Deacon Okey Ogbodo is a household name in the politics of Enugu State having been around in major political positions since the 4th republic. He was Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Finance and later Commissioner for Lands. He was touted as the next chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state about a year ago. He later decamped to APC.
Since joining the APC Ogbodo and his band of loyalists have not found things as easy as projected, having run into stormy waters since the ill-fated last congress of the party in the state. He asserts he was duly elected chairman, but pioneer state chairman Dr. Ben Nwoye, counter-claimed, insisting he remained the part chairman, having apparently been endorsed by the out-going Oyegun regime. Ogbodo spoke to journalist in Enugu recently and maintained among other things, that he is the authentic chairman of APC in Enugu State. Excerpts:It appears there are two parallel state executive committees of APC in Enugu. How did that come to be?
I do not agree. There is only one state executive committee of the party headed by me. Anybody else parading himself as chairman will soon realise he is making a false claim.
What actually happened?
The stage was set at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium for the state congress; delegates were accredited and voting completed. Some people who sensed they were going to lose, as the counting of votes was concluded, left the venue, and in their desperation took the result sheets along. The congress was concluded and the results known; but does running away with result sheets nullify results of an open congress? From this account, do you honestly believe two excos have emerged? The answer is NO!
What do you think brought about the anger of some members?
I would never know for certain, but it is obvious people who had held down the fortune of the party since inception are desperate to continue. It is only in this clime that those who lead their political parties even to consecutive defeats wouldn’t bulge. Since the emergence of APC, these people have not managed to win even a councillorship election, yet are desperate to continue because that is their sole meal ticket. But the masses who own the party say no, and are ready to bring about a change. That change, is the executive committee which I head.
You went to court before Chief Nwoye received the Certificate of Return. How far is your litigation moving?
That is the reason I told you I am the authentic, in¬deed, the only legally authorized Chairman of APC in Enugu. We have a valid and subsisting court order, which was disobeyed. They were duly served, but desperate people, being desperate people, they went ahead to take an action which was clearly in contravention of the injunctive order of court, which is yet to be discharged. I am aware there is an established system for courts to deal with people who have no respect for court orders. The process is on.
You are in APC now, what do you think lies ahead for the party not only in the South East, but across the country in the coming elections?
I am optimistic, and so many party faithfuls are, that his Comrade Adams Oshiomole, will steady the ship of APC very soon, on assumption office, after the June 23rd, National Convention. He is a mobilizer per excellence, and tested organizer of men and materials.
The current crises in APC were deliberately foisted on the party by the retreating Oyegun cabal, as a show of frustration after a failed self-succession attempt. But a Daniel is about to come to judgment.
Our party deserves a better leadership than it had had. We have to respect the rights of the people as demonstrated at that state congress in Enugu. President Buhari deserves the benefit of politicians and tested party administrators to expect and indeed guarantee a change of electoral fortune next year in the national elections. I have utmost confidence in the capacity of our in-coming Adams Oshiomole, to put things right and ensure the enthronement of internal democracy as was the case during our congress.