By Shedrack Onitsha,
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and the founding leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, on Saturday called for an end to the divisions in the party in the state.
Omo-Agege and Emerhor particularly called on leaders of the party from the state to close rank and work for unity of the party ahead of the 2023 general election in the state, adding that it time to emphasis on what units them more, that what divides the party.
Both leaders spoke at Evwreni in Ughelli North LGA when the Deputy President of the Senate visited Olorogun Emerhor at his country-home with other leaders of the party including Rev. Francis Waive, who represent Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu at the House of Representatives.
Omo-Agege, in his remark, described the visit as a brotherly one and part of efforts toward ending the rift between leaders of the party in the state.
He blamed the poor performance of the party in the 2019 general elections on the division within leaders of the APC in the state.
The Deputy President of the Senate noted “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 Urhobo people will remain Urhobo. Delta State will remain Delta State.
“Action Group and the rest of them have come and gone but our people remain the same. It’s time to emphasis more on what unite us than what divides us. That’s the only way will can win elections…we have decided that we put all our differences aside.
“We already have that understanding but it’s important that those who follow us, those who sympathise with us and those who share in our aspirations, it’s good they also see that. That’s the reason we at this event.
“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 who get 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 the very poor result. We’ll reach out others. We’ll 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.”
Omo-Agege commended Olorogun Emerhor for committing to the peace process in the state, adding that he would work with everyone to ensure that APC win future elections in the state through unity.
In his remark, Emerhor, who was the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, described the visit by Omo-Agege as historic, saying it was time for leaders and members of the party from across the state to embrace peace and unite in the interest of the party.
He agreed that the main reason the opposition had not been able to wrestle power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state is largely caused by the disunity and division among opposition leaders in the state. Emerhor said being the Founding leader and having contested a number of elections in the state, he knows this for a fact. And this why he has 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 it bunch 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 it 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.
“He didn’t start it with this visit, he had reached out to me like he acknowledged and we have met before. We had discussion and today, he has come to make it open for all to see and know that we must come together.
“The second aspect to 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 so that the ‘Oshobey’ can work.
“There cannot be many captains in a ship. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
“If you are a father and your son is appointed King, you still remain the father, but you are now the subject of your son the King. The son, the king still respects the father and father respects his son as King. The king is the king whether you are older than him. 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 acknowledged 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, HM 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.
“Also being the State Leader does not translate to Sole Administrator. It will behove on the Leader to consult and listen and work with all of us the other leaders.
“The era where two leaders will gang up against others and create faction in Delta APC is over. Let it be known that I am not ganging up with the Senator, but supporting him to ensure that peace and unity reigns in Delta APC,” Emerhor added.