By Okiemute Okpomor The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State has assumed a worrisome dimension as some elders and leaders of the party sacked the current executive.
Consequently, they set up a caretaker committee to pilot the affairs of the party until a substantive executive is put in place by the national leaders of the party.
Following a meeting that was held in Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area at the house Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, APC leader, the elders and leaders noted that the decision to set up the caretaker committee was sequel to series of meeting which started in June this year.
Senator Opkozo had earlier in June called for a meeting at his residence where it was agreed that a caretaker committee be put in place to take over from the Prophet Jones Erue led executive after they had passed a vote of no confidence on his leadership.
But in a swift reaction, Prophet Erue had said that those who passed the vote of no confidence on him were not recognised members of the party.
Inaugurating the caretaker committee, Senator Okpozo said the elders and leaders committee decided to take the action after the present executive was sacked by a High Court in Asaba few months ago, adding that they could no longer watch and fold their arms while the party goes into irrelevance in Delta State.
According to Senator Okpozo, “we have resolved that the State APC is not moving ahead as it is supposed to. So we have to make a change and that change has led us to take this resolution. We all know that the Party is not moving because there is a court Judgment that had sacked the present executive.”
He spoke further, “we have waited to hear from executive concerning the Judgment of the High court but they have not responded. We have communicated to National headquarter of the Party but no respond till date. So the Delta State APC Elders and Leaders committee felt disappointed.
“If you look at the Party in the state today, nothing is happening, no message from the executives, and no appointment. The party secretariat has been overtaken by wild grass. The LGAs are not functioning so we said it was high time we took action. Delta state is our state and it is in your hand. We are taking this decision to favor all of us.”
Hon. Nathaniel Omo-Onyeka was chosen as the Chairman of the Delta State APC caretaker committee, while Barrister Dennis Nwanokwai is the Secretary.
Present at the inauguration of the caretaker committee, Dr. Mrs. Veronica Ogbuagu, Engr. Hyacinth Enuha, Dr. Alex Ideh and APC faithful all supported the resolution taken by the elders and leaders committee.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Dr. Fred Latimore, Director of Media and Political Communication to the leader of the Delta APC, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor said on telephone that the action of the APC elders and leaders is null and void as they do not have the powers to set up a caretaker committee for the party.
Dr. Latimore also described the action of the elders and leaders as criminal and disobedience of court order, noting that the Delta State APC leadership tussle was before a High Court of Appeal where a stay of execution of order has been given by the court.
“The matter as we are talking today is still in court. It is true that a high court in Asaba sacked the Prophet Jones Erue led executive but Jones has appealed the matter at the court of appeal. The court has ordered a stay of execution on the matter, so anybody who goes and set up a committee is running against the constitution of Nigeria.
According to Dr. Latimore, “APC does not recognize any so called elders and leaders in the party that have the power to sack an existing executive. So this committee is a kangaroo committee and no APC member should listen to them. What Senator Opkozo should have done was to take the matter to the national body who will appeal to Erue to withdraw the matter from the court and they will sit together and think of a way forward.”
As at the time of filing this report, all efforts to reach the party leader in the state, Olorogun O’tega Emerho and the state party chairman, Prophet Jones Erue for comment were unsuccessful as they did not pick calls put through to their mobile phones.