By Perez Brisibe
THE cold war between 2015 All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate in Delta State, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and his Labour Party, LP counterpart in the state, Chief Great Ovadje Ogboru, deepened, weekend with Emerhor throwing jabs at Ogboru in response to similar shots at him during the inauguration of a pressure group convened by Ogboru at Abraka.
Consolidated Dynamic APC Surveyor Peter Akarogbee
Engr. Hycinath Enuha group
Chief Ogboru who defected to APC at Abuja in the company of a former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Engr. Victor Ochei in June last year had convened a pressure group christened Light of APC in a bid to unseat the incumbent governor of the State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa come 2019.
Emerhor on the other hand who is referred in some circles in the party as the leader of the party in the state, also convened another pressure group named Mainstream Delta APC, also with the sole aim of occupying the Delta State Government House come 2019.
Though both party chieftains are yet to announce their position for the governorship, the emergence of both pressure groups may have reaffirmed their resolve towards producing the next state executive of the party with their loyalties throwing tantrums at each other unabated.
A third group led by Engr. Hynciath Enuha from Delta North is yet to also indicate its inclination towards the 2019 contest. A fourth group led by Hon. Solomon Edojah, the Delta APC Unity Group, had before the emergence of the three groups been promoting peace in the party.
Still, some stakeholders consisting mainly of foundation members of the party who were the leading lights before the 2015 election such as Hon. Temi Harriman have remained seemingly unbiased towards any of three two major tendencies.
Cold war between both sides
The cold war became glaring during the August 4 inauguration of the APC Delta State caucus committees when loyalists of Chief Ogboru shunned the event over personal reasons.
Justifying the boycott, one of the loyalists and member of the Light of APC, Dr. Veronica Ogbuagu said: “It is only God that would give us the strength to reverse the rubbish they said they have done as State Exco or nonsense committee where my name was put as vice chairman to go on reconciliation, who do I want to reconcile with when you do not want to hear the truth from me?.”
Kokori throws first punch
Throwing the first punch while speaking at the inauguration of Light of APC, onetime loyalist to Emerhor and member of the APC Board of Trustees, Chief Frank Kokori, said: “Some would say, I am the governorship candidate of APC, and they enjoy being professional governorship candidate, therefore, no other person should be given any opportunity.
“From what I see in the party, those who we placed to run the party are those who take the party position as a profession and want to be chairman, secretary, treasurer and gubernatorial candidate as a profession.”
…says who can defeat Ogboru
Speaking of the chances of Ogboru emerging as governor of the state come 2019, Kokori said: “With electronic voting, which has been proposed for the 2019 elections, it would be one man, one vote, and with that, who can defeat Chief Great Ovadje Ogboru?”
My ambition for APC in Delta — Ogboru
Also speaking at the event, Ogboru who is said to be interested in the governorship ticket of the party come 2019, said: “I have only one ambition for the APC, which is that our APC should be a party run by the people of the state.
“I cannot make a chairman from my bedroom, and I insist that the people must make their leader because only when they do this can they come together and plan with their leaders to effect change and that is the only time they can defend themselves.”
Shading light on the consequences of imposing candidates on the party, Ogboru said: “If we allow imposition in the APC, on Election Day, our members will sit down at home, and the worst thing that could happen to a big party is that the members of that party would refuse to work with that party on Election Day.”
Omo-Agege as leader of APC in Delta
Using the opportunity to reaffirm his position as leader of the party in the state, the senator representing Delta Central Senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege who was also present at the inauguration, said: “Some people go around with different kind of titles claiming to be leader of the party, if anyone should be leader of the party, frankly speaking, it should be me the highest elected political office holder of APC extraction in Delta State. I do not seek it as an accolade.”
Emerhor fires back
Emerhor who had kept mute on these claims, fired back last Saturday, saying, “I am the leader of APC in Delta State, and this is undisputable, but let’s not contest for leadership but rather, lets come together and win the governorship seat as I have decided that such title is not a problem.”
Mocking the membership of Light of APC and other groups within the state chapter of the party, Emerhor who promised that the chairman of the party would emerge from his Mainstream Delta APC, said: “When they call meetings, you can count how many leaders are in attendance with one hand.”
On claims by Kokori that he is using the party to be a “professional gubernatorial candidate,” Emerhor said: “Olorogun O’tega Emerhor is not a governorship candidate yet if I want to contest, I would apply to any other person who would come from outside to this group.
Olorogun O’tega Emerhor’s ambition cannot stop us from going to Asaba, it would never happen, but we must get there.
“When it comes to this matter, there is no Ijaw, Urhobo, Ibo, Isoko or Itsekiri man but only an APC and we must drive Okowa out of Government House, and that is what we want to do.”
“Some of the groups have already chosen their governorship candidate, there would be only one governorship candidate, and they have chosen their own, we know him, but we would choose our own.”
Many will be looking up to foundation members of the party such as former member of the House of Representatives Temi Harriman and state coordinator of the Buhari Campaign Organisation to wade in to steer the party towards safe territory.
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