By Sanni Onogu, Abuja
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has denied that there was violence during a stakeholders’ meeting of the Delta State All Progressives Congress (APC), held in Asaba, Delta State.
This is even as the Director of Publicity, Delta State APC, Nick Ovuakporie, described the alleged violence as an “attempt by mischief-makers to use non-existent problems to taint our great party and its leaders.”
Omo-Agege in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Constituency Matters, Chuks Awo Erhire, insisted that the meeting was held successfully with over 95 per cent of the invited stakeholders in attendance.
The statement reads: “The Constituency Office of the Deputy President of the Senate, His Excellency Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has read the vexatious piece of falsehood published by Sahara Reporters with the above Caption.
“It is rather sad that an event that took place in the digital age in the full glare of journalist and eminent Stakeholders of the APC in Delta State can be twisted by some enemies of our Party with the evil intention to mislead the people.
“Naturally, the best thing to be done would have been to ignore this mischievous act but we choose to set the records straight because Shakespeare has said that, “to leave an error unrefuted is to create intellectual immorality.”
“We wish to state expressly that the Delta State APC Critical Stakeholders meeting scheduled for the State Secretariat in Asaba on Wednesday, 3rd of February was held successfully with over 95% of the invited Stakeholders in attendance.
“The two National Officers assigned to supervise the exercise in Delta State; Barr. Ahmed Ismael (National Youth Leader, Caretaker) and Ms. Stella Okotete (National Woman Leader, Caretaker) were present before they left to witness a similar event in another South-South State.
“More so, the entire State Registration Panel appointed by the national leadership of our Party led by Hon. Anyaegbu Austin Wilson, Chairman of the Delta State Panel were all in attendance.
“It, therefore, beats our imagination that an online medium could shamelessly go to press to feed the public with falsehood, solely with the intent to maligning the Person and Office of the DSP.
“This misadventure by the online platform presents her as a media house that can never be trusted as they lack the elementary prerequisites of investigative journalism.
“That said, it is regrettable that, at a time when we are closing ranks towards building a bigger, more united, and truly progressive family, a party leader would yield himself as a tool to sponsoring confusion and unnecessary wranglings within our Party, APC.
“Credible information point to the party chief as the architect and sponsor of the unwarranted attacks on a few Party members as they made their way to joining the gathering.
“Suffice to say that that minor show of shame, however small, was part of a grand plan to disrupt the meeting but it failed.
“We wish to inform the chieftain and his co-conspirators that party membership and privileges are never the exclusive rights of any single individual.
“Interests of party members makes Party politics interesting but respect for the rights of others strengthens the fulcrum upon which democracy thrives.
“It is therefore provocative to fight others endlessly and attempt to stop them from aspiring to heights we couldn’t reach.
“We urge our party men and women to discountenance the disingenuous claim that the Deputy President of the Senate, His Excellency Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and the State Chairman, Prophet Jones Ode Erue ‘escaped’ from the meeting; those are the handiwork of the enemies and part of their media onslaught.
“Indeed, it is our firm belief that, for someone to claim that an event that went on hitch-free from the beginning to the closing, ended in chaos suggests that some enemies of our party had plotted to disrupt the meeting but God shamed them.
“Let it be stated clearly that had anybody raised a finger on the vehicle of the DSP at the gate, let alone the DSP himself, by now the State would have been made too hot for all the conspirators, their collaborators and their hired thugs.
“While we would resist attempts to take us back to the dark days, we wish to state unequivocally that we will not sit by and allow anyone go away with the mistaken belief that they hold the monopoly of violence.
“In summary, reports of events and proceedings at the meeting were well covered and reported by journalists from reputable media houses across the Nation who were present at the meeting.
“As for online medium and their clients, we wish to warn them to stay away from the Deputy President of the Senate and our Party especially in Delta State, as to do otherwise will be met with proportionate repercussions.
“We therefore admonish all supporters of the DSP and members of our Party as well as the general public to disregard and ignore the deliberate falsehood spread by the enemies of peace and progress in Delta State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress.”
On his part, Ovuakporie said: “The attention of the Delta State All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to the fake news that our stakeholders’ meeting held two days ago in Asaba on Wednesday, 3rd February in respect of our ongoing membership revalidation and registration exercise was marred by violence, with some notable leaders of the party in the state suffering injuries.
This is wholly false. It is the fakest news of the century and a futile attempt by mischief-makers to use non-existent problems to taint our great party and its leaders.
“We note with sadness, pity, and grave concern that a Delta APC chief’s name is featuring prominently in this needless mischief to taint our party and smear its leaders.
Yes, few fringe mischief-makers planned an attack on the stakeholders meeting but chickened out in the end.
“They may have realised that their plan would have consumed them either instantly or by the operation of law.
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“It was therefore a failed coup. A coup foiled from within due to fear of consequences and by both vigilant APC members and security operatives.
“Hence, the Vanguard edition of the 3rd day of February 2021, as well as other media, gave the accurate account of what happened at the peaceful meeting devoid of the lies.
“By the spurious media stories, although the fringe mischief-makers did not even dare to carry out their wishful thinking on unleashing violence on participants at the meeting, they nevertheless somehow feel that they could still achieve their sinister agenda to taint the party by planting fake news and outright lies in the media.
“Their case is so worthless that they tried in vain to use an alleged private disagreement that occurred very far from the venue of the meeting to justify their bogus claim. That is sad and utterly disingenuous. It will not fly.
“The whole truth is that there was no violence at all during the stakeholders’ meeting. The supposed list of persons who were attacked is fake.
“It could only have emanated from disordered imaginations. All attendees, including Evang. Ossai Abbey (Ogboru’s running mate in the 2019 general elections), participated in the meeting from the beginning to the end.
Therefore, it is particularly disturbing that a party leader’s name is being mentioned in this shameful fake news and media lie.
If it is indeed true that the party leader has a hand in it, then we worry whether he sought the views of his evangelist friend before associating himself with the shame of a plain lie?
“Clearly, the fake news was the expectation of the fringe mischief-makers.
“Now that they have failed, it is better for them to embrace decency and truth instead of continuing their planned campaign of calumny against the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who is humbly and diligently applying himself to reconcile all leaders, unite members and genuinely rebuild the party to win elections all over Delta State.
“Attacking the innocent DSP is needless and senseless. It will not work.”
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