Reactions continue to trail the conduct of a meeting of some members of the Delta State chapter of the APC, allegedly convened by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal in Abuja on Thursday October 6, 2016.
The New Diplomat gathered that the meeting which held at the instance of the SGF was attended by the Sen. Okpozo-led faction members of the party including Mr. Great Ogboru, Hon. Victor Ochei, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Emmanuel Kachikwu among others. The meeting, The New Diplomat gathered, was without the approval of the National Working Committee of the party. It has been alleged that during the meeting, the SGF remarked that the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu should assume the leadership of the party henceforth.
Reacting to the development, the Delta State Vice chairman of the party for Delta Central, Chief Adelabu Bodjor noted that the SGF who is not a member of the party’s working committee, lacks the constitutional power to determine who becomes the leader of the party at the state level, adding that the party structure was a product of law. According to him, only the members of the working committee have the constitutional authority to determine whoever becomes the leader of the party.
Said he: “APC is a product of law. And there is a constitution that guides the operation of the party from national to the units. In all of these, there is no area where any such power is given to the SGF. The members of the Working Committee are those that run the affairs of the party day after day. They are the only ones that the constitution authorizes to give power to whoever. I want to believe that he did not make such a statement. But if he did, then it must have been a gathering of friends to drink beer and champaigne because whatever order he may have purportedly given is not binding on anybody. Leader is earned and not conferred.”
Speaking further, Bodjor urged the SGF to concentrate on running of the affairs of government, adding he has no such power to meddle with the affairs of the party in Delta State.
Bodjor further noted that the position of the leadership of the party is not spelt out in the party’s constitution, adding that it evolves based on an individual contribution to the party. “Leadership is not even a known thing to the party constitution. Leadership evolves, it is your commitment, your contribution, your involvement and your dedication to the party that make people to rally round you and call you a leader”, he said.
Responding to a question on when Delta State APC would resolve its internal differences and work towards their mantra of ‘take over Delta’, Chief Bodjor said that the problem in the state has to do with the intention of certain elements to sell the party, adding that APC in Delta State would never be sold.
Said he: “What we have always stood against is the intention of certain persons to sell this party and we will use the last drop blood in us to fight against it and sustain the party. APC in Delta State will never be sold. When the time is ripe, the boys will go and the men will be left to run the affairs of APC as it was before. Most of the people who are roaring all the place today, during the election, they were ashamed or afraid to be identified with the party. When you place a sticker of the party in their cars, by the next day they have pulled them off. As to your question, when the chips are down, we shall sift the chaffs from the grains.”
On whether the APC generally has performed to expectation, Bodjor noted that considering the state of decay of the Nigerian economy before the emergence of President Buhari, it was obvious the task of turning the country around was going to be enormous, adding that Nigerians should be patient as the President would soon fix the situation.
He paid glowing tribute to the leader of the party in the state, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor whom he said spent his time, energy and resources to midwife the APC in the state to the present state. According to him, Emerhor was the first Nigerian to fly the flag of APC in an election, adding that at such a time when Delta APC needed the support and solidarity of other states during the senatorial rerun election, only Gov. Oshimhole and Gov. Rochas Okorocha came around to cheer up the party in the state.
He suggested that if the party at the national level knows the importance of Delta State economically, then it behoves it to give more attention towards strengthening the party at the state level.
Chief Bodjor who indicated interest to contest for the senate seat of Delta Central on the platform of the APC, alleged that the national body of the party is treating the Delta State chapter of the party as an orphan, adding that the party at the national level has failed to demonstrate love and interest in the state chapter in spite of the strategic position which the state could be for the overall growth of the party.