… As Anirah expresses reservation over state exco’s disciplinary move
For an alleged arrant disrespect to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and act of insubordination, an elder of the party in Isoko North, Sen. Francis Spanner Okpozo and 46 others who allegedly unconstitutionally set up an interim caretaker committee for the party have been summoned to appear before a 7-man disciplinary committee set up by the state exco of the party.
In an expanded meeting of the party’s executive held at Emede in Isoko South Local Government Area of the state on Sunday September 18, 2016, party moved and adopted the setting up of the 7-man disciplinary committee which has Hon. Tony Ele as chairman to investigate the 47 erring members and report to the state executive of the party within three days.
It would be recalled that a group of party members under the auspices of “Elders and Leaders Committee” led by Sen. Francis Spanner Okpozo, recently held a meeting at his residence in Ozoro where they purportedly sacked the state executive of the party and set up an interim caretaker committee giving reason that it was due to the failure on the part of the National Working Committee of the party to yield to the group’s demand for the national body to do so.
Reacting to the development, the National Vice Chairman, APC South South, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, in a statement published in a national newspaper condemned the action, describing it as an act of insubordination. The National Vice chairman ordered Okpozo and co to retract the said publication and also summoned all those who signed the purported action of the group to Abuja for a meeting with the former.
However, in an expanded executive meeting in Emede on Sunday September 18, 2016 attended by the State chairman, Prophet Jones Erue, his deputy, Chief Cyril Ogodo, the Vice chairman Delta Central, Chief Adelabu Bodjor, among other state and local government executives, the party condemned the action of Sen. Okpozo group, saying that the party’s constitution has no provision for an “Elders and Leaders Committee”, let alone having the power to sack a legitimate executive of the party.
A 7-man disciplinary committee was therefore set up by the party state executive to investigate the 47 persons who signed the purported “Sack” communiqué at the Sen. Okpozo’s meeting with a mandate to submit their report in three days.
Fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the meeting, the state chairman of the party, Prophet Jones Erue stated that it is the duty of the state executive to investigate erring members of the party and pass their recommendations to the zonal executive who will forward same to the national working committee for action.
Reiterating that he remains the state chairman of the party, Prophet Erue stressed that the APC in Delta State is not factionalized, adding that it was a united party that is getting prepared to take over the state in 2019.
Also in attendance at the meeting were all local government executives from the 25 Council areas, state woman leader, Hon. Princewill Ejogharado, a former PDP chieftain from Oghara in Ethiope West who defected to APC, Hon. Harvest Igben, Hon. Akpodiete, Hon. Julius Okpoko, among others.
Former House of Assembly candidate on the platform of the APC for Sapele State Constituency, Chief Felix Anirah has expressed reservation with the decision of the state executive of the party to investigate 47 members who signed a published communiqué purportedly sacking the state executive in a meeting held at Sen. Francis Okpozo’s residence in Ozoro recently.
In an expanded exco meeting held at Emede on Sunday September 18, 2016, the party set up a 7-man committee to investigate the 47 members for what has been described as an act of insubordination and perpetuation of illegality. The committee was given three days to submit its report and recommendation to the exco.
Reacting to the decision of the party while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the meeting, the former House of Assembly member on the platform of the APC in Sapele Local Government Area, Chief Felix Anirah, expressed reservation with the decision of the party, adding that it was as if the state executive has already taken the decision and only convened the expanded meeting to get the party members involved as rubber stamp.
Said he: “Well, the choice of the disciplinary committee is that of the state executive. I would say without fear that it was an arrangement done by the state executive and they only want the membership of the party to rubberstamp which of course, I feel, is not too democratic. Even if the disciplinary committee does anything, they have the right to appeal.”
On how to end the division tearing the party apart in the state, Chief Anirah said that “when meaningful leaders of the party intervene, all of this will stop”, adding that “basically, a group of persons are just struggling for space without thinking without thinking of how the victory of 2019 in Delta State would come.”
He called on members to unite and ensure that the party wins the 2019 election, adding that “all warring factions should sheath their swords and give peace a chance for absolute democracy.”
Chief Anirah who contested the 2015 House of Assembly election in Sapele Constituency on the platform of the APC, said that the ruling party used state machinery to hijack the election, adding that 2019 would be different.