The leadership crisis rocking the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, reared its ugly head yesterday as the Barrister Maxi Okwu-led faction of the party yesterday described as fake, the purported timetable released by the National Secretary of the party, Alhjai Sani Shinkafi for the November 16, 2013 Governorship election in Anambra State.
Barrister Okwu, who has been embroiled in a leadership tussle with Chief Victor Umeh over the position of national chairman of APGA, claimed in a statement issued in Abuja, that his faction was the authentic one and warned aspirants against paying N2 million to pick the form for expression of interest as announced by shinkafi.
According to him, “the attention of the All Progressives Grand Alliance has been drawn to a purported party timetable released by one Alhaji Sani Shinkafi demanding N2 million for expression of interest form from aspirants wishing to contest the 16th November, 2013 Governorship election in Anambra State.
“The authentic APGA leadership with Barr. Maxi Okwu as National Chairman dissociates itself from the fake timetable and N2million fee imposed on aspirants and warn party members to be wary of the antics of Shinkafi and Chief Victor Umeh, who are yet to account for over N400 million sales of nomination forms for the 2011 general election.
“The real reason for the hasty release of the fake timetable is to hoodwink unsuspecting aspirants to pay the N2 million non-refundable expression of interest form when INEC is yet to decide on the authentic APGA leadership following two contradictory Court of Appeal judgments, one upholding the 8th April, 2013 popular national convention which produced the Okwu-led executive while the other purportedly restored Umeh as chairman.
“It is unfortunate that Shinkafi who was elected APGA National Secretary on 10th January, 2003 National convention is still parading himself in that position for over 10 years contrary to the party constitution which stipulates four-year renewable tenure for its officers.
“Chief Victor Umeh assumed the position of National Chairman on 15th December 2004, and has been parading himself as chairman for nine years. No genuine democrat will stay in office beyond the stipulated four-year tenure. It is a big step backward for our frail democracy.
“This is unacceptable to majority members of the party as demonstrated in the popular 8th April, 2013 convention at Awka duly monitored by INEC.
“We enjoin APGA members particularly aspirants for the forthcoming Local Government and Governorship elections in Anambra State to remain calm while we wait for INEC’s decision on the leadership disagreement.
“At the appropriate time the authentic timetable will be released for aspirants who intend to contest elections on APGA platform,” Okwu said.