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You lack power to convene APGA convention, INEC tells Obi

•Peter Obi

By Emmanuel Nzomiwu. Correspondent, Enugu

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied the request by Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, to convene the congresses and convention of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Obi had on February 25, issued a notice for conduct of fresh congresses and convention of the party to the Chairman of the INEC “as a senior Governor elected on the party platform.”

But INEC in its reply told Obi that the commission had considered his letter, the judgment of the Enugu High Court and the constitution of APGA and, therefore, cannot grant him leave to convene any meeting of APGA as he (Obi) lacks such power.

Acting Secretary of INEC, Mustapha Kuta, said in the letter to Obi: “The commission notes that the power to convene a meeting of any organ of the All Progressives Grand Alliance is vested on the chairman of that organ.

“The commission has not been referred to any provision of the constitution of the All Progressives Grand Alliance which empowers you to convene a meeting of any organ, including but not limited to National Executive Committee and the National Convention. The commission therefore cannot accede to your request to convene any convention or congresses.”

Obi in his letter to INEC had claimed that the judgment of Enugu High Court on February 8, had left the party decapitated and rudderless, adding that he was advised that the courts of law do not grant a stay of declaratory judgment.

Obi argued that he and his Deputy Governor as bonafide ex-offico members of the party’s NEC could convene the national convention.

Obi had fixed the congresses starting from ward levels for March 30 and the national convention for April 18 in Enugu.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Tony Anenih, has described the merger of some opposition parties as a “total failure.”

He is confident that they cannot stand up to the PDP.

Anenih was apparently referring to the coming together of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to form the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He spoke in Dutse, Jigawa State capital when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Sule Lamido.

Anenih said he and his team were in Jigawa to seek the support of the Governor to make PDP more vibrant and stronger to face future challenges.

He said Lamido as a staunch member of the PDP will cooperate with the national leadership of the party to move it forward.

The BoT chairman expressed the hope that Lamido being one of the founding fathers of the PDP will do everything possible to assist the party attain greater heights, saying he never doubted the loyalty of the Governor to the party.

Anenih, who was said to be on a fence mending tour to states, advised his host that if he has any complaint, he should forward it to him for necessary action and further sought the support of the Governor to achieve the objectives of the party.

Responding, Lamido assured the visiting BoT chairman that he will remain in the PDP and expressed his unflinching loyalty to the party.