Crisis tears Delta APC apart
• Party suspends 47 for alleged anti-party activities
• Okpozo, others to appear before disciplinary committee
The Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has suspended 47 of its members for alleged anti-party activities after they were investigated and indicted by a fact-finding committee.
At an extended state executive meeting of the party at Emede in Isoko South council, it set up a seven-man committee to probe the indicted members. The committee led by the state chairman, Prophet Jones Erue, was given a time frame to decide whether the suspended members should be expelled.Fielding questions after the meeting, Erue said there was enough evidence that the 47 individuals were working for the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and were on the payroll of a particular individual in the state.
He said: “our party’s constitution prescribes automatic expulsion for those factionalizing the party. Our actions are guided because we’re schooled. They worked against our party during the presidential election. The fact-finding committee indicted them for anti-party activities, and I have enough evidence in my phone. I gave waivers in the past but that will not continue.”
He equally dismissed the allegation that there was infighting within the party, saying the tendencies were there, but had been checked.The chairman said the party was ready to wrest power from the PDP in 2019 because the Delta APC is a united family with a formidable structure.He said the ruling PDP leaders in Delta were helping themselves to the state’s treasury while poverty ravages the people.
Erue had summoned Senator Spanner Okpozo and other APC members who allegedly formed a parallel caretaker committee in the state to face a disciplinary committee of the party in Abuja.Erue stated during a stakeholder’s meeting, also in Emede, stressing that he has evidence that some party members were being sponsored by external forces to cause confusion in the party ahead of the 2019 governorship election.
He said that the caretaker committee set up ;ast Tuesday at Ozoro, Delta North Local Council of the state which produced Mr. Nathaniel Omo-Onyeke as chairman was null and void.Erue also displayed a statement from the national headquarters of the party, affirming him as the authentic party chairman in the state.
According to the statement, those involved in constituting a parallel caretaker committee have been summoned to appear before a panel on September 24 at the party secretariat in Abuja.He, however, presented members of a seven-man disciplinary committee of the party in the state to party members at the occasion, saying it has since commenced work and it is expected to investigate the involvement of those mentioned in connection with the parallel caretaker committee body.
A top APC, Chief Frank Kokori, frowned at the formation of a parallel caretaker committee. He expressed shock that an elder statesman of the calibre of Okpozo, a former Deputy Speaker of the defunct Bendel State House of Assembly during the ill-fated Second Republic, could be involved in such an act.
He said: “Why now after all we have suffered together? The promise land is very close now. If it is juju working on him, we have to break the power of the juju.”He described the gathering of the party faithful as a solidarity meeting, while expressing the belief that those involved in the parallel caretaker committee would retrace their steps.
The Okpozo-led Elders Committee, which on Friday published a statement announcing a 25-man state caretaker committee to run the affairs of the party in the state, was critisised by the National Vice Chairman, South-South of the party, Ntufam Hilliard E. Eta.
The zonal leader in a release described the action of the Okpozo committee as “a strange body not known and recognised by our constitution. Consequently, any gathering under that nomenclature and guise becomes an aberration, and all decisions taken by such unknown creation are a nullity ab initio.
“At no time and on no account has any such body been recognized and/or mandated by either the National Working Committee (NWC) or the Zonal Executive Committee (ZEC) to superintend over operations of the party in Delta State and at such passing judgment on the Prophet Jones Ode Erue led State Executive Committee amounts to embarking on a wild goose chase.”
Determined to end the squabbles, the leader of APC South-South Zonal Executive Committee directed the group to do the following without fail so as to avoid severe sanctions:“That the said Elders and Leaders Committee and their purportedly nominated Caretaker Committee members are to within 24 hours of this press release, cause the retraction of the said communiqué which shall be published in any National Dailies.
“That all the signatories to the said publication and the purported caretaker committee members are to make themselves available to meet with the National Vice Chairman, South-South on Wednesday 21st September, 2016 at 10am at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja.“That failure to adhere to the above directives will lead to severe sanctions as stipulated in our constitution.”
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