By Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
Leader of Kogi State Chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and gubernatorial candidate in 2015 election in the State, Akwu Umar Goodman, has lamented that the activities of the party leaders, who are supposed to lead by example, has reduced the status of the party to an ethnic club.
Dr. Goodman said this while addressing journalists in Lokoja on Thursday after the congress of the party, saying that some detractors would wake up from their slumber to emerge as APGA leader and begin to
dish out instructions without recourse to due process.
He said in the last one year about two attempts were made by some groups from the South-eastern part of the country to dethrone the elected chairman without cogent reason(s), all because of the said mentality that the party belongs to them.
“They will just capitalize on our porous judicial system to obtain envelop judgment from the court and forcefully usurp the party structure illegally. Political parties are not managed this way, the excesses of the Ibo people is the reason why the party is tagged an ethnic association; it’s same reason why it has refused to grow.
“APGA is a political party duly registered by INEC and guided by the constitution. All members have equal right, it not a tribal forum whereby baton of leadership will only exchange hands between kinsmen, neither it is a clannish tittle for families to rotate the leadership,” he said.
He opined that it’s either a northerner or westerner that will succeed Dr Victor Oye when his tenure expires, not an Igbo person, adding that APGA is not Ohaneze Group, and the time to move the party to the center stage has come.
“You can recall that, right from its formation, struggle for leadership between brothers has been the common occurrence in the party. The first war was between Chekwas Okorie and Victor Umeh who are of the same Igbo extraction and the second and third is still between same ethnic nationalities, Victor Oye and Chief Agbaso; so if anybody should tag it an Igbo party, how can you ague and win the person,” he said.
He said it was not only the personality clash and the show of strength among brothers that is the major problem, “but the most worrisome, is every key position in the party is occupied by the same set of people (Ibos) if not the national secretary, just name it, they are all Ibos, and not only that, most of the meetings and other party activities are restricted to Awka, the capital of Anambra State, in particular”.
He said the reality is that the party is staying too long on its knees, crawling like a lame duck, which has refused to stand up and walk.
He said APGA by hierarchy should be senior to APC, and it should be the next to PDP before they were overtaken by APC, which was formed barely 3 years ago.
Explaining further, he said, “now that PDP has crashed and APC is crashing, the next alternative supposed to be APGA, but, which position is the party occupying in the league of political parties in the country today? The party that has governed a state for 11 and half years now, yet not a group to reckon with, they should learn to take a cue from ACN with 6 states, which at time was left with only Lagos State, but for the leadership prowess, coupled with the political sagacity of Ahmed Bola Tunibu, he was able to grow the party to transform to APC which is now the largest party in the country”.