…as Keyamo urges Registration Committee to balance interests
By Festus Ahon, ASABA
IMMEDIATE past Interim Executive Director of Project, EDP on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, has said the All Progressives Congress, APC has a better prospect to win Delta State in 2023 if the leaders of the party could cooperate, began to be less cantankerous and do not match their ambition with hostility with other party members.
Ojougboh who stated this while speaking on the sidelines of sensitisation of party members in Ika South on the registration/revalidation exercise of the party said the APC remained the most popular party in Delta but lamented that members have not been able to utilise such popularity to win elections over the years because of squabbles among leaders.
Hear him: “APC is the most popular party in Delta State for a very long but we have not been able to utilise that God-given advantage. So now is the opportunity to exploit that advantage.
“Our prospect in 2023 depends on the cooperation of the leaders starting from now. Once we are able to put our house in order, and leaders begin to be less cantankerous and do not match their ambition with hostility with other party members, then we will move forward.
“You see, with the amendment we are making, with the efforts we are making at reconciliation, you will see the party winning 15 to 20 local governments in the March 6 Local Government election if there is no government interference, and the PDP does not enter the house to write the results. You will see what APC will do, there will be no surprises”.
On the registration/revalidation exercise, Ojougboh told party faithful in the area to mobilise enmass for the exercise irrespective of who the registration officers are, adding that the party membership registration was the bedrock of success, particularly during elections.
He said a lot of PDP members have indicated interest to register as members of APC if only the party is able to put it’s a house in order, saying; “PDP members are calling me that they want to come into APC but that the party is not settled. As it is, the PDP has failed the state to the extent that their members no longer want to identify with them.
“So this is the time to get it right because those who want to come in are watching to see how the registration will go. I am appealing to you to go for the exercise no matter who they bring as officers.
“I appeal to you whether you have been empowered or not, forgive and forget and let the party move forward. This is the appropriate time to take over Delta State. What we need is to put our house in order”.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo, has told the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC Registration/Revalidation Committee and his members to balance all the delicate interests within the party in Delta State.
Keyamo who stated this in a note to the Chairman of the APC Registration/Revalidation Committee and made available to newsmen at Asaba warned that the entire materials meant for any Local Government Area in the State in the hands of two coordinators solely nominated by a particular political leader in the State.
He said: “As you are set to distribute your materials to the LGA coordinators on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, you must bear in mind the need to balance all the delicate interests within the APC in Delta State in such a way that you don’t put the entire materials meant for any LGA in the hands of two coordinators solely nominated by a particular political leader in the State, including myself.
“That will be unfair, unjust and unacceptable and will be a recipe for chaos in the State. My sources tell me that this is exactly what you plan to do. You need to stop. The evolution of APC in Delta State is unique to the extent that a clear Party leader has not emerged under whom everyone has agreed to congregate.
“At least, no such decision has been taken by stakeholders in Delta State. I can say this confidently because I am a founding member and a leader of the Party in the State. The fact that the stakeholders have not been able to do this is a testament to the different tendencies that exist within the Party in the State. Whilst we all respect and defer to positions of authority that some of us have been privileged to assume at the national level, political leadership back home is a different ball game.
“As a result of this, all Party faithful throng after different leaders in the State. It is therefore imperative that these different leaders and their supporters have easy access to these materials for registration. This will not happen if you put the materials in any LGA only in the hands of a particular tendency within the Party.
“Since we are not using the Party structures to drive the process, then you must fall back on these leaders and their nominees to drive the process. Even as Minister representing the entire State in the Federal Cabinet, I am not asking for any undue advantage: I am only asking for fairness and equity to be administered to everyone.
“You are therefore advised to first identify the leaders (like you have done in the last few days). Ensure that no one leader has two nominees in any particular LGA. Also, ensure that there is no such disparity between the number of nominees the leaders nominate for the exercise in all the LGAs.
“I know that you, like all the members of the Committee, were nominated to serve by certain leaders. I also nominated for a member. It is an open secret. No need to play the ostrich. However, we understand that unwholesome pressure has been mounted on you to sideline all other members of the Committee in the discharge of your assignment.
“Perhaps this led to the abrupt resignation of the erstwhile Secretary. However, may I respectfully remind you that regardless of who nominated you, is time to serve the Party and not individual interests. If you skew the process to favour a particular person/leader, I will be mobilising all other leaders of like minds in the State to reject your Committee and call for its total disbandment”.