Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State have condemned the appointment of Mrs. Margaret Egbabor (nee Ogor Okuweh), immediate elder sister to Leo Ogor, Minority Leader and member representing Isoko Federal onstituency in the House of Representatives, as Secretary of the Local Education Authority (LEA).
According to the PDP leaders and members, the federal lawmaker forced the elder sister on the people. They also lamented that Egbabor has not contributed anything to the party since it came into existence.
SaharaReporters gathered that the appointment was made in December in secrecy to avoid backlash from the public, especially those from the minority in the local government council who had before now lobbied for the position.
Condemning the appointment, a PDP leader in Isoko North and aide to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who preferred not to be named, said: "There are several qualified people from the minority that can occupy that position. Why turn it to a family affair and empowerment for family members? I can tell you authoritatively that our leaders and elders, as well as members of our party, even the entire local government in general are not happy over the situation.
"The Minority Leader forgot he has election; a very tough one at that. And here he is forcing his immediate elder sister on the people because of selfishness and greed. You have been in the House of Representatives for good 16 years and staging a return for the fifth time and you know people are not happy. Yet, you went ahead forcing your elder sister on the people. This is mere wickedness and we all condemn it."
A PDP member in the area, who simply identified himself as Ugofure, said: "The appointment was carried out between Leo Ogor and the council chairman, whose elder brother happens to be the husband of the woman that was appointed in December as the LEA secretary. So, we can conveniently say it's a family affair. There are more qualified fellows across the local government, but the two actors decided to turn the whole thing to a family affair.
"This is the same Minority Leader who grabs all constituency projects and billions of Naira worth of NDDC contracts to himself, his younger brother, Jay Ogor, and cronies. Don't forget that Leo Ogor is still having issues with the EFCC over corruption-related issues. Leo is an indigene of Ozoro; the current DESOPADEC Commissioner, Oghoore, is Ozoro; the council Chairman is Ozoro, the man currently heading the Public Complaints Commission in the state, Otheremu, is Ozoro too.
"So, you can now see how they don't have the interest of the minority at heart. These are the same people that will complain bitterly that all appointments carried out by President Muhammadu Buhari are one-sided, and you do same in Isoko North. Is that not greed?"
Another youth leader of the party, who simply identified himself as Uloho, said: "How on earth will Leo Ogor force his immediate elder sister on us as LEA secretary for Isoko North, a position that is supposed to be for the minorities. Many aggrieved party members have decide to join forces with some leaders to support Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, the candidate contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC)."
However, Ogor has justified his elder sister's appointment as the LEA secretary.
Speaking through one of his media assistants, Obaro Itewo, he said: "Is it a taboo for any relative of Right Honourable Leo Ogor to be appointed by Mr. Chairman if he or she is found to be the most qualified? Should he or she be denied a position he or she is deemed to be the most qualified for because her brother is an elected representative?
"Is there any part of the Constitution that states that for an elected officer, all his siblings should be denied appointments when they are so qualified? If you think any section of the Constitution has been breached by her appointment, then go to court."
At the time of filing this report, party members, especially youth, are said to be making plans to stage a mass protest against the federal lawmaker.