There was confusion in the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC on Wednesday after news came that the party’s revalidation and registration exercise had been suspended. It also emerged that the camp of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Festus Keyamo were on collision course. The Omo-Agege and Keyamo clash in Delta adds to other wars among the APC leaders in the state.
The reported suspension was on the heel of allegations that the two Local Government Area coordinators for the exercise were being picked mainly from the camp of Senator Ovie-Omo Agege, the deputy president of the Senate.
Meanwhile, before the suspension, the minister of state for labour, Mr. Festus Keyamo had written a feisty memo to the national leaders of the party calling for the interest of all party leaders to be taken into consideration in the appointment of the coordinators.
A memo ordering the suspension of the exercise circulated among stakeholders and sent to GWG read thus:
The Chairman of the National Registration and Revalidation Committee has ordered for the suspension of the exercise in Delta state pending resolution of some issues. There will be a Stakeholders Meeting Tmrw in Abuja at a time and venue to be communicated later today.
Meanwhile earlier in the day, Keyamo the stage for the Omo-Agege, Keyamo clash came as the minister issued a memo to the committee. The memo obtained by GWG read thus:
As you are set to distribute your materials to the LGA coordinators on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, you must bear in mind the need to balance all the delicate interests within the APC in Delta State in such a way that you don’t put the entire materials meant for any LGA in the hands of two coordinators solely nominated by a particular political leader in the State, including myself. That will be unfair, unjust and unacceptable and will be a recipe for chaos in the State. My sources tell me that this is exactly what you plan to do. You need to stop.
The evolution of APC in Delta State is unique to the extent that a clear Party leader has not emerged under whom everyone have agreed to congregate. At least, no such decision has been taken by stakeholders in Delta State. I can say this confidently because I am a founding member and a leader of the Party in the State. The fact that the stakeholders have not been able to do this is a testament to the different tendencies that exists within the Party in the State. Whilst we all respect and defer to positions of authority that some of us have been privileged to assume at the national level, political leadership back home is a different ball game.
Omo-Agege, Keyamo Clash In Delta APC Registration
As a result of this, all Party faithfuls throng after different leaders in the State. It is therefore imperative that these different leaders and their supporters have EASY access to these materials for registration. This will not happen if you put the materials in any LGA only in the hands of a PARTICULAR tendency within the Party. Since we are not using the Party structures to drive the process, then you must fall back on these leaders and their nominees to drive the process. Even as Minister representing the entire State in the Federal Cabinet, I am not asking for any undue advantage: I am only asking for fairness and equity to be administered to everyone.
You are therefore advised to first identify the leaders (like you have done in the last few days). Ensure that no one leader has TWO nominees in ANY PARTICULAR LGA. Also ensure that there is no much disparity between the number of nominees the leaders nominate for the exercise in all the LGAs.
I know that you, like all the members of the Committee, were nominated to serve by certain leaders. I also nominated a member. It is an open secret. No need to play the ostrich. However, we understand that unwholesome pressure has been mounted on you to sideline all other members of the Committee in the discharge of your assignment. Perhaps this led to the abrupt resignation of the erstwhile Secretary. However, may I respectfully remind you that regardless of who nominated you, is time to serve the Party and not individual interests.
If you skew the process to favour a particular person/leader, I will be mobilising all other leaders of like minds in the State to reject your Committee and call for its total disbandment.
I rest my case.
FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK)
Hon. Minister of State, Labour and Employment.