From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo and other leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Delta State have raised the alarm over alleged hijack of materials meant for the conduct of the party’s ward congresses in the state.
The party leaders in a letter dated to July 21, 2021 and addressed to National Organising Secretary of APC, Abuja, further alleged that the officials sent from Abuja were also taken away with the materials.
Apart from Keyamo, others who signed the letter were Great Ogboru, 2019 APC governorship candidate; Victor Ochei, former Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly; Monday Igbuya, also a former Speaker of the House; Cairo Ojougboh, former Executive Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs. Mariam Ali; and Air Vice Marshal Okorodudu.
The letter alleged that on arrival in Asaba, one Nick “who was acting at the behest of a particular leader of the party in the state, accosted the officials and with the active connivance of the security personnel that escalated them to the state, took away the entire materials to an undisclosed location under the guise of ‘protecting’ the materials.
“The leader of your officials is named George. We spoke with him earlier today and he narrated their ordeal to us.”
But in a swift reaction, Nick Ovuakporie described the allegation as spurious, saying that there was no time he took possession of congress materials to warrant the tarnishing of his reputation.
Also reacting in a statement, publicity secretary of the Delta APC caretaker committee, Sylvester Imonina said the materials were in the custody of the state chairman, Jones Erue, adding that they were not hijacked but very much intact.
Imonina said the statement by the seven leaders contained “complete lies and unfounded conspiracies by the authors in order to create a state a state of chaos and panic in Delta State in a bid to discredit the conduct of the forthcoming congresses.”
Regardless, the letter to the National Organising Secretary, insisted that the state caretaker committee had been pocketed by a “so-called leader.”
They said the alleged hijack was a “sinister and reckless plot by some unscrupulous officials to hand over the entire fortunes of our great party in Delta State to one man, and freeze out other genuine leaders in the state
“That would be a recipe for total disaster for the party in a state where we are already struggling as opposition. We do not claim to be the only leaders in the state either. There are other leaders.
“However, we cannot be denied the right to associate within the party to promote a common interest, like we have agreed to do.”
They therefore called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the said Nick for alleged impersonation and confiscated of the materials.
Besides, they called for the “immediate release of the materials to the authorised officials, who are now stranded in Asaba, to perform their legitimate duties.
“We shall boycott the whole process and look at other legal options if genuine party members are denied access to the forms by these characters.”