Supporters of the ousted factional leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff, in Delta, today, reportedly joined the opposition All Progressive Congress.
According to The Nation, the over 14,000 loyalists were by the former deputy national chairman of the PDP, Cairo Ojougboh – a former member of House of Representatives; also a former vice chairman of PDP in the South-South zone.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu who hails from the state; national vice chairman of APC (S/S), Mr. Hilliard Eta; chairman of the party in the state, Jones Erue; O’tega Emerhor and Hyacinth Enuha were among the APC chieftains that received the new members at a ceremony in Agbor, Ika South L.G.A.
The ceremony witnessed the dumping of PDP membership cards into a waste basket and the lowering of a huge PDP banner thus signaling the rejection of the party by the former members.
Dr Ojougboh said they were ‘forced’ out of PDP, adding that after the Supreme Court judgment that affirmed the Ahmed Markafi national leadership, members of the Sheriff faction were sidelined.
His words, “We asked the national body to open up the party after the unfortunate court judgment; the next thing we heard was that they were going to grant us amnesty as if we are criminals. When Raymond Dokpesi was nominated as member of the committee for the non-elective convention, his nomination was rejected because they said they spent money on the court judgment”.
Continuing, “As if that was not enough, during the Anambra State governorship primary election, Jerry Gana was made chairman of a three-man committee to midwife a transparent election but governors Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State rejected it and came up with another committee that went to Anambra and handed everything to Peter Obi.
“Back here in Delta, we asked the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa to remove impunity but what we continue to see here is a corrupt and family government. Till date, Okowa has not been able to account for the N20 billion Paris Club refund”.
According to Ojugboh , “We now said it is time to look for people of like minds, people of progressive ideology to meet with because I know most of you have ambitions to pursue. If we do not make a decision to belong to the progressives, most of you will miss out.”
Former factional chairman of the PDP in the state, Austin Ogbaburhon told APC chieftains that the Sheriff faction is a beautiful bride, adding that they have rejected offers from other political parties and enjoined APC to negotiate well.
Receiving the new entrants, vice chairman of APC, South-South, Hilliard Eta said the new members have further brightened the party’s chances to wrest power from the PDP in the state come 2019.
“For us at the National Working Committee of the APC, Delta is a low hanging fruits for us to pluck but the coming of Ojougboh and his teeming supporters has made the fruits even lower for us.
“We welcome you into the party and urge you to go to your units and wards to register. Registration is free and you will add value to APC,” Eta said.