By Ogba Samuel

A political pressure group within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Campaign for Grassroots Democracy, CGD, has condemned what it called the imposition of Ward Chairman and Vice Chairman on PDP Ward 6, Bowen in Warri South Local Government Area, stressing that the alteration of the result of the election was a rape on democracy and mockery of the party’s constitution.

Addressing newsmen in Warri, the Coordinator of the Campaign for Grassroots Democracy, Mr. Onoriode Agbroko, called on the governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to wade into the matter, which he said is capable of causing major crack in the party ahead of the Warri South Local Government election later this year.

He said, “I think one of the major legacies His Excellency can bequeath on the PDP in Delta State, as he moves to higher grounds in 2023, is the strength of internal democracy. Some of us do not have stomach for the type of the abnormality that was perpetrated in Bowen Ward 6, Warri South LGA. How can the result of a Congress be so brazenly altered? What kind of example is that? We have to do the right thing. No injustice is too little!”

Agbroko insisted that it was Mr. Bose Omare Ayo and Mr. Victor Mamoh that emerged as the Chairman and Vice Chairman at the Ward Congress held on March 7, 2020 adding that Blackson Harold and Desmond Onogun were never in any real contention at all.

He noted that, “The affairs of the party is expected to be governed by the party’s constitution; same having been given to it freely and voluntarily by the members of the party in accordance with the relevant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; as the constitution has expressly stated therein, that it has binding force of law.”

According to him, there is no organ, person or group of persons in the PDP other than the Ward Congress that is vested with the powers to elect the Chairman, Vice Chairman and members of the Ward Executive of Bowen Ward 6, Warri South Council Area, wondering why a party that has the words democratic in its name would be practising oligarchy at the ward level, a very foundational level.

He said the Ward Congress for the purpose of electing the Ward Executive of the party with respect of the Bowen Ward 6, PDP, Warri South Chapter, duly held on March 7, 2020 and in a contest between Mr. Bose Omare Ayo and Mr. Victor Mamoh on the one side and Blackson Harold and Desmond Onogun on the other side.

According to Agbroko, more than 70 per cent of the delegates voted for the duo of Mr. Bose Omare Ayo and Mr. Victor Mamoh as Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively and at the end of the exercise, Blackson Harold and Desmond Onogun congratulated the winners.

He explained further that, “An election of this nature is by convention done either by direct or indirect representatives; and sometimes followed by affirmation at the congress called for that purpose. He said that prior to the said Congress, the indirect mode of election of Executives was adopted where the accredited representatives of the Congress, who are political leaders in the ward, were duly nominated to elect the Ward Executive; this the accredited representatives did in the ratio of 6/7 in favour of Mr. Bose Omare Ayo and Mr. Victor Mamoh as Chairman and Vice Chairman.

“The decision of the said indirect election notwithstanding, for the purpose of confirmation of the will of the people, the exercise was again subjected to the vetting of the ward congress of the 7th day of March, 2020; in the presence of all relevant parties including the representatives of INEC and the Security operatives where again, the Mr. Bose Omare Ayo and Mr. Victor Mamohwere victorious and legally became Chairman and Vice Chairman elect of the Ward. He stated emphatically that the group challenges anyone to produce evidence of any other exercise conducted anywhere in the Ward that produced Blackson Harold or Desmond Onogun as Chairman or Vice Chairman.

“However, to the uttermost dismay and chagrin of the entire Ward, information came to the public domain that some persons outside the Ward and within the leadership of the party in Asaba had without recourse to the provisions of the constitution and/ or respect for the will of the Ward Congress, decided on their own to alter/amend the result of the congress and remove the validly elected Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Ward and replace them with Blackson Harold and Desmond Onogun; thereby ridiculing the applicable provisions of the Party Constitution.”

The President of the Delta State Chapter of CGD stated that in complying with the relevant provisions of the party constitution the group had lodged several complaints with the relevant offices both at Asaba and Warri, including the office of the Local Government Chairman and that of the State Chairman of the party; demonstrating the particulars of the grievances of the group against the attempt to unlawfully upturn the mandate the ward congress and subvert the will of the overwhelming majority of the members of the party at the ward level.

He said the complaints were never entertained as neither the Local Government Chairman nor that of the State Chairman of the party gave the complaints any reply.

”None of them was fair enough to give us an opportunity of hearing or considering our complaints whatsoever; thereby depriving us fair hearing against the spirit and intent of the constitution of the party. Arising from the non-treatment of the said grievances, we were constrained to brief the law firm of Robinson Ariyo & Co in Warri to issue the final notification of our grievances to the party and our intention to explore any other legal remedies that might be available to the true Chairman and Vice Chairman elect under the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should the need arose in the circumstances of this case,” he stated.

He contended that notwithstanding the effort of the group to explore amicable resolution to the dispute, the impostors proceeded to give effect to the illegal alteration of the validly conducted and determined outcome of the Ward Congress and what followed was that on the 5th day of May, 2020, the raped was made absolute with the purported inauguration and swearing in of the impostors.

“We have consulted our lawyers and they will do the needful soon. We believe that courts will not allow a political party to act arbitrarily or as it likes. Political parties must obey their constitution, and once this is done there would be orderliness and this would be good for politics and the country,” he said.