The Delta State All Progressives Congress (APC) is in the midst of a struggle between O’tega Emerhor and Great Ogboru for the 2019 governorship ticket.
Mr. Emerhor was the party’s governorship candidate in the 2015 race, while Mr. Ogboru ran on the Labour Party ticket in the same election.
The conflict between the two politicians has caused the state party to split into two contending factions.
Mr. Ogboru accused Mr. Emerhor, the self-proclaimed sole leader of the party in the state, of hijacking the party, adding that he was greedy and selfish.
At a meeting called by Mr. Ogboru held last Sunday in Abraka, Delta State, APC Board of Trustees member Frank Kokori claimed that a group within the state party was working to ensure that Mr. Emerhor is the party’s perpetual governorship candidate.
According to Mr. Kokori, some chieftains of the party loyal to Mr. Emerhor, including the state chairman of the party, Jones Erue, were not happy with the defection of heavyweights from other parties to the APC because they had plans of hijacking the party for themselves. He said that when persons from other political parties defected to APC, he was personally filled with joy, but never knew that some founding fathers of the APC in the state were not happy because they had plans to control the party themselves.
“I am a member of the BoT of the APC and I was elected by the three senatorial districts. I want to liberate my country; I want to liberate my own state.
“We want government in Asaba so that good governance and dividends of democracy can come to everybody, but what I see from those who we placed to run the party is people who take the party as a professional chairman, secretary, treasurer and professional gubernatorial candidate,” Mr. Kokori said.
The Board of Trustees member boasted that no one could defeat Mr. Ogboru.
“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?”
Also speaking in the same vein, former Delta State Labour Party 2015 governorship candidate and chieftain of APC in the state, Great Ogboru, warned that if the APC allows imposition of candidates in the party, it would face a similar loss it experienced in the Warri South House of Assembly by-election held in April.
While advising the leadership of the party against imposition, Mr. Ogboru noted that some persons in the party, referring to Mr. Emerhor and others, have made themselves sole leaders of the party
“If we allow imposition in APC, like what happened in the Warri South House of Assembly by-election, we would face similar losses in future cases; I believe we have learnt a bitter lesson from that election because we imposed a candidate.
“I have only one ambition for the APC which is that our APC should be a party run by the people of the state,” Mr. Ogboru said.
He threatened that should there be any form of imposition in the party, referring to the 2019 governorship ticket, his supporters would have no option other than to boycott the election.
“If we allow imposition in the APC, on election day, our members would 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,” Mr. Ogboru warned.
Meanwhile, some supporters of Mr. Emerhor who spoke to SaharaReporters have described Mr. Ogboru as an over-ambitious, confused and sponsored politician who is good at playing the role of a spoiler in any party he pitches his tent with.
“His over-ambitious governorship traits have always created crisis in any political party he found himself in. He always want to dominate; he did it with the Labour Party and others and now he is bringing it to the APC.
“It will not happen again because we shall fight against it and shall do everything humanly possible to stop him this time around,” a political associate of Mr. Emerhor vowed.
It would be recalled that following the supremacy battle, Mr. Ogboru had to shun the inauguration of the APC state caucus, senatorial and 10 functional committees at the party’s secretariat in Asaba, which was attended by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, Hyacinth Enuha, and other state and national leaders of the party.