Paul Osuyi, Asaba
There appears to be no respite yet for the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Delta State in the just concluded election, Great Ogboru, as an intra-party group has called on the national leadership to probe the enormous campaign funds that was allegedly made available to the candidate.
Ogboru lost the election to incumbent governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a margin of over 700,000 votes. Okowa polled 925,274 votes, with Ogboru receiving 215,938 votes.
As a result of the dismal performance, the Coalition of Delta APC Support Groups urged the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to set up a panel of enquiry to review the outcome of the election, with a view to unraveling how the over N3 billion allegedly released to Ogboru for the purpose of the election was disbursed.
Convener of the coalition Daniel Ekiugbo told newsmen in Asaba that Ogboru as governorship candidate of the party was a misadventure, adding that his ambition was selfishly driven to “rake-in election funds without any strategy put in place to guarantee victory.”
Ekiugbo said Ogboru should be made to explain the “whereabouts of the huge financial provisions for the entire 2019 general elections. It is of public knowledge that Ogboru presented a budget of over N3 billion, which budget was over funded and availed to him.
“There was no evidence anywhere that he spent N1 billion for the elections. He refused to properly disburse and chose to release paltry amounts only to his few chosen supporters.
“Even for his LGA rallies, he never released one kobo, instead he directed that local leaders and supporters task themselves to fund such rallies, and because most leaders could not raise such funds, a lot of LGA rallies were either abandoned or turned out to be huge flops.”
But in a swift reaction, Director of Media of Delta APC campaign council, Zik Okafor Zulu, denied the allegations against his principal, Ogboru, adding that some persons have been hired to peddle such wicked and malicious allegations in a bid to tarnish the reputation of a man with an unimpeachable character.
“These persons believe everybody is in politics to make money. Ordinarily we will not waste time reacting to this preposterous allegations. Ogboru is a wealthy man, his major business is fishing. He has spent more than N5 billion of his money on his gubernatorial ambition.
“It is shameful that small minds are making up this to besmirch Ogboru’s towering image. All monies were disbursed for the purposes they were allowed. Such an odious thought of diverting campaign funds will not and cannot cross Ogboru’s mind,” Zulu said.
On allegations that local APC leaders were tasked to raise funds for rallies, Zulu said: “It is a lie from the pit of hell to suggest that local leaders were so tasked. Funds were disbursed to leaders across the state leading to successful rallies. We traversed the nooks and crannies of Delta State, even in the creeks to solicit votes.”