By Emmanuel Aziken
The war of acrimony in the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC between the once united pair of Chief Great Ogboru and the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege was last night worsening after more associates of Ogboru were sanctioned by the Omo-Agege tendency.
In the latest suspensions, two local government chairmen of the party from Ukwuani and Uvwie, who are protégées of Ogboru, were removed from office after absenting themselves from a reception organized for the state chairman of the party, Prophet Jones Erue in Warri.
Erue is Omo-Agege’s Man Friday and the focus of the increasing pitch battle between the Ogboru and Omo-Agege camps.
Besides the two removed yesterday, seven other allies of Ogboru’s were earlier suspended this week for allegedly being involved in a failed coup to remove Erue as state chairman.
Among those suspended were the deputy chairman of the party Elvis Ayomanor, Southern Senatorial chairman, Tosan Awani, and the state woman leader, Mrs. Janet Oyubu.
All those suspended or removed were alleged to have been privy to the coup allegedly orchestrated by the Ogboru camp to remove Erue from office.
Ogboru, popularly hailed as the Peoples General, was the candidate of the party in the 2019 governorship election in the state. His strong presence in Delta Central, complemented by the doggedness of Senator Omo-Agege, helped to oust the former leader of the party in the state, Olorogun Otega Emerhor, out of reckoning.
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They were also helped by the decision of Erue to turn his back on Emerhor, who party sources told Saturday Vanguard did not appreciate the loyalty of Erue to him, especially during the period between 2015 to 2019 when he, Emerhor dispensed party and government patronage.
Ahead of the 2019 election, it was learned that the trio of Erue, Omo-Agege, and Ogboru with other stakeholders had agreed on how party positions would be dispensed with Erue being promised the position of NDDC chairman which was due to Delta State.
However, that became impossible after the national chairman; Comrade Adams Oshiomhole showed interest in having the position for his camp in Edo State ahead of the faceoff with Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“That was how Erue lost out for the position of chairman.”
Other party figures, especially those aligned to Ogboru, however, felt that it was beneath the dignity of the chairman of the party to take the position of state representative.
Erue was said to have been urged to reject the position, but he was said to have resisted the pressure on the argument that it would have sent strong signals of arrogance to the party leadership and the Federal Government.
The nomination it was learnt became an issue for those aligned with Ogboru.
“How can one man hold the position of party chairman and NDDC representative? We told him to pass the nomination to another person because honestly speaking it is belittling for a powerful chairman of a party to become NDDC representative,” a source in the Ogboru camp confided.
Erue, however, apparently did not buy the idea. Saturday Vanguard gathered that the nomination for the NDDC job was one of the agreements reached between the trio of Omo-Agege, Ogboru, and Erue.
It was in the midst of the pressure that a petition campaign was initiated. Sources in the Erue/Omo-Agege camp allege that various sums of money ranging from N250,000 to N500,000 were given to members of the state working committee and local government chairmen to sign in order to remove Erue as chairman.
“They were not shown the content of the paper, but only told to sign and collect their money,” a source close to Erue said.
However, the Ogboru camp debunked the claims saying that no petition was ever written against Erue.
“What was being proposed was for a meeting of the state working committee. How can you have a party where things revolve only around the chairman,” the source embedded in the Ogboru camp asked?
“Can you imagine that for almost one year that no meeting of the state exco has been conducted? When people were asking for a meeting for the state exco, they now branded it as a petition for somebody’s removal,” the pro-Ogboru source said as he challenged the Erue camp to produce any evidence of a coup.
Meanwhile, suspicions continue to shadow the relationship between Omo-Agege and Ogboru.
It was alleged that the ex-convict case that was brought against Omo-Agege according to some sources was brought by Ogboru’s camp as a way of smearing the ascendancy of Omo-Agege in the party.
However, sources close to the DSP say that they may have cleared Ogboru or his associates of culpability in the ex-convict case.
Yesterday senior party chieftains affirmed that the party in Delta State had been completely left comatose on account of the increasing suspicions between the Ogboru and Omo-Agege camps. Senior party chieftains who could otherwise effect healing such as Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the immediate past governor of the state have largely been unable to act.
The pair of Ogboru and Omo-Agege took the preeminence in the party over the rival tendency led by multi billionaire Olorogun Otega Emerhor ahead of the 2019 election and put all those associated with the former insurance tycoon to the cold.
Emerhor was left home and dry as his associates, including Speaker emeritus of the Delta State House of Assembly, Engr. Victor Ochei, among others, were left out reckoning.
Meanwhile, Saturday Vanguard gathered that Emerhor has instructed his associates to keep away from the mutual war between Ogboru and Omo-Agege.
“Emerhor has told his supporters not to comment on it, not to talk to anybody and not to even post anything on social media about it,” a source said.
Reflective of the position those contacted yesterday refused to speak on it on the record.
The Erue/Omo-Agege camp had also pushed forward with a petition to Oshiomhole, accusing Ogboru of plots to distabilise the party.
That petition was, however, dismissed in a counter on Wednesday by the state secretary of the party Comrade Chidi Okonji and his assistant, Barr. Ese Agiri, who in a joint statement dismissed the suspension of seven officers of the executive as ordered by the Erue faction as they affirmed that they had not held a meeting of the state executive in the last one year.
“The attention of APC Delta State has been drawn to two press releases signed by one Barr. Oghenelueme Sylvester Imonina (a self-acclaimed APC Delta State Publicity Secretary) titled, ‘Constitution of vacant Senatorial Positions in APC Delta State’ and ‘APC suspends Delta State Deputy Chairman, 7 others for alleged misconduct