ABUJA – NATIONAL Chairman of United Progressives Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie has described the purported suspension of Governor Rochas Okorocha by the leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, as a mere grandstanding by the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh.
APGA in its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting at the weekend in Abuja had announced the suspension of governor Okorocha from the party for alleged anti-party activities.
Reacting to the suspension, Chief Okorie who was the founding father of APGA before party intrigues pushed out told Vanguard that the action of APGA was laughable as the Imo State Governor had never left anybody in doubt over his decamping to the newly registered All Progressives Congress, APC, over alleged factionalization of the party.
He said, “My reaction is that, it is an action that smirks of grandstanding and cheap publicity because Rochas okorocha has not left anybody in doubt that as to moving on to another party. Because of one of the reasons for decamping, the law allows which is fractionalization and nobody can doubt that APGA is not factionalized.
“He has gone out with all his people. Umeh’s reaction is based on the use of APGA logo to depict the faction of APGA that joined the APC. I wonder what he intends to achieve by that, I do not see anything, he has added no mileage, it appears he enjoys putting APGA on the pages of newspapers for wrong reason.
“I don’t see Rochas Okorocha side not replying to him. May be that is what he enjoys, you are suspending somebody that has already established in another party, all his people have taken position in APC Rochas Okoracha’s man is the Vice Chairman of APC in the whole South East.
“Rochas Okorocha’s man is the National Organizing Secretary of APC, Rochas Okorocha’s man is the Deputy Chairman of APC in the whole of Southern part of Nigeria, so if they are so entrenched in APC, what is the meaning of the suspension, to me it is most unintelligence and inelegance, just grandstanding,” he stated.
Okorie who noted that the government of Imo State had gone to APC, said that there was no genuine reconciliation in APGA as claimed recently by the party chairman Umeh and the State Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi/
He said, “The point is that the government of Imo state is now APC government. Is there a reconciliation of the contending forces in APGA or is there a reconciliation between two kinsmen Obi and Umeh and I do not know how the media will think that the peace move between Obi and Umeh is equal to reconciliation of the leadership crisis in APGA without withdrawing the matters in court, without taking Maxi Okwu and his executives along.
“These are the people who are holding to the claim that INEC monitored the convention that threw them up, so those matters are in Supreme Court, so how do you reconcile when these issues are still in court, it is all deceit.
“Let me tell you, the fact is that, any person that is nominated by Umeh, his nomination will remain contentious until the matters in court are resolved and all the political parties contesting for election in Anambra state will challenge that nomination for bringing to contest with them somebody that was not validly nominated, once nomination is over Umeh and his party should expect litigation from other parties including UPP.
“APGA has no more base in Imo state, it has to start from the very scratch because the government that was supposed to be APGA government is now APC government. APC can count the number of governors it has, it has increased by one that is the fact of the situation on ground. APC government has increased by one.
“APGA government has reduced by one and so in a state like that, whatever is left of APGA will start from the scratch and then, they are going to start from the backdrop of the party that has sold out on those who gave it mandate because people of Imo state did not troop out to go and vote for APC so the APGA now is seriously encumbered in Imo state because you have to explain the apparent sell out before you will begin to ask the people of Imo to consider you for subsequent elections,” he stated