Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The crisis rocking All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) over the primary election conducted in Anambra State between the 3- 5th October for National and House of Assembly aspirants ahead of 2019 general elections has taken another twist with over 500 aggrieved aspirants from the state’s 21 local government areas and 326 electoral wards demanding the resignation of the party’s national chairman, Chief Victor Oye and the refund of millions of Naira allegedly spent in the primaries.
The group known as “Forum of Aggrieved APGA Aspirants in Anambra, led by Owelle Onyeka Mbaso while addressing newman in Awka said the resignation of Oye and the refund of money they expended on the purchase of nomination, expression of interest and delegates’ forms would be the first step to a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
This, he said, was because no primary election held anywhere and the party constitution and guidelines were jettisoned while Oye and what he called his “cartel” hand-picked candidates.
Owelle Mbaso who was flanked by other aggrieved aspirants said that the national chairman was a stranger to the party who came to destroy it, describing the primaries as one sham that was nothing to write home about.
“What happened two months ago was a sham and nothing to write home about. Our party was invaded by foreigners. We are not happy with the national chairman, Chief Victor Oye. He has turned APGA into a personal company.
“He should resign and refund our money because he defrauded us. We are over 500 in this forum from all the 21 council areas and 326 wards in the state.
“We are talking of the money we spent on Expression of Interest forms, Delegate’s forms and Nomination forms which took each of us at least N15million, yet no elections held and the party guidelines and constitution were abandoned,” he said.
Dr. Charles Ebulue, a member of the forum from Nnewi South I, said that in as much as the leader of the party and Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano had constituted a reconciliation committee, its recommendations and implementations had not been followed, adding that the party had deviated from the ideology of its founding fathers, while Oye and his cartel manipulated them unceasingly.
“We insist that the national chairman must resign and refund all the funds collected from the aggrieved aspirants,” he said, insisting that they would remain in APGA and ensure that the party survives as the mass movement it has been in the state.
He lamented that all the moves they had made to reach Governor Obiano on the matter had failed, regretting that they had taken their fate in their hands.
The former majority leader of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Humphrey Nsofor, who was shot in the neck at Beverly Hills Hotels in Nnewi during the botched party primaries for Nnewi federal constituency, expressed regrets that the party its founding fathers laboured to bequeath to them had been destroyed, a reason they took the decision that Oye must go.
He alleged that there were no primaries anywhere and that some people were disqualified 32 hours to the scheduled primaries without reason and neither was any appeal panel raised to address their grievances, saying that peace could reign in the party if their demands were met.