By Iteveh Ekpokpobe
There is a major crack in the Delta State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party. It may just be the crack the opposition needs in the state.
Some PDP Local Government Party Chairmen, last week, engaged the State Chairman, Barr. Kingsley Esiso, in a showdown which almost ended in fist cuffs, in defiance to his decision to select their executives for them.
A new faction of the leadership has covertly broken out. Local Governments Chairmen of the party are aggrieved. They are not happy with a decision of the embattled State Chairman of the Party, Barrister Kingsley Esiso.
Esiso had, allegedly in a guerilla take over, foisted on them, the leadership of their revered forum. Something unthinkable and unheard off in the history of the forum since 1999, one of the chairmen has lamented.
Delta Political Vanguard (DPV), a body described as the political family of the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has been fingered for the ploy.
While the Chairman, Esiso has been quoted, for asking the aggrieved Chairmen ‘to go to hell’, he had said during a last week’s Wednesday meeting that since the incumbent government was a transition government, Governor Okowa was interested in everything.
One of the party bigwigs who pleaded anonymity has lamented that the action of the State Chairman (which was shrouded in the guise of obeying the State Governor’s order), was an eye-opener to what lies ahead of the party in the 2023 general election.
The Forum of PDP Local Government Party Chairmen is as old as 1999. Like the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), the forum is a ground for cobwebbing and interaction between LG Chairmen within the state. It is an informal arrangement.
In the bid to ensure a smooth run, executive positions were created ranging from Chairman, Senatorial Chairman, and Publicity Secretary to Secretary amongst other positions.
The beginning of a new tenure following local government congresses across the state, last month, also opened a vista for a new executive within the forum.
The senatorial elections were successful in Central and North. Okpe’s Efe Uko, Ethiope East’s Felix Atedafe, amongst others, made it into the executive.
However, in Delta South, A source disclosed that their elective meeting was halted by Hon. Isaac Wilky, PDP Chairman of Warri North, alleged on Governor Okowa’s order. One of the chairmen from Ijaw area was quick to fault the claim. “Willy was working on Hon. Michael Diden’s aka Ejele’s order in support of the Delta Political Vanguard (DPV), where Ejele is Chairman and the Director of Protocol to the Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Eboigbe is the Director-General.”
According to him, there was a plan by the DPV to install their members in every necessary position ahead of the 2023 election. He said since the Chairmanship was Zoned to Delta South, Ejele by all means necessary wanted his Chairman from Warri North to be elected against popular stand of the Chairmen.
A source confirmed that Last Week Wednesday, Delta South Chairmen of the party met in Warri and endorsed one of their own as Chairman of the forum being their slot. Immediately an informant got across to the Chairman in Asaba who immediately summoned a meeting.
Esiso Allegedly Imposes EXCO
The State Chairman hurriedly met with their colleagues in DPV, and in a commando form, stormed the meeting with an alleged list from the governor to announce the list of exco for the forum.
It was gathered that when Esiso finished reeling out the list, one of the Chairmen countered the move and spoke vehemently against it. Nevertheless, Esiso ordered them instead to meet the State Organizing Secretary, Hon. Sunday Onoriode, for their transport fare of N20,000. Part of One Million naira alleged to have been released by Ejele to the State Chairman, to pursue their plan.
“At that point, one PDP Chairman from Central interrupted that they were not interested in the money. He lamented that this was the first time he was attending a meeting called by the State Chairman, but he was surprised at Esiso’s style which was dictatorial instead of Democratic. The State Chairman, Esiso immediately reacted in anger that he had three University degrees asking the Local Chairman what he studied and Political Science was the LG Chairman’s response. Esiso said practical politics was different from book politics. He said that those who put him there were happy with his decision. He told the aggrieved chairman to go to hell adding that he had done what he should do and it was final. It was at that point that a hot verbal exchange commenced which almost led to a fist cuff if not for the intervention of those around.” A witness claimed.
An investigation reveals that one of the chairmen also told Esiso off that he was not helping the governor only further destroying the party. “Nobody will tolerate this military style.”
Alleged Plot By The Governor And His Men
The news of a plot by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to seize Power in Delta State by all means possible ahead of 2023 may be true after all as a source in the government house confirmed that three meetings were held in Abuja, Warri and Asaba to decipher the outpour of the LG Chairmen during their meeting.
Although the governor has denied knowledge of the actions of the State party Chairman, Esiso, when asked by Party Stakeholders a source in the government house confirmed that the DOP, Ejele and Esiso were at the fore of the fight for the onslaught.
It was gathered that their argument was that Chief Godwin Ogadi, (recently appointed Special Adviser by Governor Okowa), who was once Chairman of Chairmen, was instrumental to many votes that brought in Okowa, hence the need to leave no stone unturned in the political equation ahead of 2023.
A Faction Is Born
In the bid to pacify the boiling wind the Local Government Chairmen were advised to sheathe swords a source has claimed. “In two of the meetings held in Warri and Asaba, it was agreed that the Chairmen should behave as if nothing happened.”
Nevertheless, Stakeholders are aggrieved that a review of the appointment graph of the governor, feature the Delta Political Vanguard high in occupying all the ‘juicy’ positions in the state.
One of the Local Government Chairmen from Delta North was heard yesterday saying, “It is obvious now that the Governor is dancing to the tune of the DPV. In all the meetings, it was agreed that the Chairmen should behave as if nothing happened. We were advised to show no signs of anger so as not to be victimized. We are happy to now know the mind of the governor and his group. It has opened our minds and eyes to what will play out in 2023. And we are prepared. Two factions have emerged on the leadership of the chairmen’s forum. While one is open, another is covert in their operation. We will strike when the time is ripe. There is a major crack.”
Meanwhile, attempts to reach the State Chairman, Barrister Kingsley Esiso at Press time for his reaction proved abortive.
Recall that Esiso is facing resistance from party members on his second term bid which many party members have described as a dent on the party’s arrangement as well as an insult on leaders of the party in Sapele Local Government Area where the slot is zoned to.