Come Saturday, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA will hold a national convention to elect a national chairman to take over from out-going chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, reports DAVID-CHYDDY ELEKE.
Intrigues and power play are already high behind closed doors as to who succeeds the out-going national chairman of the APGA as the party holds its national convention this Saturday. Already, several candidates who are jostling for the national chairmanship position have continued to make appeals to members of the party as to how to secure votes in the forth coming convention.
Chief Alphonsus Igbeke, Chief Austine Ndigwe, Captain Emma Iheanacho and Alhaji Shinakafi and Edozie are among the candidates jostling for the position. Though the list of candidates is not limited to the ones mentioned, interests are high, and king makers are working behind the scene to ensure the emergence of their candidates.
HALLMARK gathered that the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano who also doubles as the BOT chairman of the party has also been working to ensure the emergence of his own candidate, who has largely remained anonymous. A source said the governor will be more comfortable to fund the party f his his candidate emerges as the national chairman, just as the source said that the governor’s candidate is said to be from Anambra State.
Meanwhile, opinions of members of the party shows that many party stalwart are opposed to the candidate of the party emerging from Anambra State, especially as Anambra State has dominated the party and the out-going national chairman also comes from the state. They insist that electing a national chairman of the party from Anambra State again will diminish the party to a one-state-party and cause some members of the party to leave. But our source said that since the governor of the state who is largely the financier of the party would be expected to drop N2.5 million every month and would want one that is close by so as to monitor the usage of the money.
Some members of the party who spoke with lour correspondent insisted that for the sake of justice, that the national chairmanship was due for rotation to another state, and that Captain Iheahacho who was a governorship candidate of the party in Imo State was the most preferred choice.
In Imo State too, Edozie whose first name was not known as at the time of filling this report was also said to be a founding secretary of the party is also in the race and said to be having the support of some of the big wigs in the party.
In Anambra, the duo of Chief Alphonsus Igbeke and Chief Austine Ndigwe, both high ranking members of the party in the state. While Igbeke, who hails from Anambra North as the governor of Anambra State has been working to ensure victory, and also seeking the support of the state governor, Ndigwe who was former adviser to the out-going national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh is also banking on the support of his former boss, even though it was not clear who Umeh’s candidate for the position.
Far North, Shinkafi who is also the outgoing secretary of the party is also working to emerge as the chairman, just as the party’s candidate for Nasarawa governorship, Labaran Maku is also working to install a national chairman. Their aspiration is however not in tune with the majority of the members of the party especially as they have majority of their members in the south east.
Meanwhile, because of the divergence of interest, it was revealed that some big wigs of the party were working to move the convention to Abuja, but the BoT chairman of the party, who is also the major financier of the party was bent on ensuring that the convention was held in Awka. HALLMARK was told that arrangements are still on to hold the convention in Awka, just as secret lobbying were on to ensure that the preferred candidate emerges.
Just two weeks ago, the party had held a very peaceful ward, local government and state congress in which the officials of the party emerged. The congresses were done using the affirmation model, in which all the executives of the party were listed and delegates were asked to vote in voice.
The chairman organizing committee of the congress, ….had eulogized the party for its transparency and ability to hold a rancor free congress. Chief Mike Kwentoh, outgone state chairman in Anambra said with the rapid growth being experienced in the party, it may be the only opposition party in the country soon.