Leadership crisis festers in Delta State IPAC
The crisis within the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Delta State appears to be unresolved, following the emergence of two sets of executives.The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted an exercise that produced Chief Frank Igwebike as the body’s chairman at the commission’s headquarter in Asaba while the Chief Fred Obi-led parallel executives was unanimously adopted by 16 political parties out of 28 registered in the state at a venue also in the state capital.
Speaking at separate interviews, Obi who is of the Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA) accused the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, of conniving with INEC to impose a stooge from his (Okowa) local government area (Ika North East) on the body.
The IPAC factional chairman stated this while briefing the press on the outcome of the IPAC election, which he said, was allegedly hijacked by the state governor. The governor’s Media Aide, Charles Aniagwu however dispelled the allegations as untrue saying that Okowa is not a governor of one person but the whole of Delta State.
Obi said following the move noticed by his team by some agents of government coupled with the non-accreditation of his supporters, they staged a walkout from an election he alleged was subverted by Okowa.
According to him, “We suspected some foul play coming from the angle of the government. We discovered in the course of the accreditation that there were agents of government within the arena of the election and some of my supporters that were supposed to be accredited were denied accreditation.
“When this issue was raised before those that were supposed to supervise the election, they pretended not to know what was going on. I objected thrice, they refused to listen to me.”He also alleged that “the man that was supposed to represent the All Progressives Congress (APC) was denied accreditation and the man representing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was duly accredited,” to further buttress his claim of irregularities.
He disclosed that when the issues were raised, a letter of authority purportedly from the state chairman of APC, Prophet Jones Erue, was smuggled into the premises, “and I raised an objection, they still refused to listen to me and seeing that it has already been masterminded by the ruling party in the state, we had to walk out because it was already a planned work to short-change me and my team.”
He noted that an election which ordinarily ought not to attract the presence of some party chieftains turned to be a gathering of the likes of PDP state secretary and the publicity secretary, “for the purpose of working against me and against the already planned work of the members of the state IPAC Committee in Delta State. So we had to walk out.”
When asked if he was considering any court action, he said, “Yes, as it is now, I have about 16 political party chairmen that are backing and supporting me out of the 28 that were accredited.
“The 16 walked out with me and so with the information I am receiving that the election was conducted and the executives constituted, I think it is laughable. There was no election at that arena but rather the other 16 political party chairmen have unanimously resolved that I am the authentic state chairman of IPAC and that remains and there is no other existing state chairman of IPAC in Delta State.”
He said any other person parading himself as the state chairman of IPAC is a kangaroo chairman and a government agent.But in debunking Obi’s claims, Igwebike who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) noted that out of the 31 political parties which registered with the electoral umpire, 24 endorsed and voted for him at an election conducted by a delegation of electoral panel of IPAC from the national level and monitored by INEC in Asaba.
He said when an aspirant walks out of an election, it shows that the aspirant was unpopular adding, “in politics, there is what is called political gymnastic. They failed to understand that.”
Igwebike gave an assurance that he would check the mistakes of the ruling party in the state and present same to the masses to enable them decides who govern them in 2019, debunking the news making the round that governor Okowa sat over the election which produced him as chairman of IPAC.
“I have been IPAC Delta State chairman for the past three years. Why is it that Governor Okowa who became a governor last year is alleged to be supporting me?,” he asked.
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