Monday 19 June 2023

Delta APC: Omo-Agege lured Emefiele to work against Tinubu, party chieftains reveal … list anti-party activities against DSP … allegation untrue, sponsored by expelled chieftains

The Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has accused the former Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, of allegedly being the brain behind the participation of the

suspended Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in the APC presidential primary.

According to the party, Omo-Agege lured Emefiele to participate in the APC primary in a bid to scuttle President Bola Tinubu’s ambition.

The claim was disclosed in a letter written to the president on Monday, titled: “Attempts by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to scuttle presidential ambition of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu through recruitment of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, anti-Tinubu campaign stance and anti-party activities.”

The letter, which was made available to The PUNCH, was signed by the State APC Secretary, Michael Inana; Delta North Chairman, Tom Onah; South Chairman, Nelson Ogharama and Central Chairman, Michael Orunefe.

The statement partly read, “Your Excellency, you will recall that at a point ahead of the Party National Convention in June 2022, members especially those of us from Ika South Local Government Area got information that Omo-Agege had plans to issue party membership card to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and we objected to his plans. We told him it was not morally right for Emefiele to contest and that it would affect your chances to secure the presidential ticket.

“All efforts to make Omo-Agege see reasons fell on deaf ears but he convinced Emefiele and assured him that he will get the Party National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka whom he planted as a spy to help get Emefiele the ticket.

“Your Excellency Sir, permit us to refer you to PUNCH Newspaper of May 9, 2022, which confirmed the story that the APC Ward Chairman eventually gave Emefiele the membership card in February 2021. The name of the Ward Chairman is Mr. Nduka Erikpume and the Ika South APC Local Government Chairman is Hilary FadaIbude. These two were the ones who also signed our state leaders’ expulsion letters on the instructions of Omo-Agege. Their offence was that they opposed Omo-Agege’s position to recruit Emefiele to contest the Presidential election against you,” the letter stressed.

Continuing, the statement maintained that on the night of the APC Convention, the Delta delegates were instructed by the former deputy senate president to vote against Tinubu, who he alleged stood no chance against their ‘anointed.’

Inana and others noted in the letter that virtually every delegate was aware of this stance, adding that as God would have it, the former Lagos State Governor won the primary convincingly.

However, they maintained that Omo-Agege has yet to forgive them for opposing him.

The Delta APC allegation also recalled that in the build-up to the 2023 general elections, party faithful and critical stakeholders, especially, those not in Omo-Agege’s camp, were sidelined and prevented from participating in the activities, including the buying of forms to contest congresses and primaries.

It insisted, “They did this to the extent that Omo-Agege was the only person in Delta who collected forms for the gubernatorial primaries. The same thing was applicable to Senatorial, House of Representatives, and State Assembly Primaries. Omo-Agege single-handedly nominated all the candidates in Delta State.

“His personal staff members were subsequently made party officials in Delta State, including the current APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, who was his legal aide. His political adviser, Omeni Sobotie, also became the party chairman. All aides in his office were allotted party positions in the state excos,” he alleged further.

The letter containing the allegation was also accompanied by tweets, Omo-Agege’s campaign posters involving the Obidient movement, and video clip evidence to prove he was involved in a series of anti-party activities even during the 2023 general elections.

It also maintained that the development led many party chieftains, including Chief Great Ogboru to leave the APC to pursue their political ambitions in other parties before the poll.

The statement remarked, “Mr. President, we enclose herewith posters and videos of Omo-Agege and Labour Party candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, posing ahead of the election to the fact that he and his group never worked for you. We cannot continue this way in Delta.

“Therefore, we call on you to ask Omo-Agege to free the State APC of his stranglehold so it can breathe freely.

“You can imagine that in an election held on the same day, the APC won two senatorial seats and could not garner the required 25 per cent votes in the state. This makes it obvious that Omo-Agege asked his followers not to vote for you. If you have any doubt, you have the security agencies at your command to investigate the points we have raised,” the statement pointed out.

When contacted for a reaction, the Communications and Media Strategist for Omo-Agege Campaign Organisation, Ima Niboro, told our correspondent to reach the politician’s Chief Press Secretary, Sunny Areh.

Areh also declined comment, saying the Chairman of the Delta APC, Omeni Sobotie, will be in a better position to discuss the issue and the crisis rocking the party at the state level.

As of the time of filing this story, Sobotie could not be reached as his phone repeatedly indicated that he was unreachable.

However, Morka defended the former DSP, saying the allegation was spurious.

The APC national publicity secretary also disclosed that the claim was probably sponsored by the expelled former APC chieftain and Delta grassroots politician, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.

“I am sure you that’s not the real Delta APC. Those guys are Cairo Ojougboh’s sponsored organisation. Over time, we know Cairo has set his ‘bunch of nobodies’ just to perpetrate this sort of rubbish.

“I think the reaction that will be appropriate for now is the state executive of the party. That is where you can get the proper perspective,” he said.

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