Since few days ago, the media have been awash over the purported expulsion of Barr Willie Amadi by the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) of Ikenegbu Ward 1. Though, Barr Amadi sees the action of the party leadership as a mockery of democratic tenets and crass ignorance of the constitutional provisions of the APC constitution and according to him the mere fact that the party officers at both the ward, local and state levels acted in total ignorance to even expel him in a wrong Ward where he is not a registered voter leaves much to be desired.
Hours after the announcement of his earlier suspension, another press statement from the leadership of the party in Owerri Municipal subsequently announced his expulsion from APC within 24 hours thereby beating the Guinness Book of Records.
In this interview, Barr Willie Amadi bared his mind on many issues including, the legality of his purported expulsion, the ignorance of expelling him from a Ward he is not a registered voter, the performance of the APC State Chairman, Dr Macdonald Ebere and other important issues of public concern. Excerpts.
Q. Lets meet you Sir?
Ans. My name is Willie Amadi, I am a Lawyer, Community leader and public opinion analyst, Politician and Chief Technical Adviser to the Government of Imo State on Environment. I am a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State as a vocation.
Q. The media have been awash over your purported expulsion from the All Progressives Congress by the leadership of the Party in Owerri Municipal, what is the real position of the party decision Sir?
Ans. Well, I was surprised at the news of my purported expulsion from the All Progressives Congress on social media. Regrettably, the news of the purported expulsion came 12 hours after I had made enquires and asked the duo of APC State Chairman who is from Owerri Municipal and the Campaign Council Chairman how the logistics for the election was utilized since the party agents, canvassers and adhoc staff were all crying that they didn’t get logistics for the elections. Shortly after the said enquires, I was surprised to hear a radio announcement while driving credited to the Owerri Municipal party Chairman of APC, Mr. Onyekachi Ibezim that I have been disowned by the leadership of the party in Owerri Municipal as a result of my inquiry into the use of logistic funds. I was not worried because am convinced that no one disowns what he
or she does not own. As a chattered politician and a brand, no political party is in a position to disown me within and beyond party politics.
The next morning I read in the Nation’s newspaper another publication of my expulsion from Ikenegbu Ward 1 of the party. At this point I knew that something was amiss because I am not a member of Ikenegbu Ward 1 and if the Chairman and all executive members of the Ward can suspend a non-member who have never attended meetings, hosted meetings, contributed financially to the activities of the Ward he belongs then there must be a third party influence. In 2021 when I joined APC I registered at Aladinma Ward 2 where I currently reside. It is very surprising that the same Local Government party Chairman of Owerri Municipal Council Mr. Onyekachi Ibezim who personally led his Executive members to my Ajuziogu Lodge residence to register me on the instructions of the then state Chairman of APC, Chief Marcon Nlemigbo could not recollect or remember the Ward where he registered me. The simple conclusion to this disbelief is that His Grace was at work and the result was an OWN GOAL by the gang controlled by the State Chairman who is irresponsibly ignorant of the constitutional procedure for disciplinary action against an erring member. I am sure he has never seen the party constitution otherwise he would not have misled the rascals to ridicule him and the party in the vendetta.
Q. You had a robust and cordial relationship with all spheres of PDP leadership when you were a member and 1st State Vice- Chairman between 2005-2007. Now, having joined APC, it is expected that such respect accorded to you in PDP would have been replicated in APC. So Sir, before the purported expulsion, was there any altercation you had with the leadership of APC either in Owerri Municipal or the State at large ?
Ans. Not at all. Not at all ! About seventy percent of the APC members in Owerri Municipal are virtually my followers. They are all my political children including the state Chairman, Dr Macdonald Ebere who used to be my political son. I offered him the opportunity to serve as the Sole Administrator of Owerri Municipal under Chief Ikedi Ohakim administration in 2010. That position was my slot from His Excellency Governor Ohakim and I recommended and submitted his name for the appointment because I had promised distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma, now our Governor that whenever the opportunity arises for appointment that I will consider and compensate Macdonald having lost to my younger brother Hon. Clinton Amadi who defeated him in the 2007 Owerri Municipal House of Assembly election. That promise encouraged me to submit his name to the Governor for appointment as a sole administrator of Owerri Municipal Council. A promise kept.
