By Godwin Oghre
Chief Joe Adolo Okotie-Eboh, was the chairman of Delta State chapter of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria. In this interview, he spoke on topical issues in the state and Nigeria as well.
It appears that there is a rift between the National Vice Chairman of APC,South South, Prince Hilliard Eta and the Delta State Elders and Leaders of the Party, who do you support?
I will always support whatever decision that is supported by the National Working Committee of the party. It must not be by individual or group but by the National Working Committee of the party, and it is yet to come up with a clear and distinct position, so I am waiting for it before I can talk further.
The Deputy National Chairman South South of APC recently issued a statement denouncing the Elders and Leaders Committee of the Delta State Chapter of the party, what is your comment on that.
I will not comment until the National Working Committee of the party which has instructed that it would look into the crisis in the Delta State Chapter of the party, states its decision.
The Elders and Leaders Committee of the Delta State Chapter of the APC has equally recently issued a statement to the effect that it has set up an interim exco in the state, stating that the courts have invalidated the Prophet Jones Erne exco, what is your stand on the said interim exco?
It is true that there is no substantive exco in Delta State APC for now because the High Court of Justice, Asaba has declared the Prophet Jones Erue and his exco invalid.
However, on the newly set up interim exco, what I’m waiting for before I can speak on it, as I said earlier, is the position of the National Working Committee of the party. As a loyal party leader in the State, I will align with whatever decision it takes.
Is Delta APC truly in crisis?
I am not a factional leader like I hear in some quarters. I am one of the leaders in Delta APC as a result of the merger of the three parties that formed APC.
I came in as chairman of the defunct ACN. Indeed there was a tussle for the APC chairmanship but the current position is that the High Court Asaba has nullified the state Exco. In line with our party’s transparency stance, we are working to ensure equity and justice.
On the present administration in Delta
It will be too early to make any fair judgment, but as an Itsekiri man I am disappointed that Uduaghan did not immortalise the late Chief F.S. Okotie-Eboh, a renowned and distinguished politician, nor his contemporary, Chief Denis Osadebe, both of whom were responsible for the creation of Mid-West Region from which Bendel was later carved out and later, Delta State.
The trio of Ochei, Ogboru, and O’tega Emerhor recently formed an alliance. What should Deltans look out for?
I want to take your question to mean that we are making an effort to unite APC in Delta State considering the fact that the Delta State High Court in Asaba has dissolved the State Exco which made them travel to Abuja to declare their membership at the APC Headquarters. However, APC is matching on and all the leaders are coming together to ensure a united fold.
What do you make of PDP’s dominance in the state?
I can only say we have more work to do and we will get the state. President Muhammadu Buhari while grappling with so many challenges remains committed to security and corruption-free Nigeria.
Corruption free society
I will like to mention here that in spite of the fact that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan hails from the same geopolitical zone with late Chief F.S Okotie-Eboh, he did not immortalize him by naming any of the finance institutions he pioneered, such as CBN, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Ministry of Finance after him.
On infrastructure and state of the economy?
Clearly, the indices for the infrastructure and economy in former President Jonathan’s time differ from the indices that are quoted in President Buhari administration.
Again it is too early to say anything now, especially when there are so many cases in court on corruption that have a direct bearing on the economy.
Therefore, we should have faith in our country and continue to pursue a corruption-free society.
What do you make of the wave of self-determination agitations in the country?
I believe that restructuring will eliminate these agitations and we will have a nation that is probably similar to what is operational in the United States of America where states are semi-autonomous.