MEMBERS of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) seeking the party’s nomination tickets for various elective positions at the 2019 general elections have been assured of a level playing ground in their forthcoming election primaries.
APGA Board of Trustees Chairman and National Leader of the Party, Gov Willie Obiano of Anambra State gave the assurance at a one-day APGA Retreat and Book Presentation held in Awka yesterday, adding that there is no room for the phenomenon of ‘favoured or anointed candidate’ in the party.
The event which was held under the theme, ‘APGA: The Trials and Triumphs’ attracted all the party’s big shots including National Chairman of APGA, Victor Oye, Member Representing Anambra Central District in the Senate, Victor Umeh, Former Minister of Information and Nasarrawa State gubernatorial aspirant on APGA ticket, Labaran Maku, former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Chairman of the Retreat Dr. Godwin Maduka, other stalwarts and aspirants contesting for the party’s nomination all over the country.
Urging aspirants vying for the party’s tickets to work hard for their successes at the polls, Gov Obiano called on them to avoid financial inducement of delegates, stressing that aspirants should enhance their chances by putting across their ideas to the party members, who would be free to opt for the best ideas.
The governor also warned aspirants against renting thugs, declaring that those who violate this directive would be disqualified from the party’s primaries.
In his speech, Chief Oye said that the retreat was purely for aspirants seeking the party’s mandate to fly APGA flag at the 2019 general election, promising them that nobody will trade off the party’s victory.
According to Oye, the party has since actualised its founder, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s vision to turn APGA into a formidable political movement that would be the pride of all and winner of as many legislative and governorship seats in all the states across the federation.
The APGA national chairman also dropped hints that the party would soon commence work on its project to construct a national headquarters in Abuja that befits its current and future status, disclosing that land recently donated by a party faithful.
The Chairman of the Retreat and United States based medical practitioner, Dr. Godwin Maduka used the event to encourage aspirants of elective positions in APGA to eschew mischief and infighting that may not only heat up the party but also the polity, stressing that the aspirants were expected to project quality leadership through the reinvention of a meaningful Nigeria.
Equally challenging political leaders to offer quality service to other citizens by being good servants and avoid being swelled by trappings of political office, Maduka reminded those in attendance that the journey to rediscover Nigerian politics begins now or never.
Speaking in a paper presentation on ‘Parties, Politicians and Policies in Nigeria: From Election Platforms to Transformative Change Agents,’ former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Chukwuma Soludo chided political parties in the country for lacking in ideology, explaining that APGA was better positioned to transform into a party with progressive pragmatism.
He called for party loyalty and discipline as against the current trend of defections and support for opposition after losing nominations.
In his own paper ‘Responsibilities of Aspirants to APGA,’ National Secretary of APGA, Mr. Labaran Maku stated that the party had the mandate to raise leaders who would be useful to the society, underscoring the need for political leaders and aspirants to surrender their plans to God to guide them in decision making.
Also, in another paper presentation, a legal practitioner, Mr. Emeka Obegolu advised political aspirants to always study their parties manifestos to help them articulate what they intended to realise.
Reviewing the book,’APGA the Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs’ Chief Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) who was represented by a Law Teacher, Dr. Cyril Obika described APGA as a child of its time.
In his goodwill message, Executive Chairman of the Publishers of the book, Chief Joop Berkhout applauded the leaders of APGA for surmounting the challenges emanating from its crisis to remain a formidable political party.