Jubilation In APGA As Okwu Returns | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Jubilation In APGA As Okwu Returns

Posted: Apr 29, 2016 at 3:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Ejikeme Omenazu

Lagos–  The news was indeed unexpected although there had been rumours of behind-the-scene discussions and negotiations. But, when it was mentioned at certain quarters in Anambra, Lagos and Abuja, it led to spontaneous jubilation. Chief Maxi Okwu, a former factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has indeed finally returned to his old fold.

The joy among the APGA members in these major cities is understandable. Before he left the party, Okwu had a large followers who it is believed, are still loyal to him. With his return, the party, which had been smarting from its victory in the council polls in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), recently, has added more feathers to its cap as the third most important party in the country and a likely replacement of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), that is, if it can muster enough steam to snatch victory from these established parties, come 2019 general elections.

Okwu’s return to APGA, as was confirmed by Independent,  was realised at a closed-door meeting held at Amawbia the seat of power in Awka, the Anambra State capital, last weekend following deft political moves by Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State. Although the governor was away in the United States of America on official visit, the stakeholders present who met with Okwu reached an agreement, leading to his return.


But, it is expected that on his return, Obiano, as the party’s National Leader and Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) will formalise the readmission of Okwu and formerly receive him back to the fold.

Independent gathered that the final negotiation for the reconciliation took place at the residence of Victor Oye, the APGA National Chairman, with Sir Theophine Nnoli , APGA Vice Chairman, Central, present as well as few other party chieftains.


As soon as the reconciliation was mooted, many of the party members and supporters in parts of the country took to the social media to celebrate the event, which they see as a gesture towards a more united party.


Okwu, a lawyer and one-time top chieftain of the party, had in the past, named himself the party’s National Chairman, sacking the former National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh. The matter was taken to the courts, until it was resolved on January 15 this year at the Supreme Court where Okwu finally lost.

Ifeanyi Aniagor, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Obiano on Social Media, who broke what he called “Breaking News”, stated: “Chief Maxi Okwu and his faction are back into All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

“APGA is now one happy family, to God be the glory. Just received the message from Sir Theophine Nnoli (APGA Vice Chairman, Central). Isn’t APGA growing bigger and better? When a good man is on the throne…”

When Independent got wind of the development and contacted Okwu on phone to confirm the veracity of the reported reconciliation, he quickly responded via a text message: “Yes. It is work in progress along the line of peace initiative the Leader and Governor of Anambra State (Obiano) lunched after the Supreme Court verdict on January 15.

“We met at the residence of the APGA National Chairman, Victor Oye. The body language was right and we have an understanding. We will wait for the return of the governor to conclude and seal the reconciliation.”

In a recent interview with Independent on his status in APGA, Okwu had stated: “Technically with the judgment of the Supreme Court on 15th January 2016 dismissing our Appeal from the lower Court, I am technically out of APGA. You may recall my roots in APGA run deep.

“As far back as 2002 just after registration I became the number two man as Deputy National Chairman (South) of the party. It was as a consequence of the intra-party struggle that I exited in 2005 and took up a comatose party called Green Party of Nigeria (name later changed to Citizen’s Popular Party) as National Chairman, and later its presidential candidate in 2007.

“All the same, I kept in contact with both sides of the APGA divide. Governor Peter Obi, as leader of the party, invited me back in February 2016, at a critical moment when the court literally decapitated the executive, to salvage the party.

“The rest is history. We are at the stage of exploring an amicable end to the APGA saga through the Chief Maja Umeh committee set up by the party Leader and Governor of Anambra State. Let’s see how it goes.” Thus, to those who were aware of the on-going peace move, the reconciliation was indeed, not a surprise, although many doubting Thomases could not believe that it was possible, bearing in mind the history of the party as regards crises are concerned.


On a possible rapprochement between former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, and the incumbent, Willie Obiano, Okwu also added: “It’s well and much desired. In politics there is no permanent friend, nor enemy. Interest is paramount. It is in the permanent interest of Anambra State that both, who are mentor and protege remain friendly and cooperative.”


On if APGA stood a chance of improving its 2015 performance in 2019 general elections, “Okwu responded, “It is in the better interest of APGA a party whose political growth is stunted, that a genuine and broad embracing peace is achieved. By 2019, the party would have been 17 years old. It has so much promise, but it’s now literally an Anambra-based party.”

On what would be the shape of politics in 2019, he noted that the political tripod on which Nigeria, as an entity was built, hovered around the three regional leaders, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, in the East, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the West and Ahmadu Bello in the North, who he termed as “The Titans of pre and post Independent Nigeria” and their political parties, with Zik, Awo and Ahmadu Bello leading the NCNC, the AG and NPC, respectively.

He recalled that by the pre-military intervention in 1966, Nigeria adopted the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy, stating however, that “We now practice the American type of Presidential executive. The latter is most suited for two dominant parties acting as a check on themselves and alternating in power. We have that in the APC and PDP.

“I am of the firm belief that the PDP is not the alternative to the PDP. The APC, except for elements of the defunct ACN, and some core PMB President Muhammadu Buhari) loyalists of the CPC, is more like the PDP changing jersey at half time. There will be an alternative to the APC come 2019. The PDP may survive, but it cannot recover. It is therefore not that alternative.