*Leadership Intact, Says Maku
By ANDREW ESSIEN, Abuja
The national leadership of APGA, led by Chief Victor Oye has condemned what it described as criminal invasion of its national secretariat by a group led by Martin Agbaso adding the party is in the process of suing for the damages done on its secretariat.
Maku who reacted to Thursday’s storming of the party’s office in Abuja by a faction led by Agbaso, described the action as a exercise in futility and an act of brigandage.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, the National Secretary of APGA, Mr. Labaran Maku said there is no factional leadership in the party insisting that Chief Victor Oye still remains the national chairman of the party.
Maku said : “There are no two leaderships in APGA, there is only one leadership led by Dr. Victor Oye who was elected at the party’s national convention at Awka in 2015.
“There has not been any other convention aimed at electing new leaders and there has not been any meeting of the party, either the National Executive Committee or convention convened to do so since 2015. So APGA has just one leadership and all the 36 state chairmen are solidly behind Oye,”.
While narrating what happened on Thursday, Maku said: “First of all, let me make it clear that vandals and hoodlums led by Marthins Agbaso and accompanied by about 25 to 30 armed Policemen suddenly invaded the headquarters of APGA at around around 5pm.
“I just left office 20 minutes earlier when they broke the chain and the padlock at the main entrance to the office, then they came with proffessional burglars and carpenters, they destroyed the key to the offices, force their ways into the offices and made straight to the store of APGA where they vandalised all our documents, took away sensitive documents from the headquarters, our files, the constitution of the party and the manifesto of the party.
When asked about the step the leadership of the party might take against such action, Maku, said the action is a criminal matter adding that the party might charge Agbaso and his group to court for criminal invasion of the national secretariat of APGA.
On the claim by Agbaso that has a court order recognizing him as chairman, Maku said that even if Oye was to be removed, the party constitution stipulates that a convention must be summoned to elect a replacement.
He argued that Martin Agbaso is not a valid member of APGA having after left the party to contest election in the PDP.
According to the former Minister, Agbaoso was yet to formally return to the party and so was not a member of APGA and therefore cannot lay claim to any position in the party.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Obi Okoye had earlier issued a statement alleging that the group led by Agbaoso came on a sponsored mission to disrupt APGA’s preparations for the re-election of Governor Willie Obiano in the November governorship election in Anambra State.
The party’s statement reads: “This evening (Thursday) at about 5pm, the National Headquarters of APGA located at No. 41B Libreville Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja was invaded by heavily armed policemen in the company of Martin Agbaso who then proceeded to break into the office, smashing the gate and the doors to force their way into the headquarters of the party.
“They came in a commando style and in total disregard of the laws of the land and burgled all the offices of the national headquarters of APGA.
“The National Leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) strongly condemns the invasion of its national headquarters in Abuja by Martin Agbaso in collusion with the police”.
“This invasion came shortly after three court rulings in Abakaliki, Awka and Ibadan High Courts reaffirmed the leadership of Dr. Victor Ikechukwu Oye as the authentic elected National Chairman of APGA.
It called on the the Inspector General of Police to immediately investigate where Agbaso got policemen to undertake this criminal action.
“We also call for the immediate end to the occupation of APGA National Headquarters by Agbaso supported by the Nigeria Police.
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