Also, the current party Chairman of Owerri Municipal Council, Mr. Onyekachi Ibezim was appointed as caretaker committee chairman of GRA Ward by me in 2005 when I was the Owerri Senatorial Zone Chairman of PDP. He was recommended to me by my very good friend, Prince Azubike Uwandu, I never knew him from Adams but that recommendation got him there and I later pushed him to become the elected Ward Chairman of GRA before he became the LGA Chairman under Dr. Macdonald Ebere last year. Incidentally they are all my political sons and I have a very robust relationship with so many of them. I have helped many of them both financially and otherwise. Many of them married under me, bought cars and some built houses, furthered their education and improved generally. I mentor and groom them to attain such height whenever I was in a position to do so. It is a notorious fact in Oweri today and you can go and verify. My lifestyle do not allow me to block younger ones from achieving greater heights. In return, I expect nothing but gratitude and respect from them. If not for reasons I can not really fathom, non of them would have had the moral courage to take such a disrespectful action against me if it was not the pressured manipulation by the State Chairman who all of a sudden dreams that he had arrived with the little transient position he occupies now.
Q. Your younger brother, Hon Clinton Amadi is running for the position of House of Assembly under Labour Party, and there is this allegation that you brought him out to contest against the APC candidate in Owerri Municipal. Don’t you think this could have triggered your purported expulsion from APC ?
Ans. Well, for me, it will be unfair and a blackmail for any rational person to think that way. It is also embarrassingly underrating to assume that at Rt. Hon. Clinton Amadi’s age of 52 and mild achievements as a former House of Assembly member, Majority Leader Emeritus, former Supervisory Council in a local government and a married man with more than six children, I would be the one bringing him out to contest an election or persuade him to join opposition party against the party he even joined before me while I was a Federal Commissioner/ Ombudsman in 2018.
If Clinton left APC for Labour Party, how does that concern my membership and loyalty or affect my political orientation. Let me also inform you that Clinton was even annoyed at a point in APC because I remember he had complained how Macdonald illegally deducted N50,000 from the N250.000 given former presiding officers by Asiwaju Tinubu and Ahmad Lawan the day they came to Imo State for their presidential campaign tour. He alleged that the State Chairman of APC took N50, 000 each out of the N250, 000 given every Principal Officers out of sheer greed. Out of anger Clinton resisted the deductions unless the total money was completed, but when the APC state Chairman was not yielding, Clinton rejected the money for him and walked away. I told him that he made a mistake and that he would held the N200, 000 since the state Chairman was not ready to return or complete the money them. Fortunately for him the next month the Labour Party and Obi influenza caught the political landscape and the rest is now history.
The truth of the matter is that surprisingly both Clinton and Macdonald are friends and early members of APC before I even joined later. They also shared confidences, women and even worked together in Environmental Transformation Commission earlier in the 3R administration as young age mates. So it therefore becomes mischievous and misleading for anyone to attribute his dumping of APC to me. I think that Clinton simply embarked on personal development drive and he is entitled to it and since blood is ticker than water I am naturally expected to get his back in any circumstance.
Q. There is this other allegation that during the Presidential and National Assembly electioneering campaigns, you never came out boldly to join them in the campaigns. Is that true ?
