By Onome Oghenetega
Members of the Delta State Caretaker Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) on Friday said 50% of forms for the ward congresses sent from the national secretariat were missing.
In a text of media briefing in Asaba, the state executive members said sales of forms was supposed to have started on Wednesday but nothing was happening at the state secretariat of the party.
The text was signed by Comrade Okonji Chidi, APC Delta Caretaker Committee Secretary; Elvis Ayomanor, Deputy Chairman; and Sir Amorighoye Sunny Mene, APC Delta State Caretaker Committee State Organizing Secretary.
Recall that seven leaders of the party including the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo had raised alarm that the materials were allegedly hijacked when the three-man Congress committee arrived Asaba from Abuja.
The state publicity secretary, Sylvester Imonina had in a reactionary statement denied that the materials were hijacked, saying that they were in custody of the state chairman, Jones Erue.
But two days after the denial, nothing is going at the party secretariat.
Hence, the party’s deputy chairman, Ayomanor; secretary, Okonji; and organising Secretary, Mene are calling on the national caretaker committee to intervene in the crisis to save the APC in the state.
“We, on behalf of the 24 out of the 34 EXCO members of the Delta State APC caretaker committee wish to draw the attention of APC members in Delta State and the whole world to the to the unsavoury development concerning the sales of Congress Appplication forms in the Delta State APC,” they stated.
They accused a media aide of the APC State Caretaker Chairman of masterminding the hijack of the congress application forms by allegedly impersonating the state party caretaker organising secretary with the apparent endorsement of the caretaker chairman, Jones Erue.
The statement said in part: “With us at this press briefing are the three-man national committee on the sale of Congress Application forms in Delta State. The sale of Congress Application forms to interested applicants for the ward, to hold all over Nigeria on the 31st of July, 2021, which commenced all over the country on Thursday July 22, 2021.
“Today is Day-Two of the sales of forms but half of the total forms, that is, only three out of the six bags (of the forms) taken away were dumped last night (Thursday) at the State Secretariat.
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“The three-man national committee on sale of forms has informed us that on arrival in Delta State on Tuesday, 20th July, 2021, the S.A. (special assistant), Media to Prophet Jones Ode Erue, the State Caretaker Chairman, a certain Nick Ovuakporie, with the assistance of security officials, posed as the State Organising Secretary and requested that the forms be given to him for safe custody. On release of the forms to him on the 20th of July, 2021 till now, the Mr. Nick Ovuakporie has remained incommunicado, and the forms have not been returned to the three-man national committee on Delta State APC sales of Congress Application forms.
“The State Caretaker Chairman, through a release on social media by his known media aide claimed that the foms were in his custody and that sales would commence at the Delta State APC Secretariat on Thursday, 22nd July, 2021; but as we all can see today is Friday, 23rd July, 2021, both the State Caretaker Chairman and his aide, Mr. Nick Ovuakporie are nowhere to be be found.”
They further said “Mr Nick Ovuakporie is not the Delta State APC organising secretary as he claimed to the three-man national committee on the sale of the Congress application forms in Delta State. The State APC Organising Secretary is Sir Sunny A. Mene and he did not send Mr. Nick Ovuakporie.
“Members of the three-man national committee have never seen or met the State Caretaker Chairman, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, and they did not hand over the Congress application forms to him to issue the forms out on their behalf. There are clear guidelines on how the forms are to be sold, and only they have the mandate to do so.”
The statement, however warned, “The forms snatched/hijacked from the committee members are of no value and lack any authority having not be issued by authorized persons. They are consequently decared null and void.
“The party leadership in Abuja headquarters is hereby urged to direct the way forward to restore peace and order in the party in the state.”