The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and the current National Chairman and founder of United Progressive Party (UPP), Chekwas Okorie, has disputed claims that the late Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, was one of the founding fathers of APGA.
According to him, Ojukwu joined APGA six months after the registration of the party.
Chief Okorie in a statement entitled, “I Am the Undisputed Founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance – APGA” and made available to newsmen, in Abuja yesterday narrated how he founded the party and brought in the former Biafran leader to join the party and become its presidential candidate.
He said, “INEC announced the registration of APGA, NDP and UNPP on Saturday 22nd June, 2002 and I received the Certificate of Registration of APGA on Monday, 24th June 2002 in an impressive ceremony at INEC Headquarters presided over by late Dr. Abel Guobadia, the Honourable Chairman of INEC at the time.”
He further revealed that it was about six months later that Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu was persuaded to dump the defunct APP for the APGA.
He said, “On the 24th of December 2002, he (Ojukwu) agreed to become a member of APGA after I had consented to propose him as our presidential candidate for the 2003 presidential election.
“This took place at his No 4 Isiuzo Street residence, in Independence Layout, Enugu, in the presence of Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd), Dr Joe Nwaorgu, Prince Richard Ozobu, Chief H.B.C Ogboko and Chief Onwuka Ukwa. On the 26th of December 2002, I proposed Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu as our presidential candidate in a well-attended World Press Conference at the Zodiac Hotel, Independence Layout Enugu.
“On the 10th of January, at the Old Parade Ground, Garki, Abuja, I proudly raised the hands of Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu and Alhaji Sanni Bayero as our presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively.”
Okorie blamed the distortion of the history of APGA on the former national treasurer and national chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, who he accused of deliberate distortion of facts.
He insisted that when APGA was formed Umeh was still a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“I wonder why any person with any sense of proportion would want to ascribe the founding of APGA to Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu. The Eze Igbo Gburugburu I associated with for a long time never for a moment laid claim to founding APGA. God knows that I genuinely and loyally added appreciable value to Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s political profile. I deserve nothing but gratitude,” he added.
He noted that “Section 18(1) of APGA Constitution registered with INEC which was there before Umeh joined the party states as follows. ‘The Founder of the party Chief Chekwas Okorie shall hold the office of the national chairman of the party for an initial period of four years and may hold the office for a second term of four years if he so desires’. Umeh aided by sponsors from the Obasanjo Presidency, struck when I was mid way in my first term of four (4) years.”
He expressed happiness that none of the children of late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu has been tempted to ascribe founding APGA to their noble father, Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Eze Igbo Gburugburu, a man of immeasurable integrity would never desire to be dressed with borrowed robes.
“I am unable to come to terms with the reasons why his wife Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who is aware of the veracity of the above narrative would want to join in denigrating the image of the great leader by dressing her late husband in borrowed robes as if he needed it to compliment his historic and noble accomplishments. This is an obvious and regrettable disservice to the personality of the sage.
“The incontrovertible fact is that I, Chief Dr. Chekwas Okorie am the Founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA 2002 and the United Progressive Party, UPP 2012. By this feat I proudly join Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mallam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim, all of blessed memory, as one of four Nigerians who founded two political parties each in their life time”, he added.
BREAKING: PDP Wins Imo Supplementary Election
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared Jerry Alagbaoso of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner of the supplementary election held on Saturday in Orlu/Orsu/ Oru East Federal Constituency in Imo State.
The Returning Officer of the election, Emma Anakwuba, announced the results and returned the PDP candidate under tight security at INEC’s office in Owerri on Tuesday.
This declaration is coming three days after political thugs invaded INEC’s collation centre in collation, tore the election results, accusing the electoral umpire of compromising the exercise.
INEC had already collated results of 14 out of 18 polling units before the hoodlums struck.
The results of the remaining four polling units were collated at the INEC’s headquarters in Owerri on Tuesday and thereafter a winner was announced.
The returning officer said that the PDP candidate polled 22,475 votes to emerge the winner.
According to Anakwuba, the All Progressives Congress candidate, Eddy Iheanacho got 20, 814 votes while All Progressives Grand Alliance got 5,099 votes.
He said, “That Jerry Alagbaoso of the PDP having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the requirements of the law is returned elected.”
The winner, who was first elected into the house of representatives 2011 was reelected in 2015, was declared winner again in 2019.
An appeal court in Owerri partially canceled his victory in 2019 and ordered a supplementary election in 18 polling units in the federal constituency.
Imo Lawmaker, Uche Ogbuagu Dumps PDP For APC
Uche Ogbuagu, another member of the Imo State House of Assembly representing Ikeduru State Constituency, has joined the train of defections to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
In a letter to the Speaker, Ogbuagu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party announced his decision to switch his party affiliation to the All Progressives Congress.
He said his decision was precipitated by the “unfair” treatment he got in PDP. He said his party switch was in the interest of his constituency.
Ogbuagu, South East’s pioneer tele-comedian, built his political reputation as a critic of former governor Rochas Okorocha.
He is the owner of My Radio FM Owerri and Real FM Aba.
Last week, nine members of the PDP, APGA and Action Alliance joined the APC, following the Supreme Court ruling two weeks ago that ousted the PDP Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
On 15 January, the APC candidate, Hope Uzodinma in the 9 March election was sworn in, triggering the shifts in the House of Assembly.
More members of the House are expected to announce their departure to the APC, to give the party, a working majority.
Don’t Declare Orji Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Opponent Begs NASS
The APGA candidate for Abia North Senatorial seat in the 2019 general elections, Dr. David Bourdex, has appealed to the National Assembly not to declare vacant the seat occupied by Orji Uzor Kalu.
Bourdex, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), made the appeal on Monday.
Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on December 5, 2019, sentenced Orji Kalu to 12 years in jail for stealing N7.2bn from the coffers of Abia. The ex-governor was the Chief Whip of the Senate before his incarceration.
Some groups subsequently called on the Senate leadership to declare his seat vacant.
Rejecting the call, Bourdex said that the people of Abia North made their intentions clear by voting Orji Kalu, adding that demanding for his seat to be declared vacant amounted to desperation.
“It is preposterous and presumptuous to make such a demand to declare his seat vacant.
“Granted that the wheel of justice grinds slowly and surely, those of us in politics should strive to follow the rule of law without doing anything to circumvent the process.
“We should stand for fairness; and patience is necessary to ensure that justice is done both for the state and citizens and society at large,” Bourdex said.