Okwu emerges APGA national chairman


AWKA — THE All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, yesterday, held its national convention at the Women Development Centre, Awka with the former interim national chairman of the party, Chief Maxi Okwu from the South East geo –political zone emerging the new national chairman, while Dr. Sadic Maidoya from the North West was elected the new national secretary.

Okwu polled 764 votes to defeat Chief Joe Martins Uzodike who scored 91 votes. Also, Chief Chris Uche was elected the deputy national chairman (South) with 870 votes, while Alhaji Sadiq Masala was elected deputy national chairman (North) with 713 votes.

This was even as the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu, yesterday, vacated an order which restrained  the former national Chairman of the party, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, from parading himself in that capacity by the Enugu State High Court on February 10.

Reacting to the news of the Court of Appeal ruling grating Chief Victor Umeh’s application for stay of execution, Chief Maxi Okwu, who took oath of office with other elected officers of the party in Awka, described the Court of Appeal ruling as ridiculous. He added that one cannot abort a child that had already been born as the national convention had been concluded before the Appeal Court sitting.

He said: “I do not know what the Justices of the Court of Appeal considered, but it is an elementary law that injunctions do not work against completed acts.

“How can a relief granted around 12:30 p.m. affect an act completed by 08:30a.m?” he asked, pointing out that the convention which took place in Awka began at about 12.40a.m. on Monday and ended by 8.30 a.m., before the Appeal Court started sitting. However, the three-man panel of justices including Justices Paul Galinje, Chairman; F. A. Kwasami and Tom Yakubu unanimously ruled that since the appellant (Umeh) duly appealed against the decision of the lower court presided by the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, challenging his jurisdiction and accusing him of bias, the status quo ought to be maintained pending the determination of the appeal.

At the convention earlier, five national vice chairmen were also elected and they were Dr. Elijah Onwuka for South East, Alhaji Tijani Idris for North West, Alhaji Abubakar Adamu for North East, Mr. Joseph Tondo for North Central and Mr. Raymond Ugba Murphy for South -South.

All the positions as provided by the APGA constitutions were also filled which had Mazi Larry Nwosu as the returning officer.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Ozoemena Onyali administered the oath of office on the new officials.

No fewer than eight officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, including the state resident electoral commissioner, Prof Chukwuemeka Onukaogu monitored the convention which had two former deputy governors, Dr. Okey Ude and Prince Chinedu Emeka as collation officers.

The host governor, Mr. Peter Obi commended the delegated from the 36 states and the federal capital for successfully conducting the exercise, which began with ward congresses across the country on April 4, 2013.

He said: “Today, all of us have successfully achieved this feat because you were determined to make it succeed. I want to assure all of you that you have a future in APGA and all I plead of you is to realize that those who think only about today will always miss the future.

“I want to assure you that in the coming months, you will be happy with your party and those who thought that our party is finished will be disappointed. I also want to assure our people that after my eight years as governor, we will transit successfully.

“We will soon move to the field and what I want to assure our party members is that I will be in the forefront during the political campaigns.”

The new national chairman, Okwu described his emergence as a new dawn and commended Governor Obi for being steadfast in his quest to improve the fortunes of APGA.

He informed the people that he would be the people’s chairman and promised to start in earnest to traverse the whole country in search of new members for the party.

Earlier, the convention had ratified the resolutions that were passed in Awka last week by the National Executive Committee of the party. The motion for the adoption of the resolution was passed by Mr Chris Azubogu, the member representing Nnewi Federal constituency in the House of representatives.

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