Chief Martin Agbaso, factional national chairman, APGA, during gis reception in Owerri, Imo State
The acting national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA, Chief Martin Agbaso (Ochudo), has four worries. The worries, he says, include winning the November 18 gubernatorial election in Anambra State and reconciling all warring parties, including those he said, left the party in protest.
The other challenges Agbaso wants to surmount include building a formidable political party capable of winning election anywhere in Nigeria and also ensuring that APGA sweeps the entire Southeast come 2019 general elections.
Chief Agbaso who stated this at his Emekuku country home, Imo State, during the grand reception organized by the party faithful in his honour, said he had Initiated talks with the former governor of Anambra State, Chief Sir Peter Obi; Sen. Mrs Uche Ekwunife; Captain Iheanacho and many others who left the party in protest.
'I will ensure I bring back all of them back to the party. We lost four House of Reps members under one day to other political parties, owing to bad leadership. Can you beat that? It's unacceptable to me. We want all party stakeholders who left the party under the previous leadership back into the party. I am preoccupied with winning Anambra election, reconciling, building a formidable political party and winning the entire Southeast come 2019 general elections. These are my major tasks,' he said.
Speaking on Governor Willie Obiano's chances of picking the party ticket, Agbaso said Governor Willie Obiano remained the leader of the party and therefore had nothing to fear. This is even as he dispelled speculations that he was bent on frustrating the chances of Gov Obiano's re-election, saying the governor was an asset to the party.
On how he emerged as the national chairman of APGA, Agbaso said that he was in faraway London when the late acting national chairman, Ozo Nwabueze Okafor, who emerged after Ozo Victor Oye, whom he described as the former national chairman, was duly and constitutionally suspended by the executive of the party, beckoned on him to come back and help in reviving the party.
According to Agbaso, he was told that APGA was in comatose and needed his political sagacity for survival.
'I obliged to come back because I am synonymous with APGA, but at a point, I left the party in protest to join the PDP. But I returned after just two months because APGA runs in my DNA and that is where I belong. Upon return, I was made the deputy national chairman (South). While in the position, Ozo Nwabueze Okafor, our then acting national chairman died. It now behoves the party to appoint a new acting national chairman and I was appointed based on my position as the highest ranking member of the party. I never struggled for it. I was on my own when these arrangements were made.
'Let me quickly correct an impression here. Nobody killed Ozo Nwabueze Okafor. He was sick for a very long time. Those insinuating that he was killed should stop speculating. The whole idea was to instil fear in people like us trying to right the wrongs in APGA. They want everybody to be afraid of them; that once you challenge them, you die, it is not true,' he concluded.
'On the Anambra election, our party is deeply rooted in internal democracy, there is no truth in deceitful claims that our emergence will be against our governor, Willie Obiano. How can you work to stop a sitting governor who has done very well? There is nothing for him to worry about because we are proud of him, his works will definitely speak for him, but we must maintain the transparency and internal democracy that is rooted in APGA in the conduct of the party's primary election,' Agbaso explained.
The grand reception attracted many APGA faithful in Imo State, including the interim state chairman of the party, Dr. David Iwuagwu; interim secretary of the party in Imo State, Hon. Innocent Uduwoke; Chief Stanley Ukaga, among others.