Present crisis rocking the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was caused by personal and selfish interest by few individuals.
A chieftain of the party, who spoke to Nigerian Pilot on the recent attack on Prophet Jones Erue-led state executive by the APC Elders Forum led by Senator Francis Okpozo, will not in anyway affect the party’s determination to wrestle power from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019.
He said it is unfortunate that while the Erue-led state executive and Chief O’tega Emerhor, governorship candidate of the party in the 2015 governorship election, are putting more efforts and making positive moves to unseat the PDP in 2019, APC Elders led by Okpozo are only interested in federal appointments.
The APC leader accused the elders of trying to destabilise the party at a time when new members are indicting interest to join their fold.
According to him, APC Elders are only pursuing their personal interest, otherwise why should they shut the door on new members who are willing to join the party in Delta State?
However, the Delta State chapter of the APC revealed that the recent agitation by some elders led by Senator Okpozo, who are calling for the dissolution of the State Executive Committee, SEC, is as a result of the recent decision taken on June 6 and the ongoing arrangement to welcome Chief Great Ogboru, former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Victor Ochei, their supporters and other PDP, ACCORD and SDP stalwarts into the party.
The party in a press statement signed by its Legal Adviser, Barrister Valentine Onojeghuo, and State Secretary, Comrade Chidi Okonji, had disclosed that the so-called Delta State Elders and Leaders Group organised by Senator Okpozo rejected the idea of welcoming these new entrants at a time that the federal government is yet to release the names of board appointees.
It is the view of the agitators that the party ought to wait so as not to short-change old members, as the defectors may out stage them on federal board appointment slots.
“This recent actions by this group of ‘leaders’ is in fact a well camouflaged yet direct attack aimed at stalling the recent progress being made by the state exco to open up the party and welcome new entrants. The APC in Delta State has for the past few months set up machinery to welcome into its fold major and key opposition leaders with a view to claiming the state from the PDP in 2019. Such key leaders include Chief Great Ogboru and his erstwhile Labour party structure, Ochei and his erstwhile governorship structure; party stalwarts from PDP, Accord and SDP.
“The state exco on June 6 at a well attended SEC meeting, received and adopted the report of its welcoming committee, earlier set up at its February meeting, and also approved resolutions and a timetable for the admission of the new entrants. SEC approved that new members registration would commence at each ward for two weeks, a joint old and new APC leaders visit to the national secretariat of the APC in late June and a grand reception rally to receive new entrants and challenge PDP in early July.
“Deviously, however, these ‘leaders’ failed and\or refused to attend SEC meetings. Instead each and everyone of them, one way or the other, tried to discourage exco from moving ahead with its plans to admit new entrants. Their insistence was that any admission of such new and strong persons/groups must wait until all federal board appointments have been concluded as they fear that their position could be taken by the new comers. Not listening or deferring to them became the new sin of the state exco. To know that they will go this far to try and blackmail the exco in order to achieve their purpose is alarming and shameful.”
The party insisted that it will go ahead with the planned welcoming of the new entrants, the timetable is intact and will be followed strictly, adding that Delta State SEC is focused on preparing and reinventing the party and its strategies for the task ahead, which is to dislodge PDP from, assuring all party faithful and the new entrants that there is no cause for alarm.
Meanwhile, the much-expected fusing of opposition parties in Delta State into one political body on the platform of the APC has been slated for July. This formed part of the resolutions adopted from the report of the welcome committee set up earlier in the year to work out modalities for the integration of different structures of opposition parties into one formidable party.
The resolution adopted at an expanded APC state executive meeting held at the Orhuwhorun, Udu Local Government Area, recently, gave a two-week window for the new members coming from the Light of Labour party led by Ogboru, Accord party led by Ochei and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, among other parties, to register as members of the APC.
It was also resolved that after the conclusion of the registration of new party members, the state APC would pay a courtesy visit on the national leadership of the party in Abuja and thereafter, carry out what the Deputy State Chairman, Mr. Cyril Ogodo, dubbed a mega-rally to formally usher in the new members. With this development, it was gathered that the APC is set to take over the state in 2019.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the whole essence of the APC throwing its door open for the fusion of other parties is to build a formidable opposition party capable of wresting power from the PDP.
While, it is possible for the party to resolve its present crisis, another known factor that will help it in 2019, depends on the appointment of its members by President Buhari.

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