The lingering crisis rocking the Delta State chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC, took a new dimension following the decision of the Prophet Jones Erue led faction of the party to reverse the collective decision of the party leadership and stakeholders which adopted direct primaries in choosing party candidates.
Major stakeholders of the party in Delta State including Prof. Pat Utomi, a governorship aspirant on the party platform and others leaders on Friday, walked out in protest at the SWC meeting following the move by the party factional Chairman, Erue’s adoption indirect primary in choosing its candidates, thereby giving Chief Great Ogboru undue advantage over other aspirants.
Recall that major party stakeholders led by Chief Cyril Abeye Ogodo led SWC has adopted direct primaries in the conduct of all party primaries to elect it candidates ahead of 2019 general elections.
The party reached this decision at the expanded State Executive Committee meeting of the APC Delta State Chapter led by Chief Cyril Abeye Ogodo, held on the 6th of September 2018, at Asaba.
The meeting which was attended by members of the APC SWC, 25 LGA, Chairmen, secretary and youth leaders and the about 270 wards chairmen resolved to adopt direct primaries to give all aspirants level playing ground.
In a communiqué issued and signed by the state party Chairman Chief Cyril Ogodo, Secretary Barr. Silas Buowe, members of SWC and over 300 others resolved as followed:
“Arising from an expanded State Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Delta State Chapter led by Chief Cyril Abeye Ogodo, held on the 6th day of September 2018, the following resolutions were reached.
“That the Delta State APC hereby adopts and affirms the use of direct primaries for choosing all our Flag Bearers.
“The above decision affirms our Party’s disposition and desire to make our elections in 2019 and beyond truly reflect the will of the people as there cannot be democracy without the people’s participation.”
However, Erue in a moved considered by major stakeholders as giving undue advantage to Chief Ogboru and Omo-Agage’s group in the party who sponsored him in the last state congress, adopted the indirect primaries in electing party candidates thereby shutting out other party aspirants from the contest.
The Prophet Jones Erue factional at an enlarged meeting of the members of the State Executive Council (SEC) at the party’s State Secretariat in Asaba on Friday, September 7, 2018 adopted the indirect primaries for electing its candidates for the forth coming 2019 elections.
The faction argued that they choose the indirect primaries due that heightened security situation in the state and to avoid the replay of the ugly incident that marred the last congresses held in the State which led to the death of a ward chairmanship aspirant in Ughelli South Local Government Area.
Attempt by Prof. Pat Utomi who spoke in favour of direct primaries was quickly overwhelmed by Chief Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege supporters who populate the state SEC, and who it’s said will be at advantage if an indirect primary is adopted.
Vexed by the development which was degenerating to a shouting match by Ogboru and Utomi’s supporters, Prof Utomi stormed out of the meeting saying; “those who claim to be very popular should come and test their popularity with the party members through direct primaries and not through handpicked delegate elections.”
With the hard-line posture of the two contending groups in Delta APC, political observers think that if the party national leadership of the party does not act swiftly, it would cost the party it chances of taking over Delta.