Factional chairmen of the Delta State All Progressive Congress, Prophet James Erue and Cyril Ogodo are on collision course over choice of primaries that will be used to elect its candidates ahead of 2019 general elections.
Major party stakeholders led by Chief Cyril Abeye Ogodo led SWC had on Thursday adopted direct primaries in the conduct of all party primaries in the state.
The party reached this decision at an expanded State Executive Committee meeting of the APC Delta State Chapter led by Chief Cyril Abeye Ogodo in Asaba.
The meeting which was attended by members of the APC SWC, 25 LGA, Chairmen, secretary and youth leaders and the about 270 wards chairmen resolved to adopt direct primaries to give all aspirants level playing ground.
The decision of the party was contained in a communiqué issued and signed by the state party factional Chairman Chief Cyril Ogodo Ogodo, Secretary Barr. Silas Buowe, members of SWC and over 300 others members.
According to the communique, “The above decision affirms our Party’s disposition and desire to make our elections in 2019 and beyond truly reflect the will of the people as there cannot be democracy without the people’s participation.”
But, Prophet Jones Erue led faction in a moved considered by major stakeholders as giving undue advantage to Chief Ogboru and Omo-Agage’s group in the party who sponsored him in the last state congress, adopted the indirect primaries thereby shutting out other party aspirants from the contest.
The faction argued that they choose the indirect primaries due to heightened security situation in the state and to avoid the replay of the ugly incident that marred the last congresses held in the State which led to the death of a ward chairmanship aspirant in Ughelli South Local Government.
Meanwhile, major stakeholders of the party in Delta State including Prof. Pat Utomi, a governorship aspirant on the party platform and others leaders on Friday walked out in protest at the SWC meeting following the move by the party factional Chairman, Erue’s adoption of indirect primary.
Attempt by Prof. Pat Utomi who spoke in favour of direct primaries was quickly overwhelmed by Chief Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege supporters who populate the state SEC, and who it’s said will be at advantage if an indirect primary is adopted.
Vexed by the development which was degenerating to a shouting match by Ogboru and Utomi’s supporters, Prof Utomi stormed out of the meeting.
Utomi said, “those who claim to be very popular should come and test their popularity with the party members through direct primaries and not through handpicked delegate elections.”