By Perez Brisibe
Air Vice Marshal Frank Ajobena (Retd), is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Delta State and was one of the proponents for the emergence of a governorship candidate of the party from Delta North senatorial district for the 2019 governorship elections in the state.
In this interview he spoke on why the party performed woefully at the polls accusing some leaders of the party including Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and former governor of the State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of not actively supporting the party’s drive.
Why we wanted an APC candidate from Delta North
From the beginning, some of us were committed to a Delta North candidate.
As you are aware, we had two parallel state committee and it was obvious to me that one of the committees was hijacked by some people who wanted a candidate from Delta Central and the only option I had was to seek a platform for a northern candidate that will enable the party to win and that was the principles that guided my actions then.
Moles in Delta APC
We actually had a problem in the APC and I have identified part of these problems in times past.
One, the Minister of State for Petroleum from the beginning, I made it clear and told everyone that he is not an APC person and not working for the interest of the party and gave my reasons.
Also Uduaghan came into the party and knew that he wasn’t coming to work for the party. He was deprived the Senate ticket in PDP and needed a platform to contest the senatorial position and came to APC, exploited the crisis within, worked his way into relevance and pretended to be working for APC but was actually working for himself.
I have nothing against Ibe Kachikwu, but however, let the truth be told that the honourable minister has for reasons best known to him, has not shown commitment in building harmony between and within the Delta APC family.
As far back as June 2018 when the National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole unilaterally appointed Jones Erue the Chairman of Delta State, he directed that Jones should commence the tinkering (harmonisation by my understanding/interpretation) with the rest structure of the party under the supervision of the Honourable Minister. Unfortunately, Jones did nothing but continued to operate with the controversial SWC that emerged from the Dododo congress.
To my greatest disappointment, the Minister did nothing to intervene in the matter.
With the primaries drawing near, I sent a message to the minister reminding him of the urgency for us to have a harmonised exco. In response, he told me that he was in China, and that he was waiting to take a cue from the National Chairman. It was in this state of internal rift that we went into the primaries.
The outcome of the primaries was predictable and our party was heading on a course of self destruction. Again, on the October 11, 2018, I reached out to all our party leaders calling for a political solution to the crisis rocking the party, again the call was ignored. When all INEC doors and windows had been tightly shut, the Minister started pretending that he is doing a great job of trying to broker unity within the party. Are we fools? For avoidance of doubt we know where the Minister’s interest lies. Fortunately, for him he has found an ally for the pursuit of that interest with the entrance of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan into the party.
I also identified Emerhor who pretends to be supporting a northern candidate but was actually working against the interest of Delta North. He created confusion among that group to the extent that they could not even come up with a candidate. He didn’t want any of them to emerge.
But Emerhor made sure he created confusion among these people to make sure none of them emerged. At the surface, you will think he was supporting a Delta North candidate but in reality, he wasn’t interested in any of them neither was he supporting Ogboru but was working for himself and calculating for 2023.
He wants to be governor of Delta State in 2023 and wasn’t supporting any APC governorship aspirant for 2019. He has seen it that if Ogboru emerges, Ogboru will want to do eight years.
So, to justify what he is doing, he claims to support a northern candidate. But in same way, what is the guarantee that if a northern candidate emerges, he will serve for a term hence he wasn’t comfortable with that.
Claims of Emerhor being Senate-Elect
There are two sides to the court judgement. One side of the story is on the legitimacy of the Ogodo executive. I believe there was justice in that direction. The other side of the story is on whether Emerhor should claim that seat, I don’t think he should take that seat if there is any way the law could interpret it.
The reason is this, Emerhor worked against Omo-Agege’s emergence for the senate and didn’t contribute anything and worked against him, but God helped the party, and Omo-Agege was popular enough to attract votes that earned him victory, the margin would have been wider if he had the support of Emerhor.
I want to say this that we were set to win the 2019 elections, but personal interest of these individuals, scuttled the whole process.