By Festus Ahon
OLOROGUN Jaro Movudu Egbo, a stalwart of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Delta State is the national leader of Urhobo Nationality Council, UNC and one of the aides to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
In this interview, he responds to the court decision that voided the election of Prophet Jones Erue as chairman of the state chapter of the party and the recent move by some party elders to fill the vacancy among other issues. Excerpts:
What is the crisis in Delta APC all about and which of the factions do you belong?
There is no crisis and there are no factions in Delta APC. We have only one APC in Delta united under the Exco led by Prophet Jones Erue and Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor. What happened was that some elders and handful of their supporters called a meeting and declared that they now have a caretaker committee.
The APC, as a ruling party, has a Constitution with well laid organs and sections. So they were acting ultra vires at the behest of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP controlled State Government that has hit the panic button as a result of the massive defections to the APC.
How are you working as a party to resolve it and what are you putting in place to position the party ahead of the 2019 elections?
As a way of resolving the illegal act, the National Working Committee, NWC of the APC has summoned those causing problems in the party for sanction. Since then they have been running from pillar to pole begging for forgiveness.
I am sure you are aware that the State Chairman, Prophet Jones Erue led the State Exco to hold meeting at the secretariat last week.
So where are the said factions? Where are they operating from? Even Chief Adolo Okotie Eboh who went to court has stated clearly that he is with us, not with them. Those elders and their supporters are not parties to the court matter; they are at best meddlesome interlopers.
What is your take on the economic recession being faced in the country which some persons say is caused by bad policies of the APC led Federal Government?
There is no denying the fact that the economic recession is biting hard but I am sure with the measures being taken by Mr. President, the economy will soon turn the corner.
Those in PDP believe the anti corruption crusade is targeted at only their members. What is your take on this?
I do not believe that the anti corruption crusade is targeted at the opposition party leadership or a particular section. It’s a trite fact that when you fight corruption it fights back. Senator Saraki today is the number three citizen and a national leader of the APC; he is facing trial.
Almost two years into the APC administration at the federal level, the Urhobo are not represented in the Federal Executive Council.
Yes the Urhobo nation is better off under the APC government. We now have a voice and our views are no longer subsumed under the nebulous Niger Delta interest that benefitted only a particular tribe.
We may not be in the Federal Executive Council but we have been appointed as Executive Director Projects, EDP on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Director in Refineries, NAPIMS, NERC and NPA.
What is your assessment of the President Mohammadu Buhari administration against the background of the present hardship being faced by Nigerians?
There is no denying the fact that times are hard and our people are hungry as a result of recession and global oil price collapse but I am very confident that the President will rise to the occasion and very soon we will heave a sigh of relief.
What do you think is the solution to the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region and the attacks on oil installations in the region?
The solution to the recent upsurge in the agitation lies in dialogue with genuine stakeholders in the Niger Delta not necessarily warlords. I do not subscribe to military action. Recently I was at a summit called by Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi I made it clear that the irreducible point to start is the Maritime University at Okerenkoko.
You can change the nomenclature to University of Transportation technology if that will bring in the necessary funding. My appeal to our brothers in the creeks and lately in the upland is that we should stop vandalism of our pipelines and critical oil infrastructures if we are hoping to climb out of the recession.