Hon. Enohor Ohwojeheri aka Eminent Cee is from Federal Ward 9, DSIEC Ward 15, Eku-Urban, Ethiope-East Local Government Area of Delta State. He is a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the present serving councillor representing the Ward. In this interview, Ohwojeheri spoke extensively on several issues that border on the imposition of a candidate without party primary in the forthcoming local government election slated for March 6, 2021, excepts;
Hon. We understand you petitioned the national chairman of the PDP, the state chairman, Barr. Kingsley Esiso, Gov. Okowa, Ibori and others. Can you tell us what led to this?
Thank you very much. I am one of the aspirants for the councillorship primaries in DSIEC State Ward 15, slated to hold on December 17, 2020, at Eku. But unfortunately, we were directed by the ward party chairman to stay off the venue of the primary, and which I obeyed as a loyal party man. The meeting was slated for 1 pm, but at about 1:30 pm, information came that a PDP leader in Ethiope-East, who never showed up at the primary as earlier directed has made a call that he has already picked a candidate for Ward 16. As a loyal party man, I and others waited at the primary venue, but none of them showed up for the councillorship primaries.
What happened thereafter, having waited patiently for the primary as directed by the Ward Chairman?
Ordinarily, I was thinking that it was not real, but recently I saw a lady displaying party nomination form for Ward 16 on Facebook and another also displaying party nomination form for the Ward 15, I am presently representing, which gave me a shock that made me ask salient questions on where and when was this primary held.
Hon. You said you were shocked and bittered how these names came about, as a party member are you saying you were not privy to the primary and the meetings of the party?
Was there a primary election? I never saw and never heard where a primary election was held. That was why I was shocked and bittered in the sense that if due process was followed, all these anomalies wouldn’t have come in an election where I am contesting.
Why do you say so?
Like I told you, I am one of the founding members of this great party PDP, and was the pioneer ward chairman of the party from 1998 to 2006. To drag home my claims, I was at the meeting of the PDP held at Sheraton Hotel Lagos in 1998, where all states were directed by the interim national working committee during the time of Solomon Lai, to go back to their various states to constitute their exco’s both at the state, senatorial districts, local government and wards. And as a loyal and committed party man, I was also at the first meeting convened by the party at the Petroleum Training Institute Conference Centre, Effurun, Delta State. I remember very well when the party was launched with a protest sum of ten naira each.
Hon. What led to the protest launching of the party then with the sum of ten naira and other?
While at the meeting, Late Chief Patrick Bolokor said after the meeting at Sheraton Hotel, some persons held a secret meeting before conveying the meeting at PTI and they were not informed, and Chief James Onanefe Ibori apologised for their lapses.
Are you saying this to portray your earlier statement of being a founding member?
Yes, every of the names mentioned here will tell you I am a founding member of the party, because these were exact things that happened at that time, and less I forget, that Okowa, Senator Nwaboshi and others were also founding members of the party which my contemporaries are not even privy to.
Some of the names earlier mentioned in your petition are not mentioned in the meetings you held then, are you in any way saying you were in the party before them?
Yes. In fact, they were formally in All Nigeria Peoples Party ANPP, but after Ibori emerged as governor in 1999, as a smart and a vibrant ward chairman, I started convincing them. From this analysis, you can now understand that I brought them into the party and I am so bitter that the same people I brought to the party are the ones creating problems in the party, and I can assure you this will have an adverse effect on the party if these issues are not properly addressed.
Hon. You said a lady was imposed on the party, don’t you think she may have merited that?
No. She is not a member of the PDP. As a pioneer ward chairman of the party, I can confidently tell you she was never registered as a member of the party, and the next ward chairman from 2007 to 2012, Retired DCP Okiti made it known to all party members that he never registered her. Then from 2013 to 2016, Chief Onoriode Ejoku declared to all members that he never registered her in the ward as a party member. Then the immediate past ward chairman from 2017 till early 2020, Comrade Oghenero Igwie who contested with the lady also said he never registered her into the party. So when was registered in the party that she can contest any position in the party and purportedly emerged as the flagbearer of a party where she is not a card-carrying member?
Are you of the view that her emergence is been influenced by anybody?
Yes, it is all over the local government particularly my ward that one of the party chieftains in Abraka is the one influencing this hazard. The name of the chieftains and every one of their activities is in my petition to the national party chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and others.
Of all you have said, does this irregularity also apply to the chairmanship primaries?
Not at all. The leadership of the party in the local government met severally and created a consensus where General Augustine Ogedegbe emerged as the chairmanship candidate of the party. We all were satisfied with the outcome of his emergence, and because the process was acceptable his emergence was embraced by all and I am particularly pleased with the emergence of Gen. Augustine Ogedegbe because he merited it.
A lot of your followers in your Ward 15 and across the entire Eku community are aggrieved about what played out in your supposed councillorship primaries. What is your take on this?
Well, I have addressed every of my followers to be calm and patient, that as a loyal party member, I believe in the leadership of the party at the national and state level, that this anomaly will be rectified, especially when my petition carries a lot of information.
Hon., what happens if all these issues raised are not addressed by the leadership of the party, are you taking any legal steps?
I have high regards for my party, the national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, the Delta State Chairman of the party, Barr. Kingsley Esiso, my amiable Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Former Delta State Governor Chief James Onanaefe Ibori and others, that all issues as detailed and explained will be looked into.