SHUNNING its current challenges, leaders of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) yesterday, rose from its meeting in Enugu with the resolve to structure the political party to reflect its status as a national party.
Its National chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, who was absent at the meeting, was also upbraided for what those that attended the session referred to as conducts capable of destabilising the Party.
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 all levels without delay in such a manner as to reflect the core values and strengths of the Party, as well as restructure and establish all of its organs, 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 organise a National Convention without further delay and arrange to conduct proper congresses throughout the Federation. Our Party’s 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 that the supreme leader of APGA remains Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, even in death; the party also resolved to decentralise 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, Ambassador 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, Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, regretted that most of people vilify him after all he suffered to bring the party to its present level pointing out that, since 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.
Noting that he has 18 months to stay in office as Governor, Obi said he was still willing and prepared to help move the party forward. He noted that a member of the party, who could not win a ward election in his state, had sent text messages warning members against attending the “peace and confidence” meeting at the residence of the party’s national leader.
However, wife of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Ambassador Odumegwu-Ojukwu, after thanking the Vice Chairman of the BOT, Dr. Menakaya, for the “spectacular courage in summoning this meeting” warned the national chairman of the party, Umeh; not to destroy the legacies the Ikemba left for the Igbo, stressing that no officer is greater than the party.
Mrs. Ojukwu 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, Dr. Tim Menakaya, 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, pointing out that a lot had been said about APGA, such that people asked if the members were still alive.