Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege has said the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) lost the Delta State 2019 governorship election due to disunity among party members.
Senator Omo-Agege stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to one of Delta State’s foremost APC stalwarts, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, over the weekend at Emerhor’s country home at Evwreni in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state, reports the Vanguard.
Omo-Agege, who visited Emerhor in the company of some leaders, including the member representing Ughelli North/Ughelli South/Udu Federal Constituency, Revd Francis Waive and others, said the visit was to sue for peace in the party by strengthening ties amongst members of the party in the state.
Omo-agege said the party’s loss in the state in the 2019 elections was due to a high level of division and lack of unity among members of the party.
According to him:
This is a brotherly visit. This is not the first time we are meeting. We have met severally at his residence in Abuja. Before the commencement of our revalidation exercise, I had planned to visit him to say hello. It was not just to say hello but to reiterate to him based on the discussions we have had. It’s time we bring everybody together.
As both of us we say, Delta State is ripe for the taking. We have also said that can only happen if all of us are on the same page. Come to think of it, what are we fighting for? At the end of the day, we are brothers first before we became members of APC. Party will come and go but the Urhobo people will remain Urhobo. Delta State will remain Delta State.
As from today, we should all know that we are one. The party is not just about Olorogun Emerhor and myself, we still have other leaders. In politics, we drag over who gets what, but while doing that, we must do it with civility. We must do it with humanity. We must not play it in a way that it becomes almost impossible to reconcile yourselves at the end of the exercise.
That was what we went through in 2019. That’s why you see a very poor result. We will reach out to others. We will try and bring everyone on board. We respect everyone. We respect every leader of the party in the state. All we want is that Delta State is delivered to APC. Let’s reach out to other leaders of the party and those who align and support them and their aspirations. I will work with everyone to ensure that APC wins future elections in the state through unity”.
In his response, Emerhor expressed satisfaction over Omo-Agege’s visit, reiterating the fact that peace within the party in the state is paramount.
Being the founding leader and having contested a number of elections in the state, I know this for a fact. And this is why I have continued to send out messages of unity in recent times.
As someone who stepped forward after the demise of late Senator Pius Ewherido to build this party and then ran for Senatorial in 2013 and Gubernatorial in 2015, I know what we have suffered in the state and I also know why we have not gone far in the state.
It’s not because PDP has been so strong, they are strong no doubt about it, but we have never been united as a party. If you don’t unite, it’s easy to pick you apart and break you, that is the lesson of the broom when is bunched together, you can’t break it but as a single stick, you can break it, and that is what has been happening to us in Delta state.
So, I believe that unity is our only winning formula against the PDP in the next election. Divided we fall, united, we stand. That is why I have continued to preach peace and I am happy that that is what Senator Omo-Agege has come to demonstrate here today, by putting aside any differences we may have had.
He didn’t start it with this visit, he had reached out to me like he acknowledged and we have met before. We had a discussion and today, he has come to make it open for all to see and know that we must come together.
Emerhor said another problem in the party besides disunity is the issue of leadership. According to him, “The second aspect of winning Delta State is the issue of leadership. There must be a leader of the party. We have many leaders but somebody must be the head who organises the others to work together”.
Noting that there cannot be many captains in a ship, Emerhor said “too many cooks spoil the broth”.
Acknowledging Ovie Omo-Agege as the leader of the APC in Delta State, Emerhor said if the party was to win elections, there must be a clear leader who will rally the people and mobilise them for victory.
According to Emerhor:
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, God has made you king in Delta State APC, that cannot be disputed. Nonetheless, you are here today to respect your senior brother.
If we are to win, we must have a leader, and that role, it is you, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege that can play it now. It is very clear, all of us who are leaders in Delta State today, if we lead a delegation to Abuja who will they acknowledge first, it is him, will anyone be contesting that at such a meeting? We cannot do that unless we don’t want to win.
However, leadership comes with responsibilities and challenges. When you are king, you must bring your people together, and that is my challenge to our leader, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. You must do more, you must not give up. You must reach out to the other leaders, Chief Great Ogboru, Festus Keyamo and others and bring everyone together. In that quest, I will continue to support you to ensure that all the leaders of the party come together.
Emeryor, who advised Omo-Agege that being a state leader does not translate to being a sole administrator, said “It will behove the leader to consult and listen and work with all of us the other leaders”.
He also pointed out that the era where two leaders will gang up against others and create faction in Delta APC is over, stressing that he was not ganging up with Omo-Agege but simply supporting him to ensure that peace and unity reign in Delta APC.
The meeting and mending of fence may not be unconnected with speculations that some leaders in the party have been at loggerheads, a situation that has prevented them from kicking off with the nationwide registration and re-validation exercise in the state.