I’Ve Come To Rebuild APGA – Oye | Independent Newspapers Limited
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I’Ve Come To Rebuild APGA – Oye

Posted: Jun 24, 2015 at 12:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Victor Ikechukwu Oye replaced Victor Umeh as National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) at the May National Convention. In this interview with journalists in his country home, Amawbia, Oye speaks on his vision for APGA. CHUKWUJEKWU ILOZUE was there. Excerpts…

By Chukwujekwu Ilozue  –  Awka


Congratulations on your emergence as National Chairman of APGA. What are your plans to move the party a step further?

What I plan to do in APGA is quite straight forward: build a very strong coercive political movement instead of party. This movement will encompass all interest groups in Nigeria. Initially, the idea was to build a very strong regional party from where we’d launch to a national political space. That is okay by me but I think we have gone beyond   that; we want to build a very strong coercive national political party through which we can expand the vision and mission of APGA. The most beautiful thing in what we are doing is that APGA is the only true progressive party in Nigeria. We have been consistent, focused, and always committed to the aspiration of the people. All about APGA is the people. We want to build a very strong platform on which we can promote social justice and equity, looking at the welfare of the masses, making it a priority and ensuring a very stable political environment. I want to lead by example, some of us who have just been elected are people who believe in the oneness of Nigeria. We want to leverage on the experience we have had in our private and public services, proceed on what we can to do to make APGA the number one party in Nigeria.


What else are your plans?

Another thing we plan to do is to promote justice and ensure that every member of our party gets justice and equity, that their voices are heard. Many people in Nigeria, their voices are not heard, they have good ideas but cannot bring them to the fore. So, what we plan to do is to ensure that every Nigerian is given a voice to ventilate his grievances or whatever. And another thing we plan to do is to ensure an integrated political system where every member is given a sense of belonging, to ensure we become one body in pursing to achieve our common objectives. So, that is exactly what we plan to do. I want to make APGA truly number one party in Nigeria. You can see what is happening at the national level; PDP is almost disintegrated, and with time, the party will go into extinction, and look at what is happening in APC too. APC is having an implosion. And it is unfortunate that things are happening the way they do because these things heat up the polity but indirectly, our political party (APGA) is going to profit from that.


The membership of APGA appears depleted –

We want to look at the membership of APGA and see how we can bring everybody together. We are going to create a data bank where every member’s name and particulars will be captured.  We are going to do biometric exercise where we capture every APGA member in Nigeria.  We will build that data bank which will help us to access our members easily, know what is happening to our members all over the country, see what is happening to APGA on its level of growth or level of retardation, we are going to look at all that holistically. Again, we are going to do a massive enlightenment programme by going to all parts of the country, trying to identify like minds who will share the same political ideology with us, and see how we can also convert some other people from other political parties into our system. We know that many Nigerians are in the wrong parties already because they were not properly enlightened before they joined those political parties. So, we are going to bring them back to the fold.


How democratic do you propose to make your party?

Thirdly, we are going to ensure absolute probity and transparency in the running of our affairs. Instead of yearly financial report, we are going to do it every quarter, and let the world know how much we have and how much we spend. May be, this will be the first political party that will be having annual budget. We are going to do annual budget and work strictly to actualize the budget every year. There will be fiscal discipline; every kobo spent must be duly appropriated before. So, we will see ourselves in the party as brothers and sisters keepers and ensure love exists among us that if anyone of us is in pain, we are all in pain. That is the kind of system I will like to operate. I don’t want to see    among ourselves acrimony and we can’t promote such life. We are going to promote unity of purpose, love for one another, fear of God and love of the nation-patriotism. So, when you see an APGA member, you don’t need to be told. By the conduct and decorum, you will be able to know the member of APGA; these are the specific things I plan to do.

You talked about crisis in PDP and APC at the national level, but APGA has its own pockets of crisis in Anambra State, too, with former governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi, leaving the party. At that time, some people said the heart of APGA left also with him. So, how are you going to reconcile this?

When you talk about Anambra, you reduce the size of APGA. Though, that is the picture people see, that is not what is on ground. The former governor was an integral part of APGA. He left out of his own volition, nobody forced him to leave and there was no crisis the time he left. You know, all about political party is no permanent foe, no permanent friend stuff. You can always find your way in another political party if where you are is no longer comfortable for you. The former governor left for PDP, that was his choice. That has nothing to do with APGA crisis. APGA was not originally built on one person; everybody in APGA is indispensable. So, if somebody is missing from the fold, we go looking for the person, that is what we want to do. One of the things I want to do is true reconciliation among all the members of APGA who feel aggrieved. We’ll reach out to them to see how we can mend fences and keep things moving. But for the former governor, nobody forced him out; he left on his own volition to another political party. You know he was close to the former president, so he found it very auspicious and more comfortable to be in the fold of the former president, probably that was why he left. So, I do not even blame him,   everything we do in life is dictated by some unseen forces. That is just the truth about it.  Whatever we do in life, let us look up to God and ask God at each time, what purpose you have for me in my life.