APGA Is Not An Igbo Party – Oguh | Independent Newspapers Limited
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APGA Is Not An Igbo Party – Oguh

APGA, Marcelli Oguh
Posted: Oct 21, 2016 at 3:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Dr Marcelli Oguh is the Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) United Kingdom (UK) Chapter. In this interview with EJIKEME OMENAZU, he speaks on the state of the party in UK and Nigeria in general, as well as other current issues of national importance.


What informed the formation of the United Kingdom (UK) chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)?


APGA UK has been in existence for some years now, even before I and some of our members today joined it. APGA UK today is seen as the 37th chapter of APGA Nigeria. We have one of the most successful summits this year, attended by the top leaders and chieftains of APGA Nigeria. We are proud today that we are constitutionally installed and recognised in Nigeria as a legitimate chapter of APGA Nigeria. Our customised membership card is signed and approved by the National Chairman and National Secretary. That makes us legitimate chapter. We are entitled to run for electoral positions and hold public appointments in Nigeria without recourse to other chapter. Our UK membership card gives each and every member here an automatic recognition in their wards and Local Government Area chapters in Nigeria without having to re-register again.


 To what extent is the chapter aware of happenings in the party in Nigeria and how has it been contributing to its growth?


APGA UK is very much aware of everything happening in Nigerian politics, be it within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), APGA and other smaller parties. We, through our amiable UK chairman, respond swiftly to anything we view as derogatory to either grassroots APGA in Nigeria or here in the UK. Every organisation has its ups and downs. No single human being is perfect. We welcome all manner of constructive criticisms and take corrections from them. That is the way all businesses and political organisations are run. Our catch phrase is “to take corrections and actions when corrected’. We do not take sides whatsoever, as we believe in due process.  More importantly, we cannot be financially induced to support any unconstitutional move by anybody or group of people to actualise their own goals.


 What do you think makes APGA unique as a political party in Nigeria, especially at this democratic dispensation?


APGA is a very unique political party as the third largest party in Nigeria today. We are the only party that will make good all its party manifestos. We are not party of ‘promise and fail’, unlike the PDP and APC. You can see that APGA is becoming the most attractive party to join. You can see that Anambra State, which has been governed by APGA governors, is declared the best state to emulate in Nigeria. Today, even some top members of PDP and APC have made it clear that the Anambra model should be replicated in all the federation. Is it not wonderful to be part of such a success story?


To what extent is the party living up to the vision of the late Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu as a South East platform for the attainment of the nation’s leadership?


In response to the above question, it is the intention of APGA to first capture all the states in Eastern zone, then move on to be household name in all the federation. At present, it is APGA and APC local government chairmen that are in control the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Considering what is happening in APC, the ruling party, and PDP, we will continue to reposition APGA as a party of choice.


APGA is generally perceived as an Igbo party, which has affected its ability to spread nationally. As the 2019 general elections beckon, what do you think the leaders should do to make the generality of Nigerians embrace it for success at the polls?


APGA is a national party. Its constitution made it clear that we are a national party where any person or persons from any party of the federation can join and contest for any political office. Both the past and present National Secretary are from the North. So how could people perceive APGA as an Igbo party? The parties that constitute APC today are from North and South. So why would people not classify APC as a Yoruba or Hausa party? Our political opponents use that term, Igbo party, to make APGA unsellable in other parts of the nation. We have proven them wrong over and over again as the party has always filed candidates in the North and West, in states like Nasarawa, Kaduna, Lagos, Kano, etc. These members contesting for both national and local elections are not from the Igbo extraction.


To what extent are you conversant with the leadership crises in the bigger parties like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC)? Would you say that the crises are enough to make Nigerians accept APGA as the alternative to both parties come 2019 elections?


All political parties have their ups and downs from time to time. Crises are not new in politics. Even here in the western world, the Labour Party from time to time has its problems. In politics, they say there is no permanent enemy or friend. One thing we will assure you is that APGA is watching and reviewing its next move. It is one step at a time. We are not here to talk about party plans and agenda come 2019. When we reach the bridge we cross it.


A cross section of Nigerians is of the view that smaller parties like APGA, NCP, Labour Party and others should merge to become big enough to pose bigger challenge to both the PDP and APC in the 2019 elections. What is your take on this?


A new political party can be formed at any time. That will depend on the weight of what is being brought to the table by the merging parties. It is not up to us to discuss what is happening now among all these parties, or what will happen come 2019. We will take a day at a time. By the will of God, we will get there.


There is a move by some South East leaders to forge a merger between the APGA, UPP, lead by Chekwas Okorie, former APGA founder; and the PPA, founded by former Gov. Orji Kalu, for a stronger regional platform for better impact in future elections. How successful do think such a move will be considering the sad history of the parties and the leaders?


This question sounds similar to the one I just answered. No one can predict anything that will happen in the next five minutes, let alone what we expect to happen come 2019. My response to that remains that we should wait and see. We cannot prejudge or predict outcome of a particular issue until such issue or issues are discussed and agreed upon. Then the outcome will be made available to the public domain.