Calls For Uzodimma’s Sack As PGF Chairman Not Misplaced – UPF

By Tony Adibe

The United Progressive Foundation (UPF), a political action committee of All Progressives Congress (APC), has maintained that calls for the removal of Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, as the chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) are not misplaced.

UPF said that Governor Uzodimma’s actions over the years have never yielded any positive dividend for APC, stressing that the time has come to remove the governor from influential positions in the party, particularly the headship of APC Governors’ Forum.

The group, which made its position public while responding to the attempt by the APC National Vice Chairman of Southeast, Arodiogbu Ijeoma, to defend Governor Uzodimma’s misadventure in Edo State, said “he can neither assist President Tinubu in the Southeast nor the APC in general as we approach 2027”

NewsBits recalls that a foundation member of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, had urged the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) to remove Governor Uzodimma as its chairman, “before he wrecks our great party.” Okechukwu made the call while reacting to the “shameful bungling” of the Edo State Gubernatorial Primary, which Uzodinma chaired.

In a statement in Abuja, Wednesday, Okechukwu appealed to the Progressive Governors Forum to, as a matter of urgent national importance, remove Governor Uzodinma as chairman for the “mismanagement of Edo State Gubernatorial Primary election which regrettably produced three candidates, a sordid scenario not befitting of a progressive party.”

Okechukwu wondered why Uzodimma who bungled similar assignment in Edo 2020 should be given second assignment and asked, “how many more malfeasance do we still expect from my big brother, before he is eased out of vital assignments?”

He posed critical questions among which are: how can a sane Chairman of APC Governors Forum deliberately breach the extant laws by announcing result with impunity; albeit consigned to the dust bin his elementary knowledge that it is the sole duty of the Returning Officer?

When reminded that he was one of the key early supporters of Governor Uzodinma, Okechukwu, however, agreed but said he had apologised for the grievous error and is warning the Progressive Governors Forum to avoid more grave wreckage as chameleon never changed its antics.

In a statement by its national secretary, Dr. Steve Igweze, UPF remarked that Uzodimma’s decision to usurp the functions of the returning officer in the botched Edo State APC Governorship primary was the height of political rascality and executive impunity. UPF pointed out that the APC national chairman, His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, did the right thing by distancing Governor Uzodimma from the repeat primary in Edo State, no matter the damage control.

While dismissing that flimsy excuses bandied by the Southeast APC national vice Chairman as “ranting of an attack dog”, UPF advised Arodiogbu to come down from his high horse and admit that “Uzodinma erred by deploying his rigging trademark of violent and breach of due process once more in the Edo State gubernatorial primary election.”

UPF said the decision by the national leadership of APC to cancel the primary was not only a repudiation of the process, but also a “vote of no confidence in Uzodimma’s influence,” adding that instead of attacks the Southeast deputy national vice chairman ought to commend Mr. Osita Okechukwu for rising up for the party’s good image.

   The group stated: “If Osita Okechukwu erred, why was the exercise cancelled and was he the one who cancelled the primary? Again, is it appropriate for Uzodimma to usurp the functions of the Returning Officer? Is Okechukwu the one that produced three candidates, which made even INEC to condemn the primary? How many more rigging malfeasance do we expect him to commit before the Progressive Governors will ease him out?”

    On the claim that Okechukwu never won any election, Igweze said UPF will not blame Arodiogbu, who was a product of imposition or his godfather, who were enjoying their comfort zone in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between 1999 and 2015, while Okechukwu and others were working round the clock to formalise the merger arrangement that produced the APC they have now hijacked.

  “It is not surpasing that these hijackers are bent using every opportunity to de-market APC. When the gallant heroes of 2023 APC victory, the 19 Northern Governors were insisting that power should shift to the South to respect the power rotation principle, Arodiogbu and his godfather, Uzodimma, were busy trying to sabotage that noble plan.

“What Governor Uzodimma did in Edo State during the nullified governorship primary was true to type in his penchant to create confusion and benefit from the damage to the greater number,” UPF declared. The group therefore challenged Arodiogbu to contradict Okechukwu’s narratives that the authoritarianism displayed by Governor Uzodimma generated hatred, rancour, malcontents, and alienated APC membership before Peter Obi’s factor in Southeast.

UPF said it is obvious to watchers of Southeast politics that Uzodimma’s woeful leadership gazetted in the 2023 presidential election results of the Southeast, which Okechukwu rightly posted as follows: Abia-8,914 against 85,058 in 2019, Anambra-5,111 against 33,298 in 2019, Ebonyi-42,402 against 90,726 in 2019, Enugu-4,722 against 54,423 in 2019 and Imo-66,406 against 140,463 in 2019.”

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