Emerhor, Ogboru, Omo-Agege Battling For The Soul Of Delta APC

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The struggle of man begins at birth, so says King Odewale in the adaptation of the Greek classic, Oedipux Rex: The gods are not to blame written by Ola Rotimi. However, the struggle may not end there. Perhaps, members of the All Progressive Congress, (APC), in Delta state have taken a cue from this and that is why they are beginning to contend for the soul of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections, our correspondent, OLUWA RICHARD writes.

Things seem no longer at ease in the fold of the APC in the state as the party’s 2015 governorship candidate and leader of the party, Mr. O’tega Emerhor, the senator representing Delta central senatorial district in the national Assembly, Mr. Ovie Omo-Agege as well as the 2015 Labour Party’s governorship candidate who defected to APC, Mr. Great Ogboru, have engaged in power play and plots to undo one another to gain political advantage within the party ahead of the 2019 polls.

Right now, all is not well within the leadership of the party in the state. It would be recalled that during the ward and just concluded local government congresses of the party in the state, the Emerhor faction of the party and the Ogboru/Omo-Agege faction, had struggled to have their loyalists planted into helm of affairs both at the ward and the local government levels which left the entire exercise producing parallel executives across the 25 local government areas of the state.

While Emerhor is said to be head bent working for the interest of the embattled John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee, the Ogboru/Omo-Agege faction, HardReporters reliably gathered is working for the interest of the immediate past comrade governor of Edo state, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, who few days ago declared his interest to contest for the party’s chairmanship position, whom they believed will emerge the party’s chairman following the support already thrown behind him by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Emerhor, Ogboru and Omo-Agege, used to be allies, but now, they seem to have fallen apart.

There is palpable fear in the state that the power struggle by the trio for the soul of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), may no doubt threaten the party’s fortunes in the 2019 general elections, which eventually will make the incumbent People’s Democracy Party, (PDP), government in the state led by governor Ifeanyi Okowa coasting to a landslide victory in his reelection come 2019 general elections.

Insiders loyal to the APC political actors revealed that the battle is not unconnected to Ogboru’s ambition to fly the party’s Governorship flag come 2019 while Emerhor has insisted that the governorship slot has been zoned to the Delta North as such Ogboru can never be the fly bearer of the party. Emerhor’s stand, it was also learnt is not unconnected to his alleged governorship ambition come 2023 which he was said to have started preparing the ground for.

The power struggle between the trio, saw both factions inaugurating different interest groups in the party before all the groups were disbanded by the national leadership of the party. The enmity manifested in the suspicion of political allies, a development that was further fueled through grave allegation of betrayal and counter allegation among the players.

On the other hand, Delta state chairman of All Progressives Congress, (APC), Jones Erue, following what he described as betrayal of trust and greed, he fell apart with his close money bag politician, Mr. O’tega Emerhor, accusing the state leader of the party of wanting to hijack the party’s structures as well as his continued hijacking of all Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), billions of naira contracts accrued party’s leaders and loyal members.

A fresh crisis however trailed the APC Ward congress in the state, as the 6-man congress committee sent to the state was divided, thereby paving the way for the chairman, Alhaji Sani Dododo, to singlehandedly announced the results of the congress said to have been solely compiled without the inputs of other members.

According to an APC impeccable source, trouble started when the members of the panel discovered that the chairman had left the hotel were they lodged and switched of his phones.

Sensing that the chairman may have been compromised and they could be in danger, our source disclosed that the other five members also left the hotel to a secure place where they collated the authentic field results from the ward congresses.

The source further alleged that the other six members where not surprised that the chairman  Alhaji Dododo in company of the state party chairman Jones Erue went ahead to announce results which they may have cooked overnight.

“As we speak the other five members comprising the Secretary and four other members of the committee have earlier completed collation of the authentic results and gone to Abuja to submit same to the national APC headquarters. The results have also been lodged with the appeal panel which is expected to start seating as stipulated by the party guidelines for the conduct of ward congress.” the source said.

When contacted for his comment, the leader of the party in the state, Mr. O’tega Emerhor simply said that the ward congresses are guided by party guidelines and only results authenticated by national and the appeal panel can stand. He said it was sad that the chairman alone can proceed to announce results.

The crisis trailing the party again resurfaced at the just concluded local government congress of the party held across the state, our correspondent was hinted that the emergence of a purported ‘unity list’ brought forward by the Emerhor’s camp and purportedly harmonised by leaders and stakeholders of the party forestall some sort of calamities.

However, inspite of the purported ‘unity list’, it was gathered that the Ogboru/Omo-Agege faction held parallel congress which produced chairmen and other executive positions at the local government levels of the party.

Though, in some areas, the local government congress was relatively peaceful unlike the ward congress where a ward chairmanship aspirant in  Jeremi unit III, ward 10, Ughelli South local government area of the state was stabbed to death by some suspected loyalists of Emerhor’s camp.

The Emerhor’s purported ‘unity list’ did not however go down well with the camps of the former Labour Party governorship candidate, Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and they quickly backed out as they were said to have held parallel congresses in the 25 local councils in the state.

Not happy and satisfied about the local government congress which produced a purported ‘Unity List’, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, accused the Emerhor’s faction of holding a parallel local government congress, noting that while some fringe elements may have, in defiance of due process, had a few social gatherings in the name of ‘parallel congresses’, such conduct is fruitless now and will remain so even in the future.

“This is the same impunity and desperation that drove some of them to steal some Ward congress materials last week as already confirmed by the police. It is just a childish mistake for these elements to believe they can build on their last week’s alleged crime of disappearing to Port Harcourt to write fake results. No one can destabilize APC in Delta State. There is a new dawn in APC Delta State and it is for the good of all.”

Checks by HardReporters revealed that the Ogboru/Omo-Agege faction also conducted a parallel local government congress. However, it was observed that Ogboru and Omo-Agege have been conspicuously absent during the two Congresses, as they were nowhere to be found in the state, yet came up with their own results for the concluded ward and local government congresses.

Ovie Omo-Agege, in a statement signed on his behalf by his legislative aide, Mr. Efe Duku, the senator join other leaders and members of the APC in Delta State to congratulate all state and national delegates and, in particular, local government executives elected to manage the affairs of the party in Delta’s 25 local government areas.

“Without doubt, the APC in Delta is positioning itself for responsive and result-oriented grassroots politics. By these congresses, our party is showing its total commitment to due process as strongly advocated by President Muhammadu Buhari. Let us celebrate this new reality of a reinvigorating, bigger and stronger party. Today’s successful local government, local government, congresses only built on the unshakeable foundation of last week’s successful Ward Congresses, as party congresses are pyramidal in nature.

“Following due process, today’s successful congresses were attended by delegates duly elected from the Ward congresses of last week. Because a solid foundation was successfully built for the pyramid last week, the local government congresses of today only added to that superstructure by electing local government area executives, State delegates and national delegates in all the 25 local government areas. Also, its necessary to thank our State Working Committee for ensuring that INEC and relevant security agencies officially witnessed and endorsed both the Ward and local government congresses.” the statement said.

As the trio continued to battle for who controls the soul of APC in Delta state, it is not yet UHURU as the bigger fight that may make or mar the party is slated for Saturday, May, 19, 2018, and that event happens to be the state congress of the party which will be held in Asaba the state capital.

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