The absence of Ovie Omo-Agege the embattled All progressives Congress (APC) senator representing Delta Central, and Great Ogboru, former governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), at last Saturday’s APC ward congresses in Delta State is giving party loyalists cause for concern.
A visit to Orogun and Abraka, the country homes of the two APC chieftains, showed that they were not in the state to take part in the ward congresses.
Checks revealed that apart from the fact that the exercise started very late owing to the late arrival of materials to the local government areas across the state, the two politicians were told that materials to their different local governments were hijacked.
The state secretariat of APC in Asaba witnessed delay in the late arrival of delegates’ nomination forms and other materials.
At Abraka, the hometown of Ogboru, the congress did not take place, while at Orogun, the materials were reportedly hijacked.
However, Frank Kokori, former labour leader, said those complaining were those that lost out.
Jones Erue, Delta APC chairman, who is said to be loyal to Ogboru and Omo Agege, allegedly hijacked the materials for Delta Central and other parts of the state.
Jaro Egbo, a party official, confirmed that the nomination forms for the delegates and other materials were issued to only one group.
But according to Sanni Dododo, chairman of APC Delegates’ Congress for Wards and LGAs in Delta State, the problem is not peculiar to the state, adding that it normally happens when more people are vying for few positions.
O’tega Emerhor, Delta APC leader, while speaking to journalist on his assessment of the conduct of the ward congresses in Delta, after voting at his Evwreni Ward 8, described the exercise as generally peaceful.
He, however, noted that the poll experienced some delay. “I must say that is because of the timing of delivery of materials, and the short time for aspirants to obtain and fill their forms. Even as at today, people are still collecting nomination forms to fill.
“Another challenge was to get people who will conduct the election, because they want to satisfy all stakeholders to avoid allegation that some people have hijacked the process. This took time also.”
On the uproar over the choice of centres for the conduct of the congress, Emerhor explained that competing interests in the party were giving conflicting directives, but the party election guideline stated that the congress committee should decide the venue, and the first option is party secretariat at the ward, unless where it’s not conducive, stakeholders will agree on venue.
Emerhor adde: “I voted at the party secretariat in my ward, at Evwreni, Ughelli North and it was very peaceful and orderly. Considering the information we are getting from other states, I think we are doing very in Delta State.”