The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has affirmed Chief Victor Umeh as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
This is as Umeh restated that the party is not in any merger talks with any political party but are rather preparing to retain the Governorship seat in Anambra State next year.
According a letter signed by the Secretary to INEC Abdulahi Kaugama with reference number INEC/DPOM&L/APGA/003/T358 dated May 8th 2012 and addressed to the National Chairman of APGA and made available to newsmen at a pressmen on Thursday in Abuja ? Re: Ruling on Appeal No-CA/E/84/2013: between Chief Sir.Victor Umeh and Ichie Okuli Jude Ejike your letter dated 15th April, 2013 on the above refers.
?The Commission notes the ruling of the Court of Appeal which stayed execution of the order of the Enugu High Court that restrained Chief Sir. Victor Umeh from parading himself as National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
?Consequently, the Commission will continue to relate with Chief Sir. Victor Umeh as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Please accept the assurances of the Commission?s highest regards? the letter added.
Briefing newsmen at the party?s National Headquarters in Abuja Umeh stated that development has reinvigorated the party to prepare to win the governorship elections in Anambra State next year and to prepare for the elections in 2015.
According to the APGA National Chairman ?for some time now some people have been holding out themselves as the leadership of APGA but for the fact that we believe in the rule of law we wrote INEC and forwarded to it the copy if the Court of Appeal ruling staying the execution of the Enugu State High Court, APGA has no factional National Chairman, there is no faction in APGA.
?We commend INEC for adhering to the rule of law and upholding the rule of law by respecting the decision of the Court of APGA this development has reinvigorated the APGA so any person that wants to do business with the party knows where to go, they should stop all this dissident activity as the leadership will no longer tolerate it, any person that wants to be in the party must respect the leadership of the partyAPGA has never had two factions? he added.
On the party?s positions on merger Umeh said that ?we have always said that our party is not part of any merger talks, that position has not changed, APGA will never merge with any political party, we have said it often that we know the reason behind the formation of this party, we have always said that we are ready to go into an alliance with any party, any person that says that APGA in a merger talks is on his own.
?Even Governor Okorocha who has been championing the merger will tell you that I have advised him personally several times before he went public, if Okorocha still claims that he still a member of this party he must subject himself to the authority of the party leadership or he should stop dropping the name of APGA, there is no how somebody can defect from a registered political party to a party that is not registered, so if Okorocha wants to continue with the merger he is on his own, this is the only party that has toiled to produce two Governors who later turned around to use public funds to undermine their parties, but we are still appealing to them to have a change of heart because we went through hell to secure their victory? he added.
He pointed out that ?All these crisis is being championed by Governor Peter Obi by giving people money to sue the National Chairman, he gives people to go to court to remove me when I was his major backbone, he called for a legislation that would enable political parties raise enough money to run their operations, political parties are only active when they sale nomination forms, a Governor can give a party one million Naira and turn back to blackmail you that he gave you N300 million. Parties should be given powers to levy elected officials to assist in the funding of parties in Nigeria. APGA can now prepare for the governorship elections in Anambra State.
It would be recalled that Umeh had on April 15th forwarded to INEC the ruling of the Court of Appeal Enugu Division which had on April 8th restored him as the National Chairman of the party.
In the letter dated April 15th, 2013 which was attached with a copy of the court?s ruling and obtained by our correspondent, which was addressed to the INEC Boss, Jega, Umeh stated that the ruling is self explanatory noting that the ruling directed the maintenance of status quo.
The letter read?I am happy to forward to you the ruling if the Court of Appral with Appeal number CA/E/84/2013 between Chief Sir. Victor Umeh and Ichie Okuli Jude Ejike. The enrolled order is also attached.
?The ruling and order are self explanatory. The order directed maintenance of status quo pending the determination of the appeal. This ruling will guide the Commission on the leadership of our great party, APGA? he added.