By Emeka Okafor
The Delta South stakeholders and state executive committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have rejected the recently conducted Ward and Local Government Congresses held in Delta State, describing it as exercise in futility.
They expressed shocked at what they described as wilful deprivation and exclusion of party members who paid for Ward Congress forms but were not allowed to participate in the recent Congresses.
This was the position taken by the leaders at the end of a well-attended senatorial meeting held on the 11th October, 2021, in Warri, at which various issues of importance and urgent concern were discussed and exhaustively debated.
The meeting was attended by leaders of the party in Warri North, Warri South, Warri South-West, Isoko North, Isoko South, Burutu, Patani and Bomadi Local Government Areas that make up the senatorial district.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting was signed by Dr. Alex Ideh (Warri North), Rtd. Air Vice Marshal Terry Okorodudu (Warri South), Smart Edema (Warri South-West), Chief John Araka (Isoko North), Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas (Isoko South), Dr Williams Saibakumo (Burutu), Akpeti Lawrence Ebiere (Patani), Chief Alphonsus Geph (Bomadi) and others.
Amongst other things, the meeting passed a “vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) as the national leader of the APC,…our ministers from the South-South region, particularly, Hon. Festus Keyamo (SAN) the minister representing Delta State.
“That we have resolved to unite the Delta South APC and to embark on total reconciliation within the party. Despite our ethnic diversity, the APC Delta South Senatorial District has resolved to bond together to pursue our common objectives to the benefit of our peoples and lands, based on equity, fairness, and justice.
“That the APC in Delta State can win all elective positions, including the Governorship seat if the three Senatorial Districts resolve to close ranks and work together in the interest of our great party.
The Delta South APC leaders urged Mai Mala Buni and the Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee to implement the recommendations of Chief Odigie Oyegun-led peace and reconciliation committee, to ensure that total peace and harmony returns to the pparty in Delta State.
Other resolutions reached at the end of the meeting are as follows:
“That the Delta South APC Stakeholders and Senatorial executive committe affirm the earlier resolution of the Delta State APC leaders council and majority members of the state working committe meeting held on Wednesday 6th Oct, 2021.
“That we reject in its entirety the purported Ward Congresses held in Delta State. The Ward Congresses being invalid and illegitimate cannot be the foundation for a purported L.G.A Congress or any other congresses. You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand. Therefore the purported Ward and L.G.A Congresses are all exercise in futility and cannot stand.
“That it is undemocratic for the CECPC to seek to foist the Exco list of one person on the entire state. We worked to build this party in Delta State on the integrity of Mr. President and the tenets of internal democracy.
“The CECPC is fully aware of its undemocratic actions to subvert the will of the people in the conduct of the congresses and perhaps with intentions to proceed in like manner have threatened party faithfuls not to conduct parallel congresses nor go to court to challenge any injustice meted out to party members. This can only be described as despotic autocracy and not Democracy.
“That we reject the purported unilateral zoning of party EXCO positions for the whole state by the susupended acting state party chairman to the exclusion of the party executives and leaders of the party in the state.
“The current understanding in Delta State is that the next Governor should come from Delta Central Senatorial area, consequently, the next state party chairman can only come from Delta South or Delta North Senatorial area.
“We use this medium to call on the CECPC and President Mohammadu Buhari(GCFR) as the leader of the party to save the Delta State APC by canceling the ward congresses of 31st July 2021 and re-conduct a Ward Congress in Delta State with the duly constituted local organizing committees for the 270 wards with the input of all critical stakeholders to have an all-inclusive congress in Delta State.”
While congratulating President Buhari and the National Assembly for the speedy passage and signing into law the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the SEC however called for an amendment to increase the percentage fund to host communities and a quick clarification on the issue of Host Community Trustees.
They also urge the President to constitute and inaugurate an all-inclusive Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), made up of true oil-producing peoples of the Niger Delta.
“We advise that whatever position that comes to Delta State should be given to the people of Delta South Senatorial District, the neglected and marginalized people of Delta State, who jointly produce over 80% of the oil and gas in Delta State,” they demanded.