By Francis Ekpone & Gabriel Chy Alonta
Aggrieved members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) who felt shortchanged by the party leadership in the recently party primary elections in Anambra state, have urged the embattled national chairman of the party, Chief Victor Oye to urgently refund over N1 billion generated through the sales of the expression of interest and delegates funds and resign his post.
The protesting APGA members numbering over 500 claimed that the Oye led National Working Committee fraudulently collected huge sums of money to the tune of one billion naira from aspirants for participation in the primary election, which they failed to conduct.
The protesters who issued the ultimatum on Sunday during a press conference at the APGA campaign office at Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area Anambra state, disclosed that aspirants for the Federal and State House of Assemblies paid N2.5 million and N1 million, respectively for the botched party primaries.
Speaking during the meeting, one of the Aspirants from Nnewi North & South Federal Constituency, Owelle Onyeka Mbaso, alleged that Oye and his cartel have turned the party into a business venture. Mbaso insisted that the party boss should refund the money and resign with immediate effect, arguing that a leader without followers is an indication of a failure.
He also urged the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman and Anambra Governor, Chief Willie Obiano to urgently intervene in the matter and ensure that Oye is relieved of his post to avoid dragging the party further into crisis.
Hear him: “Those that Oye connived to give tickets don’t have the capacity to win in an election because they are all foreigners. We cannot fold our hands to watch foreigners ruin the labour of our fore-fathers and ours. We will not leave the party for them either. The aggrieved APGA members ordered Oye to refund over N1bn and resign. We will fight to see that we protect the dignity of APGA”.
Also speaking, Dr. Charles Ebulue, member, APGA implementation of reconciliation sub-committee, said that APGA primaries was marred by a lot of irregularities and failed to follow the party’s rules and guidelines .
Regretting that the recommendation of the committee were yet to be followed, Ebulue, who is also a member representing Nnewi South Constituency 1, vowed that the ideology of the party must be carried out to the latter.
“All those who played part in bringing our party to disrepute will never go unpunished including the National leader, that is why we are calling for his immediate resignation. We will not leave the party but justice must be meted out and the dignity of the party fully restored”, he said.
In a remark, Hon. Humphrey Nsofor, from Nnewi Federal Constituency, bewailed that he was among the most aggrieved, pointing out that he was shot on the neck during the APGA primary fracas at David Hill Hotel, Nnewi, on the 5th October, 2018.
Nsofor vowed that they were hell-bent in redeeming the already battered image of APGA, noting that they intruders and those involved cannot go scotch-free with their tactics, arguing that they were not enough to truncate the efforts of the party. “We are not leaving APGA, we must ensure we salvage the image of the party”, he said.
Speaking on the sideline, Hon. Nduka Alor, one of the aspirants, describing the APGA primaries as a clear case of extortion, vehemently maintained that Victor Oye should refund their money and resign, insisting that they will not shift ground on their demand.