Okwu, Chairman of Obi’s faction disowns peace talks, says it cannot stand.
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, took a dramatic dimension on Monday as the National Chairman of a faction of the party, Maxi Okwu, disowned a peace meeting between his rival, Victor Umeh, and one of his (Okwu) backers, Peter Obi, the governor of Anambra State.
Messrs Obi and Umeh held a reconciliation meeting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, earlier on Monday without the knowledge of Mr. Okwu.
The governor and some of his associates had in February appointed Mr. Okwu as the acting National Chairman of APGA, following a judgment of an Enugu High Court sacking Mr. Umeh as the national chairman.
The faction subsequently convened a national convention of the party in Awka where Mr. Okwu was elected as a substantive chairman of the party, even though Mr. Umeh had gone to the Court of Appeal in Enugu to challenge the judgement of the lower court sacking him and other members of the national leadership.
The Court of Appeal delivered judgement on the matter two weeks ago, and reinstated Mr. Umeh as the party’s boss.
The reconciliation meeting witnessed by the Anambra State chapter of APGA was apparently buoyed by the judgement of the Court of Appeal.
But a statement signed by Francis Ede, Senior Media Assistant to Mr. Okwu on Monday, said the party was surprised that Mr. Obi could unilaterally meet with Mr. Umeh and the Anambra State chapter of the party.
“The leadership and members of All Progressives Grand Alliance are surprised that our Deputy National Leader, Governor Peter Obi could unilaterally meet with our erstwhile National Chairman Chief Victor Umeh and the Anambra State chapter of the party in Awka today as part of the reconciliation process,” the statement said.
“The Maxi Okwu-led APGA frowns at this turn of event and disowns the purported reconciliation as it was neither informed nor involved in this pseudo-peace meeting. We believe it is a giant step backward in our collective efforts at restoring peace in our great party.”
The faction noted that it was aware that the reconciliation process, which it described as panicky was informed by the coming council poll in Anambra State, but that the process would not address the party’s perennial problems without its leadership.
“We are aware that this panicky reconciliation by Governor Obi is due to the Local Government and Governorship Elections in Anambra State in October and November 2013 respectively.
“A fire brigade peace process that the party leadership and major stakeholders were not involved cannot address the perennial problems in the party,” it said.
It added that “The authentic APGA leadership with Barr Okwu as National Chairman will soon meet and take position on this and other crucial party issues.”
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