached by Victor Ike Oye,’ was distributed to journalists.

He said: “Victor Ike Oye, immediately we were sworn in as officers, was supposed to run the party in uniformity but decisions as it concerns APGA have been taken by him unilaterally and very incongruous with the value that the party had put in place. There is template that has been set by the party, but the emergence of Ike Oye as national chairman has wasted all these tenents and principles.

“In fact, the image of the party under Ike Oye is near zero; the only thing going for APGA is its good name as left by leaders of the party like late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, but Ike Oye has abandoned the party.

“Under Sir Victor Umeh’s leadership, there was a better APGA; there was more transparent APGA. There was a more viable APGA. There was APGA that had a good image; there were checks and balances. There were reasonable level of consultation within the rank and file of the party, the party’s constitution was respected. In fact, as at that time, we did not know what we were losing in the person of Victor Umeh until the leadership of Ike Oye came into place.

“Having X-rayed APGA under Ike Oye, we said, ‘no, we cannot continue to watch our party gasping for breath.’ We are in conformity with the leader of the party and chairman BOT, Governor Willie Obiano, for his good work and for the manner he has steered the party so far and we want to use this opportunity to make a clarion call on him to know that APGA is in the worst of times,” he alleged.

However addressing journalists at the party’s secretariate, Oye, said the party was crisis-free with ideology and focus on developing to package that would bring succour to Nigerians.

Oye, who initially declined to entertain questions on the crisis, said that the NWC meeting ended successfully, stressing, “there was nothing, everything went fine.”

According to him, the meeting took decisions that would bring about development of the party across the country.

Oye lamented that the country was passing through a critical moment, which he attributed to lack of proper planning and defined vision.

He, however, expressed the determination of the party to work for good and development of the country through constructive criticism.

On the just-concluded Edo governorship election, he reaffirmed that the APGA condemned the outcome where it was allocated 876 votes. He said, “We will do what is proper at the appropriate time to see that the injustice is redressed.”

Accepting his appointment as acting chairman of the party earlier outside APGA’s headquarters, Okafor said  his leadership would work to steady the ship of the party to enable it make progress, away from the situation where he alleged the party lost visibility.

He pledged to effect changes that would put APGA on a sound footing and that Nigerians now have a vehicle they could join to promote the welfare of the citizens, going by what happened.

Okafor further pledged that Oye and the other suspended officers would be given fair hearing, insisting that the current crisis would not affect the fortunes of the party in the forthcoming elections in Ondo and Anambra states.

He said, “There was no due process in nomination of our candidate for Edo governorship election and moving forward, we won’t experience that kind of thing again.”