Former presidential Spokesman and Director Communications and Media Strategy of Delta APC Campaign Organization, Olorogun Ima Niboro, has debunked the reason put forward by expelled APC chieftain, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, as reason for the party’s failure to win the governorship election.
Niboro said there was no truth in the claim that the APC flagbearer in the 18 March poll fractionalized the party going into the poll.
Ojougboh had postulated that Deputy Senate President and Delta APC Governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, factionalized the party and did not carry everybody along and that was why the party lost the election in Delta State.
This however, the former Presidential aide said was a tissue of lies allegations.
Speaking at an AIT programme, ‘Democracy Today’, Tuesday night, Niboro exposed how Ojougbouh chose the Senator Omo-Agege and Chief Great Ogboru faction of the APC to contest the governorship primary election of the party in 2019, because he believed it was the winning side. Niboro posited that it was only after he lost out that he began to wage a war against Omo-Agege.
Niboro, also a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, explained that in 2019, the party had two factions, one led by the founding leader in Delta, Olorogun Otega Emerhor, and the other led by Senator Omo-Agege and Chief Ogboru.
“Before our reunification, the APC had broken into two, the mainstream APC led by Olorogun Emerhor and the faction that was led by Senator Omo-Agege and Chief Great Ogboru. I happened to be with the Emerhor faction. In fact, I ran for the House of Reps, Emerhor ran for senate but because of the crisis we were outmaneuvered and we lost out.
“But Emerhor, myself and two others I will not name sat down and took a deliberate decision that we are not going to throw away the baby with the bath water; that we are going to put the party together. The other two didn’t agree and they quit the party. But I stood with Emerhor, because he and I had agreed on our direction even before we invited the other two persons. That is how the process started and the APC came together and today we are one big happy family.
“However, Ojougboh was with us in 2019. In fact, our faction needed a candidate for governorship who’s from Delta North. He was our candidate for the Mainstream APC. We didn’t support Ogboru; we wanted equity, that look, we have accepted rotation of power in Delta State, it was Delta North’s turn and the next Governor to come in to complete the remaining four years of the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa administration, if we are to get him out, should come from his own place, Delta North, so that in 2023, which is now upon us, we can confidently back an Urhobo, Delta Central, person.
“But on the morning of the primaries, Cairo Ojougbouh called to say he was joining the Senator Omo-Agege side to contest the Governorship primary and that’s what he did. So he willingly joined the Senator Omo-Agege faction then, and it was only after he lost out that he started this long talk about Omo-Agege factionalising the party,” Niboro said.
Rather than the faction theory advanced by Ojougboh, Niboro said the PDP led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa penetrated the State with a tremendous amount of money after allegedly borrowing N250 billion to prosecute the 2023 elections.
Niboro also hinted that the struggle to wrestle Delta State from the grips of the ruling PDP in the state was not over, as he said the result would be tested in the court.
He said, “Some of us still had a basic trust in the human character, not believing that they would ever attempt to tamper with something so transparent as the BVAS, but we were caught out by the PDP using money to influence INEC officials to upload fake results into the IRev.
“In my local government, at the end of collation, they gave APC 15,620 votes and PDP 15,613 votes, a difference of seven votes. I sat down and calculated the figures that were right there on the final result sheets. I discovered that what PDP actually scored was 14,513votes, so they undermined 1,100 votes right on the result sheet and they declared it and this is how they “won” their so called 21 local government areas.
“ So, we need now to go and verify the results they claim gave them this dubious, fake victory, ” Niboro insisted.
According to him, the APC promptly petitioned INEC about these and other observations and requested the election umpire to review the results but they refused. Thus, the INEC position as to the declaration of the disputed result has to be tested in Court, he said.
He explained that what happened in Delta on March 18 was an electoral heist, assuring that the court will definitely give judgement to the APC and overturn the INEC position because, “we have evidence to prove that the election was a sham.”