The Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is concluding all plans to expel the former Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi, his son and others from the party for working against the interest and candidates of PDP in the just concluded general elections in his ward and unit.
Speaking in confidence with SaharaReporters on the planned expulsion of the ex-education minister, his son, Emuoboh Gbagi, Special Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on DESOPADEC, and others, an executive member of the party in the state, who does not want his name mentioned, disclosed that "the expulsion followed a strong worded petition from some leaders of the party in Oginibo, Ughelli South local government area of the state, which was addressed to the state party chairman and copied the state governor and others".
According to the party official, the petition was already being looked into and expulsion already being planned so as to serve as deterrent to others.
A petition, made available to our correspondent by the party official, signed by a group of party leaders Andrew Desi, Viv Pela, Ken Pela, Ochuko Mejire, Omoefe Pela and Freeborn Onokata, under the aegis of "Concerned PDP Leaders Of Oginibo in Ughelli South Local Government Area Of Delta State" accused some past and present political office holders in the area of aiding Gbagi in the anti-party activities during the elections.
The petition, which was addressed to the state Chairman of PDP, Kingsley Esiso, copied to Okowa, former Governor James Ibori, former Deputy Governor Amos Utuama, Chairman Disciplinary Committee of PDP Delta State, Chairman PDP Delta Central, Chairman PDP Ughelli South and chairman PDP Jeremi Ward II, noted that Gbagi allegedly worked for candidates of opposition political parties as against the candidates of the PDP.
The petitioners gave names of those allegedly involved in the anti-party activities and aided Gbagi, to include, the former Minister's son who is a Special Adviser to the Governor on DESOPADEC matters, Emuoboh Gbagi, caught disbursing funds and canvassing votes for YES party in Units 15 and 16 of Oginibo; Tareri Avwomakpa, Special Assistant to the Governor on Legal Matters, who was seen disbursing funds and canvassing for votes for YES party in Unit 23 of Oginibo, Lucky Oniyan, current councillor representing DSIEC Jeremi Ward 16 who was said to have coordinated the disbursement of funds and canvassing for votes for the YES party in Imode.
Also mentioned in the anti-party activities in the petition are Gbenga Avwomakpa, former councillor; John Adjeke, former two-term supervisory councillor and Christian Ushevwitode, current PDP youth leader for Jeremi Ward II who were also seen disbursing funds and canvassing for votes for the YES party in their various polling units in Oginibo.
The petitioners alleged that Gbagi connived with others to collect funds meant for logistics for the said governorship and House of Assembly elections in Jeremi Ward II to fund an opposition candidate of the YES party to the detriment of his PDP candidates who had to go the extra miles to mobilise his teeming supporters to prosecute the said elections.
“Based on the foregoing, we believe we have established a prima facie case against Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and the other 6 listed persons on the following counts of disobeying the lawful directives of the party by working for the YES party House of Assembly candidate instead of the PDP House of Assembly Candidate and engaging in anti-party activities.
"A prima facie case has been established against Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and his son Olorogun Emuoboh Gbagi on the following counts of disobeying the lawful directives of former Deputy Governor, Prof Amos Utuama to involve other leaders of the community/ward in the deployment of logistics by using such to work against the interest of the PDP.
"An analysis of votes in the March 9 Election results in Agbaghara, Imode and Oginibo which makes up Jeremi Ward II, shows that because of the anti-party activities of Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and 6 others listed earlier, the YES party got a whooping 1,049 votes from the 3 communities representing 83 percent of total votes of 1,258 gotten by the YES party in the entire local government area.
"Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi had engaged in such activities in the past but we were not bothered because he wasn’t operating in the mainstream PDP at the state level and as such we were prepared for his antics, however, having come to the mainstream PDP, such activities coming from someone benefiting from patronage and appointments from the government to the detriment of those who have remained loyal to the party over the years, could spell doom for the party in the locality if not contained.
"In view of the foregoing, we hereby recommend that Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and the 6 others earlier identified be expelled from the party in line with the provisions of Section 58 (1) (c) (d) (f) and Section 59 (1) (g) of the constitution of the party," the petition demanded.
Calls put across to Gbagi were not responded to as of the time of filing in this report. However, political associates and allies close to Gbagi said he is unperturbed over the issue, saying the ex-minister only worked against the reelection of the House of Assembly candidate of the party, in the area, Reuben Izeze, who is said not to be in good terms with Gbagi.