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Police Seal Off Delta APC Secretariat Over Leadership Tussle

Police today sealed off the secretariat of the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as tension rose between rival factions in the party engaged in a leadership tussle. 

Several party sources told a correspondent of SaharaReporters that a combined team of the police and State Security Service (SSS) arrived at the APC state secretariat along Nnebisi Road in Asaba, the Delta State capital, and ordered the few workers on duty to leave and then sealed off the secretariat.

Some of our sources disclosed that many party members were not happy with the way the state chairman, Jones Erue, and other officials were running the party. “John Erue and his cabinet have been conniving with Emerhor O'tega [the party’s 2015 governorship candidate in Delta State] to run the party like their personal estate,” said one of our sources.

Another source said, “O'tega could not win his unit, ward and local government during the 2015 governorship election. Yet he is the one now dictating to leaders, elders and party faithful. Even the self-acclaimed party state chairman who called himself a prophet and a few others have turned O'tega's stooge because O'tega is throwing money about.” He added: “It is on record that the executive of Erue has since been sacked by the court of law.”

Our sources alleged that Mr. O'tega was using money to intimidate, cause disunity as well as instigate party members against one another. They also accused the party’s national executive in Abuja of selling out to the failed governorship candidate. 

“The national executive of the party is not helping matters to bring sanity into the Delta state APC because of millions of naira they are collecting from O'tega,” one party member stated. He added, “O'tega and Erue and their cohorts have created a lot of problems for the party. If urgent steps are not taken to address and correct their draconian style, the party will suffer because many of its leaders, elders and faithful will have no other option than to seek solace in another party.

“O'tega failed in his governorship election because the party presented an unpopular candidate for its governorship position. If you failed an election does that automatically make you a party leader who should be deciding the fate of the party?”

Contacted on the reported sealing off of the party state secretariat, Mr. Erue denied it. However, he admitted that there were threats by a faction of the party to invade the party secretariat, adding that he had invited security operatives in order to avert any destruction and breakdown of law and order.

“Actually, there was nothing like [the sealing off of the secretariat]. It was some disgruntled elements of the party who wanted to invade the party secretariat and I had to invite the men of the State Security Service (SSS) to keep vigil to avoid any destruction.” He added that nobody came.

Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Mohammed Zanna, said he was not aware if the APC state secretariat was sealed off, adding that he never gave a directive to seal it off. He however confirmed that there were intelligence reports that some factional members of the party had threatened to invade and take over the party secretariat.

Our correspondent found the APC state secretariat deserted and locked up when he visited the location at 3.30 p.m. today.