The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has suspended Governor Rochas Okorocha of the eastern Nigerian state of Imo from the party “for engaging in anti-party activities.’’
Notice of the suspension was contained in a communiqué signed by the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, at the end of the party’s National Executive Meeting on Saturday in Abuja.
The communique noted that “rising from an emergency NEC meeting in Abuja, APGA unanimously resolved to dissolve the Imo executive committee of the party.
“The party’s NEC has also resolved to appoint a 21-man caretaker committee to oversee its affairs in Imo until a congress is held.’’
It regretted that a governor on the platform of APGA could decide to act contrary to the constitution of the party that voted him into power.
According to the communiqué, the party had approved electoral guidelines for the Anambra governorship primaries for 2013 and fixed its next sitting for Aug. 31.
Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi, the National Vice Chairman of APGA South-West, who read out the resolutions of the NEC meeting, said the party leaders had discussed preparations for the Anambra gubernatorial election.
Sowunmi said barely three weeks after the party invited aspirants who declared interest in the race, 14 of them had already picked the expression of interest forms.
He said that the male aspirants paid N10 million and female paid N5 million.
He said those who had collected the expression of interest forms were expected to pick the nomination forms and then be screened for the primaries.
The communiqué also stated that women were asked to pay N5 million as against the N10 million paid by their male counterparts in order to encourage them to participate actively in politics.
The APGA national vice chairman said the NEC had again restated that the party was not part of APC, adding that some governors had smuggled in the logo of APGA into their advertorials.
“We demand for an apology from Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and the payment of N20 billion for doing that.
“We also demand N5 billion from Gov. Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State for same offence.’’
The communique urged all the parties involved in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election to stick to the code of conduct signed with INEC and shun negative acts.
Speaking shortly after the NEC meeting, Umeh said the meeting was summoned to prove that the party’s crisis and other important issues bordering the party had been put to rest.
He said that with the return of peace among key stakeholders, APGA would definitely regain the Imo governorship seat in the next election.
“APGA is set to retain the governorship of Anambra on Nov. 16. We welcome all other political parties to engage us in the contest.
“We are calling for a level playing ground because with a level playing ground, we are sure of victory at the end of the day,’’ he added.