FOUNDING leader and 2015 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Delta State, Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor, Sunday said leaders of the party in the state were in talks towards resolving the internal crisis of the party.
Emerhor who spoke at his Evwreni country home in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state after he and his wife, Chief Rita Emerhor, revalidated their APC membership, decried that the crisis which engulfed the party before and during the 2019 general elections was to the advantage of the ruling PDP in the state.
Emerhor, who was the first person to contest the election on the APC platform in 2013, said it was time for the leaders and members of the party to bury the issues that led to division within the structure of the party in Delta, adding that he was talking with the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Olorogun Festus Keyamo (SAN), 2019 governorship candidate of the party in Delta, Chief Great Ogboru, and other leaders of the party towards resolving all issues.
The renowned banker turned politician, said: “Towards 2019 we opened up the party for other members to come in. And that’s when the group led by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who’s now our Deputy President of the Senate and Chief Great Ogboru joined us.
“Of course, you know in politics there’s always interest and infighting. When they came in, we were unable to agree on the direction of the party. In that disagreement, the party was torn into two. We actually had two parallel congresses. It was us versus them and we fought the fight to the Supreme Court.
“But every fight must come to an end. And, in the interest of the party, we must all come together. So, we have put some of these things aside. That’s how politics should be played”.
He expressed confidence that APC could win the 2023 governorship election in the state if the various leaders agree to work together in fighting her common “enemy (PDP)” at the poll, saying “I believe that we (APC) can take Delta State. We believe so if only we can come together because the fight, we fought the last time was for the benefit of PDP. It was not for the benefit of APC. That fight weakened us. That fight divided us and that was why we could not go far.
“I believe everyone is on the same page in this. Between myself, DSP Senator Omo-Agege, the Minister (Festus Keyamo) and Chief Ogboru. We have commenced meetings among ourselves. If we are in agreement the party must move forward. We have been having these meetings and I believe we are making good progress.
“We are going to expand the meeting to other leaders in Delta North and South. When we expand it, the party will come together. We have planned that one of these days, all of us will come to Delta State and hold a meeting that will bring all our supporters together. So that they will know that there’s no more fight.”
On the issue of who is now the leader of the party in the state, Emerhor said; “Again, one thing that bothers the minds of our people is who is now the leader of the party in the state? It’s a question because everybody is dragging the leadership but who is a leader is not what we need at this time. Mutual respect is what we need at this time.
“The DSP (Omo-Agege) is the fifth elected officer after President Buhari in this country. A prophet (Omo-Agege) must have respect in his home. If we have a governor, the governor will be the leader of the party. But we have the DSP, we must show him respect and that is why we are working with him.
“The Minister, again, is another key leader we have. Between myself, the DSP, the Minister and the former governorship candidate (Ogboru), we must work to bring the party together. And let me tell you my people, even if any other person is now the Leader, I remain the founding leader of the party. Nobody is contesting that with me and that is good enough.
“Rest assured that I will be among the leaders that will discuss and work towards the progress of the party. As such your interest will always be represented. So don’t be afraid. Let’s stop all the quarrel. Let’s open up and work together. The present caretaker committee of the party today is recognised by us. We must be ready to work with it.”
The APC leader charged APC leaders and members in the state to mobilise their supporters and followers for the APC revalidation and registration of members from the unit level to the federal level to enable the party have a better chance of wrestling power from the ruling party in the state.
“This exercise we are about to do is very important because rigging aside, you don’t need more than 400,000 to 500,000 votes to win a state and that includes Delta. We are sure that this time around, proper voting will happen. Which is why it’s very important that every one of us go out there to register because if we can register more than 400,000 to 500,000 members in Delta State then we are already on our way to win the state”.
Secretary, Delta APC membership Revalidation and Registration Committee, Mallam Sunusi Musa, in his remarks, commended Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor for his commitment towards the growth of the party since its formation, appealing to Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor and other leaders of the party in the state to enjoin their supporters and loyalists to mobilise for the membership revalidation and registration exercise.
Musa, who led other members of the committee to Evwreni, said; “the National leadership of the party is appreciative of your sacrifice to the party and the national leadership assures you that they will continue to support you as a leader of the party. We appeal to everyone to ensure that their supporters register for this very important exercise”.