Everywhere Great Ogboru goes, he gathers momentum. So, the formal entry of Ogboru and erstwhile Speaker of the Delta House of Assembly, Victor Ochei into the opposition All Progressives Congress, is generating the kind of fireworks that can only be generated by the movement of the famed Peoples General.
By Perez Brisibe
Controversy over why yesterday’s formal entry of Great Ogboru and Victor Ochei into the APC was staged at the national headquarters is bound to elicit the interest of many. Ogboru had in the past shown his capacity to mobilise crowds in his native Delta State. Or could it be that the Ogboru brand now pumped up with the strategic imprints of Ochei has failed to provoke interest in the face of the developmental efforts of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa?
However, given the internecine civil war that has been in the state chapter of the party in the past two years or so, it is doubtful that a successful or a smooth entry could reception could have been accorded Ogboru and Ochei.
Erue led executive
At the heart of the issues is that the state chapter has been without an acceptable state executive since the Prophet Jones Erue led executive was sacked by the courts almost two years ago.
The Erue executive was sacked at the behest of the Chief Adolo Okotie-Eboh led tendency of the party. Okotie-Eboh, who came into the party from the old Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN group was peeved that what could have been his inheritance in the APC was being challenged by the moneyed political group that joined the party just before the last general elections. That group is led by the party’s last governorship candidate, Otega Emerhror, who is believed to be the prop for Erue.
Yet another group in the state APC is that comprising of the original elders comprising such party grandees as Senator Francis Okpozo, former member of the House of Representatives, Temi Harriman among others.
Adding to the milieu is even the latest group of joiners led by Chief Ayiri Emami who joined the party just after the presidential elections.
Against the background of the differing contentions is the claim in some quarters that some especially the elders were against the entry of Ogboru into the party.
Describing the defection of Ogboru to the APC as a plus to the party, Cyril Ogodo, deputy chairman of the Erue faction of the party accused the APC Elders Committee of not being comfortable with the entry of Ogboru and Ochei into the party.
Ogboru and Ochei
According to Ogodo, “We do not know the reason why they are not comfortable with the entry of Ogboru and Ochei into the party. What is a party? It is a group of persons and the more, the merrier because majority wins the vote.
Vowing to apply sanctions against Okpozo and the elders he claimed were against the development, Ogodo said: “We have written to their council chairmen and ward leaders on sanctions to be taken against them, and this have been done at all levels, and very soon they would hear from us.
Okpozo keeps mum: Though Senator Spanner Okpozo declined to comment on the impasse when contacted, he stressed that he would not speak on the matter till after Tuesday, June 28.
He said: “As far as I am concerned, I have never seen any disagreement in the party, if Ogboru is coming into the party, he knows the procedure, and if O’tega Emerhor is trying to make any alteration in the party, he too knows the procedure. As far as I am concerned, I have no connection with what is happening.”
Okpozo makes mockery of plots to suspend him
Speaking of the supposed plot to suspend him and members of the Delta State APC Elders Committee, Okpozo said: “Can you imagine the owner of the house being removed from the house without legally being ousted in any matter that is outrageous? What I know is that disagreement between two persons cannot be run on the pages of a newspaper not to talk of an organization like a political party.”
The federal board appointment connection
However, findings by Vanguard have revealed that the agitation in the party might be connected to the agitation for appointments into federal government boards with a section of the party having the view that new comers may upset them in the appointments.
In reaffirming the position of the party on the matter, the state secretary of the party and the legal adviser, Chidi Okonji and Valentine Onojeghuo in a response to a communiqué signed by Senator Okpozo and six others at the end of a meeting held on June 12 at Okpozo’s residence, Ozoro, accused Okpozo and his group of rejecting the idea of new members, particularly Ogboru and Ochei into the party.
Federal board appointments
The party in the statement said: “It is the view of the agitators that the party ought to wait so as not to short-change old members, for the fear that the new comers may out stage them on federal board appointments slots.”
Okpozo and his group had at the meeting, issued a 14-day ultimatum to the APC NWC to constitute a broad-based caretaker committee for the state chapter of the party failure of which they would constitute same without further delay.
Reacting to the ultimatum, Ogodo said: “If Okpozo gives the NWC ultimatum and the NWC refuses to do what he asks for, the best thing for him to do is that he should go and close down the office of the NWC.”
Speaking on the anticipation of members of the party in the state, a chieftain of the party in the state and former member representing Ethiope East in the House of Representative, Hon. Solomon Edoja said: “You know democracy is about the majority, and it’s the majority that carries the day, so the more, the merrier for us in the APC ahead of the 2019 general elections.”
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