Ans. Yes, that is true. I confirm it as 100% percent correct. My reason is simply that in Aladinma Ward 2 which was ceded to me during the party congresses to harmonise the Ward. I had to make sure that the 27- man Executive Committee of the Ward came out in a very fine and democratic setting. Each Stakeholder/Financier in the Ward made nominations in the composition of the 27-man Ward Executive. This gave all the leaders a sense of ownership of the Ward rather than one man drawing the entire Ward list at his whims and caprices. I nominated the Ward Chairman, Dan Izundu Amadi. All of a sudden, the Ward Chairman was alleged to be involved in Labour Party activities immediately Clinton joined Labour Party. This unfounded allegation against the Chairman has no proof, no proper invitation. The Ward Executives defended him in several meetings but he was asked to resign by the State Chairman or be removed. Meanwhile, while the State Chairman and LGA Chairman plotted his removal they didn’t have the simple courtesy to inform me of the allegations or complaints if any. I complained to the Chief of Staff who promised to intervene and within few days he was removed by a purported removal using an attendance meeting held in a small joint in the New Owerri of Owerri town presided by the State Chairman’s Personal Assistant without his presence or a single word with him. The State Chairman also pressured DG- PAM PAM Organisation Rt. Hon. Godfrey Dikeocha to remove him also as the Campaign Cordinator for Owerri Municipal and he did the next day. Now tell me if you are in my position will you campaign with them ?
At this point, I felt that if these characters could not honor and accord me that simple respect, I would rather stay off their campaigns, though at my level I wouldn’t have also joined in the Ward tours. However, as a leader in the party and for the sake of the party I handled Technical, Financial and Strategic issues of the elections. Obviously, you don’t expect me to start running around with my children for little Ward tours and let me tell you and believe it or not I am the Iwuanyanwu of Owerri Municipal both in politics and wealth without sounding immodest.
Q. When you stayed away did you ever directed your supporters or personally worked for any candidate other than APC candidates in the election ?
Ans. No, nothing like that ever happened. Ask Chief CDB Williams the role I played covertly and overtly in his nomination and election before he was unfortunately sabotaged by the State Chairman EBERE and the Campaign Council Chairman IBEJIAKOR. He was my Candidate, Prince Alex Mbata was also my Candidate in the election and I had series of technical meetings with and for them with different strategic groups with my personal resources and money. I spent close to N8million in their campaign and election.You can make enquires from them. I spent time and money in a bid to ensure that they won that election but because of intrigues by the State Chairman EBERE who wanted the House of Representatives seat in Owerri Municipal to be vacant till 2027 after his tenure as Chairman to enable him contest for that position from Owerri Municipal in the event he does take over from the Governor as he childishly boasts everywhere.
Q. As a Lawyer and party leader, do you think the leadership of APC in both Ikenegbu Ward and Owerri Municipal has the powers and the rights to expel you from APC ?
Ans. No, they are legally and politically unable to do that. The constitution of APC is structured and its procedures had to be followed. The Ward Executive is the first point of call when petition is submitted against a member or an office holder. On receipt of the petition, the Ward appoints disciplinary committee to look into it and recommend accordingly. But in the event of expulsion, it is only the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Party that has the powers to suspend or expel me as an appointee of Government. Even the National Working Committee (NWC) cannot but can only make recommendation to the NEC for approval to expel any member. What this means is that my membership and that of other members outlined in the constitution is beyond the WARD, LGA and STATE EXCO levels under the APC Constitution. So you can see that their action was just a waste of time and energy. I don’t think that APC State Chairman in Imo State understands the constitution of the party he is leading, because if he has read the constitution with clear understanding, I really doubt if he would have directed those innocent officers in that mess.
Q. In summary Sir, how do describe your purported expulsion from APC as a Lawyer and as a party leader ?
Ans. As far as I am concerned it was a tea party for the boys. They are jokers in the sense that they joked with the party constitution, they joked with me as a leader and they joked with the party. However, it is good that that rascality exposed and also enlightened them and other party members of the provisions of the party constitution as it relates to disciplinary procedures going forward. You cannot place something on nothing and expect it to stand.
Q: Finally how do you rate the leadership of the party and the party ?
And: Regrettably while the leader of the party in the State His Excellency, the Governor is doing everything possible to keep the party stronger, the name of the leadership of the party is sorry. It is painful that rather than attracting new entrants to the party he is busy recklessly exploiting members and fighting perceived enemies. The leadership could have been better with a seasoned, respectful and more matured politician as the Chairman of IMO APC. However, in all things the Bible says WE should thank GOD.