By Ody Chukwube
A thirty minutes chance meeting with Dr Victor Oye, the National Chairman of APGA, was very revealing. He was a reporters delight; infectiously confident, eloquent, passionate about his party, but most surprisingly, deeply religious.
What was supposed to be an inquisition into the impasse bedeviling the party gradually snowballed into theological lessons, laced with a deluge of philosophical narratives that left me bewildered, confused and ironically, bitter.
I was worried that some people, especially one renegade from Imo state painted Dr Oye , who I had known for over 30years, in such lurid colours. I was however shocked by his unexpected serenity in the course of the discussion. He laughed it off and chose to rather bear it with philosophical calmness ” I know the God that I worship, he will give me victory” was his sangfroid response to the viral video clip.
Quoting copiously from the scriptures , Ozonkpu, a title which confered a rare privilege on him with commensurate spiritual and traditional responsibilities , went almost lyrical , reminding me of his days as a literary critic and journalist in the then Satellite Newspapers, Enugu, owned by Chief Jim Nwobodo. He is, by tradition as Ozonkpu Amawbia, bound to forthrightness, a desideratum which imbues him with discipline and strength of character that cannot be compromised. He holds an ofo, a revered instrument of authority jointly kept in his custody by the Ozo, elders and the entire indigenes of Amawbia. His reputation as a promoter of the rich cultural heritage of his Community, Amawbia has almost become legendary.
As we talked , he waxed philosophical intermittently and spiritual in some instances. Prayers, serious prayers that virtually ” pulled down the roof of his office” left me amazed by the unusual strength of the personality that is in charge of APGA.
” I know them and at the appropriate time, they will fizzle out. I cannot be demoralized. They do not exist in the party. And it is a big shame that they are trying to distablise us. But our implicit confidence in God and the judiciary has not been dampened”
Dr Oye could not have been a nobody prior to his emergence as the National Chairman of the party as erroneously portrayed by those he referred to as renegades. He was a great journalist and writer in the 80s and had held strategic political appointments in governments and in politcal parties. In business, he was elaborately successful.
Conversely, some of those antagonistic of the party , parade credentials that seem less than noble. Their claims are absurd in some instances and preposterous in others. Imagine, a native of Imo state, claiming to be a gubernatorial candidate of APGA. Ridiculous, is it not? However such characters are encouraged by their faceless sponsors to operate in Anambra State and to try to distablise APGA.
” I have taken APGA to great heights, winning elections outside of Igboland. We are the only party in Nigeria with a permanent party office complex in Abuja and that was achieved through an unusual skill in resource management. In every election time in Anambra State, people try to distract us with a plathora of frivolous litigations. We are however up to it. With God, victory is assured” he declared.
“While they are busy planting thorns on Soludo’s path to victory, we are erecting monuments of gold and diamond on the same path to make his victory remarkable” he further stressed in a voice that has become rather solemn.
He refused to comment on the Appeal Court case over the leadership of the party in Kano inorder not to jeopardize the legal process. But advised that I read up an eye witness report of the proceedings which indicated that the battle was between impostors who were desperate to mislead the court in an attempt to frustrate the course of Justice
Quoting profusely from the eye witness report submitted by Isreal Isichei , Oye alluded to the fact that most of the accounts circulated by the opposition were jaundiced, tendentious and deliberately designed to deceive.
“Can a matter become a pre-election matter at the Court of Appeal that was not a pre-election matter and filed within 14 days at the lower court? To which the answer is a capital ‘No”.
The eye witness report stated that the case at the lower Court was filed in 2021 with regards to an alleged convention of APGA held in 2019. So assuming it is even pre-election, it means that the case at the lower court was defective from the word go and filed out of time.
“The major plank of the case at the Appeal Court, Kano is to determine whether the High Court, Birnin Kudu, Jigawa State acted within jurisdiction in entering judgment in favour of one Jude Okeke.
From evidence before the court, the Jude Okeke group is a bunch of impostors, colluding with one another to mislead the court and miscarry justice
To show how myopic and mischievous Jude Okeke and his motley sponsors were, they did not file a single document showing legitimate claim to the seat of national chairman of the party.
Again, the so-called Jude Okeke and his co-meddlesome interlopers did not file any APGA Constitution produced by Edozie Njoku whom they claimed they sacked to bring in Jude Okeke.
The APGA Constitution they used in filing their suits was the one approved by the National Convention conducted by the Oye-led APGA on May 31, 2019 in Awka. In fact, it was Oye as National Chairman of APGA and Labaran Maku as National Secretary that signed the APGA Constitution 2019 into law abd submitted to INEC on June 17, 2019
Because the Jude Okeke team are aware that their suit is standing on nothing they have resorted to spreading fake news and making incinerating insinuations to give some hope to their supporters who have been struck by the reality of impending defeat.”
” They have no constitution. They are relying on the same constitution produced by the Oye-led national leadership and ratified by the National Convention on May 31, 2019 in Awka
There is no gainsaying the fact, that Edozie Njoku and Jude Okeke are impostors, fake and should be made to face criminal charges bordering on perjury, forgery, and impersonation
Referring further to the eye witness report by Isreal Isichei, Ozonkpu stated that in
any other civilised society, such men should have been cooling their heels in jail, instead of being given prominence for their notoriety.
Luckily some members of the Bench and Bar have joined in total condemnation of the judicial absurdity. Justice Chioma Nwosu Iheme of the Court of Appeal had in a ruling demanded for the immediate punishment for the Judge of the Jigawa High Court , Justice Ubale and that of Imo state, Justice BC Iheaka for unprofessional conduct. Nigeria Solidarity Group and other reputable NGOs had applauded Justice Iheme for courage and robust defence of public interest.
I pray, just like millions of APGA supporters that justice will be done.
Ody Chukwube is a Public Affairs Analyst