We shall pay special security attention to Delta ― Osinbajo
As APC members accuse Kachikwu of anti-party activities.
FOLLOWING complaints by members and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over security in February 23 elections, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has promised that the Federal Government will pay special attention to Delta State during the March 9 Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
This is just as aggrieved members of the APC booed and accused the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, of anti-party activities that, they alleged, led to the average performance of candidates of the party in last February 23 polls in the State.
Osinbajo made the pledge on Monday at a Town Hall Meeting with traditional rulers, opinion leaders, politicians, market women, National Assembly members, APC candidates for the March 9 polls and other stakeholders held at the Conference Hall of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State.
The town hall meeting, which was slated for 10:00 a.m, did not take shape as VP Osinbajo failed to arrive the venue until 3:10 p.m, when tempers were beginning to rise as traditional rulers and the clergy were kept waiting.
Osinbajo was accompanied to the meeting by the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, APC Deputy National Chairman, South West, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Dr Kachikwu, former governor of Delta, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta APC governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru and Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, among others.
Central to some speakers selected from the three senatorial districts, the clergy, traditional women and the youths were the complaint about alleged compromised security in the state on February 23 which gave the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) an upper hand over the APC candidates in the poll.
A speaker from Delta North, specifically from the local government area of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Hon Sebastian Okoh and a youth from Ayakoromo, concluded that there was no election in the State last February 23.
With vociferous supports from supporters, they alleged that security agencies and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were compromised as so much money were in circulation “to buy anything buyable.”
Hon Okoh warned that except the APC matched the PDP strength for strength, security for security and money for money come Saturday, March 9, the victory may tilt towards the governorship candidate of PDP, Senator Okowa and other PDP candidates.
He described Okowa as being solidly on the ground not only in Delta North but in other senatorial districts and might likely sweep the polls and Ogboru would be left in the cold unless swift effort was made the militarise the poll.
An Ijaw youth specifically alleged that the PDP has a camp being guarded by militants, who hijack electoral materials from Patani, Bomadi, Burutu and Warri South West local government areas, alleging that one or such hideouts is located in Ayakoromo, Unit 21 where militants thumbprint ballot papers for the PDP.
He warned that for APC to win the Saturday election, “we need security in the riverine areas, those areas should be militarised. All the militants should be arrested, if not, they’ll claim victory next Saturday.”
One of the APC members who did not identify himself, alleged that the Minister of Petroleum, Dr Kachikwu of “playing anti-party” game, insisting “I will tell him to his face. Ogboru has been struggling to be governor all these years. Sir, people are doing billboards. Kachikwu did not put his face, Ogboru’s face and the president’s face. That will show you he is playing anti-party. If you don’t look into this anti-party issue, APC will not win.”
Responding to the complaints and allegations, Comrade Oshiomhole and VP Osinbajo warned against unsubstantiated allegations and called on the party members across the state to unite and come top in Saturday’s election.
Oshiomhole, who congratulated APC Deltans for doing well in February 23 results compared to 2015, said the feat has substantially weakened the rigging machine of the PDP in the State, noting that come Saturday, Chief Ogboru will emerge governor of the State.
VP Osinbajo, on his part, reiterated that Delta was the focus of President Buhari during the February 23 polls, adding that truth caught up with PDP that day and it will manifest fully on March 9 when APC will take over.
He stated that there was no reason the APC government should not pay a special attention to Delta because the FG could not successfully implement its social programmes for the people if the APC is in the saddle in the State.
“I’ve listened very carefully for everything you’ve said. A lot of what you’ve said we’ve already taken note and I’ll ensure not only to pass it on to Mr President, but also make sure that we are able to answer to all of the issue