With less than 23 days to the general elections, the crisis rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) took a new twist as the founding national chairman of the party, Chief Chekwas Okorie is unveiled as its presidential candidate on Wednesday.
Okorie, who unveiled his running mate, also listed members of unveiled his campaign council.
Okorie had emerged as the party’s presidential candidate at the primary organised by the Edozie Njoku-led National Working Committee.
In December 2022, the Victor Oye faction announced a 1,579-man campaign council led by Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo and his predecessor, Chief Willie Obiano.
Both Oye and Njoku have been laying claims to the leadership of the party.
During Wednesday’s unveiling of his campaign council, Okorie also named a nurse, Hajia Hadiza Muhammad as his running mate and an investigative journalist, Jonathan Elendu as the Director-General of the campaign council.
Speaking, Okorie maintained that APGA has only one presidential candidate and national chairman. He, however, expressed surprise that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was yet to recognise Njoku as chairman, despite a Supreme Court ruling sacking Victor Oye.
While urging INEC to do the needful, he observed that the 2023 general election to which over N350 billion of taxpayers’ money has been appropriated by the National Assembly must not be put in avoidable peril.
He stated: “The onus is on INEC to ensure that Nigerians do not turn around to hold the electoral body responsible for truncating the 2023 general election by willfully excluding lawfully recognized APGA from participating in the elections. Should this unfortunate and forewarned calamity befall the nation, the repercussion shall threaten the very existence of corporate Nigeria. May God forbid it.
“Njoku, the National Chairman of APGA has proved himself to be a man of immense faith and conviction as well. If it was not for this special attribute of his l will not be here today as Presidential Candidate of a Political Party l founded 21 years ago.
“It is out of faith and conviction that all genuine leaders and members of APGA today believe that in spite of the machinations and intrigues of human beings which have resulted to what is obviously a late entry into the democratic contest for 2023 general election. APGA will surprise its traducers by the outcome of its accomplishments in the forthcoming elections by the special grace of God. Again, it is written that the last shall be the first”, he stated.
The vice presidential candidate, Hadiza Muhammad, observed that with her nomination, the party has proven that they respect gender equality in Nigerian political experiments.
In his acceptance speech as DG, Elendu said Nigeria requires rescue from the clutches of effects of an unworkable coupling that has made the development of the country and people almost a mirage.
“From the remote deserts of Sokoto to the savannahs of Borno and Adamawa, the forests of Oyo, the rivers of the niger delta and the lands of Alaigbo, there are incredible resources that make the ravaging poverty in our country an abomination.
“Indeed Nigeria is at the threshold of history. Shall we continue to operate a federal democracy that has stunted the growth of our country? A system that professes security of lives and property as the main function of government, and yet knowing that in principle it is unworkable”, he stated.