Raymond Ozoji in Awka writes on the rancor-free convention to elect new executive members of the the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Awka during the week
As the only state where the government is controlled by the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Anambra played host to the party during its state congress held at the Women Development Centre in the state capital, Awka. The Center was filled to the brim as members and leaders were desirous of conducting its state congress during which new executives of the party were elected to pilot the affairs of the party for the next four years. The event Centre could not accommodate the crowd that came from far and near either as delegates, party members or as lovers of the party following the giant strides of the APGA government in Anambra State to witness the epoch-making event
To this end, over one thousand persons could not make their way into the event centre due to tight security arrangement at the venue to forestall chaos.
Although the State Governor Chief Willie Obiano and the national chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh were conspicuously absent from the state congress of the party but the chief of staff in the state, Prof. Joe Asike represented Governor Willie Obiano while the out-gone state chairman of APGA Chief Akunwata Mike Kwentoh stood in for Chief Victor Umeh on the occasion.
By and large the conduct of the state congress was peaceful and devoid of confusion and rancour. The APGA state congress however produced the former commissioner for Special Duties and one-time executive secretary of the Anambra State Post Primary School Service Commission, Sir Nobert Obi as the new state Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Anambra .
Out-gone chairman of the party Chief Akunwata Mike Kwentoh did a flashback on the achievements of the party under his watch. Chief Kwentoh recalled that in the last eight years the party had gone through thick and thin stressing that irrespective of ups and downs, the party has grown from strength to strength.
Kwentoh recalled that in 2007 when he came on board as the state chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, the party had no root in Anambra State. He said that APGA had neither Councilors nor House of Assembly members except only one State Governor.
But after the first four years, according to him, APGA had House of Assembly members, five members of Representatives as well as local government care-taker committee chairmen. Thereafter the party won governorship election which produced the incumbent Governor of the State Chief Willie Obiano . He also stated that the party equally recorded landslide victory in the 2015 general elections where it clinched 30 seats in the state house of assembly polls. The former State Chairman of APGA however admonished the new state executives of the party led by Hon. Sir Nobert Obi to put on the garment of humility , patience , sacrifice and endurance in piloting the affairs of the party to avoid bickering as well as divisiveness among party members .
Chief Kwentoh who was optimistic that APGA would form a strong opposition in the country , observed that the Peoples Democratic Party was fading away into oblivion as some PDP members were in serious romance with the All Progressives Congress while others are contemplating joining APGA . According to him APGA proved its mettle in Nasarawa , Bayelsa and Abia states in the last governorship election stressing that the party should be taken seriously and with every sense of responsibility . On his part, new state chairman of the party, Hon. Sir Nobert Obi while presenting his address declared that the mandate bestowed on them to run the affairs of the party for the next four years would be fruitful . He therefore commended the giant strides of the incumbent administration in the state stressing that the Governor has left no one in doubt as to his commitment and determination in making Anambra State great adding that Governor Willie Obiano is reaĺly working in the state .
Obi noted that the secret of success of the present administration is not unconnected with the religious implementation of his 4-point agenda which portrays his administration’s commitment to the progress of the state.
He therefore assured party faithful that the new state executives will uphold the confidence reposed in them and that his tenure would be all-inclusive as well as maintain an open-door policy as exemplified in the State Governor Chief Willie Obiano . He explained that his administration will welcome constructive criticism and welcome new ideas for the progress of the party, stressing that the best is yet to come in the party. He however called for greater commitment on the part of party faithful, adding that the time is ripe for the party to stand firm as well as re-strategise in order to move the party forward while pleading with aggrieved members of the party to bury the hatchet and let the party forge ahead in the spirit of forgiveness, love, unity and oneness while building a formidable party .
Meanwhile comrade Chinedu Obidigwe, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Youth Mobilization and secretary of the State Congress Committee made it categorically clear that in his speech that APGA is a united family. Comrade Obidigwe observed that since the emergence of Governor Willie Obiano , APGA has witnessed a new dawn in Anambra State . He said that the party has won all the state House of Assembly seats as well as Federal House despite what he described as rigging, emphasizing that it was the first time a political party in opposition had 27 elected members of the state house of assembly. He therefore expressed optimism that the in-coming state executives of APGA would perform better than the out-gone executives.
Chairman of the state congress committee Hon.Ifeatu Onejeme on his part thanked delegates to the congress.
Hon.Onejeme stated that delegates to the congress were a total of 1139 accredited delegates. He enumerated the positions contested and won included the position of state chairman -Hon. Sir Nobert Obi , Deputy- chairman-Hon Tony Omeligwe Elee, State Secretary -Hon.Barr. Tony Ifeanya , State vice chairman -Hon.Titus Anigbogu , State vice chairman ( North ) — Hon.Chinedu Nnatuanya, State vice chairman (central ) —- Chief Theopine Nnoli, Woman Leader— Lady Ibenta , Youth Leader—Hon.Peter Ozumba , Treasurer–Hon .Tony Nwakile , Organising secretary — Mr.Isaac Obadiegwu, Publicity secretary–Mr.Chinedu Nkwonta, Welfare secretary—Mr.Chuks Igboanua,Auditor–Mr. Nchekwubw Anthony Chinedu , Financial secretary—- Sir Andrew Nwanosike , Legal Adviser —- Barr.Sylvester Ezeokenwa , Ass. secretary — Mr.Joe Onwuchekwa , Ass.Youth Leader — Hon.Osita Ozalagba, Ass.Women Leader— Mrs. Njideka Okafor , Ass.Legal Adviser — Barr. Chris Aniekwe , Ass.Financial secretary — Iloka Mbazulike Ignatious , Ass.Treasurer– Chief Godson Obi , Ass. Auditor—Hon.Chiloka Okoye, Ass.publicity secretary—-Mr.Festus Ugokwe, Ass.organising secretary — Mrs.Amara Nwadialo , Ass.welfare seccretary—Hon.Ugonna Obi , Ex–officio 1 — Hon. Umennwa Kingsley , Ex-officio 2— Sir Angus Ochiogu , Ex-officio- 3 —- Barr. Ignatious Akaka .
Thereafter the chairman of the state congress committee said that in accordance with article 19 ( 5 ) of the 2014 constitution of APGA as amended , regarding uncontested offices , election may be by voice vote and based on the provisions of article 9 ( 5 ) as his position as the state congress chairman , requested the congress to affirm by voice vote the election of the candidates standing for election , who were all unopposed ; were all elected by the congress as new state executives of the All Progressives Grand Alliance ( APGA ) in Anambra State.