Delta government’s grant to political parties tears APC apart
A grant to political parties by the Delta State government has divided the ranks of the state executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Trouble started when the state secretary of the APC, Chidi Okonji was suspended by the state executive council (SEC) for allegedly collecting the N600, 000 grant secretly.
The party Chairman, Jones Erue, at a press briefing in Warri, said that the secretary collected the grant after allegedly forging his signature.Okonji’s alleged collection of the grant enraged the party leaders in the state, who promptly suspended him.
However, Okonji, not willing to go down without a fight decided to spill the beans and “expose the wrongdoings” of the APC state chairman.Okonji urged the SEC to ask the chairman to account for the N13.5 million Christmas gift to the party, alleging further that the periodic N5 million financial assistance to the party had not been properly accounted for.
He also alleged that the chairman had kept for his private use a bus that was donated to the party. Erue however, denied receiving N13.5 million cash, saying the secretary was “desperately trying to divert attention from his crime.”
He said: “We made request to party leaders to support the party at Christmas and to also help us in sorting out crucial party financial needs. Based on this, we received some funds. Regrettably, the funds we realised were short and inadequate. I am not at liberty to state the details here, but suffice to say that it is below the figures that Chidi Okonji mentioned.
Concerning the party bus, Erue explained that the bus was safe and had remained under his care for safekeeping and to prevent misuse. He equally denied the claim that he received N5 million monthly to run the party saying they were wild speculations even though he admitted receiving periodic assistance from party leaders.
The chairman of APC Warri South and Chairman of Chairmen of the party in the councils, Valentine Egbe, said the police had started investigating the forgery allegation.
Egbe added that there was no crisis in the APC that the latest development was what every party would pass through to become a virile party. He assured that the so-called crisis in the Delta APC would not affect the party’s fortunes.