A political crisis is currently looming in the Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta state, as the council chairman, Christian Iteire, and the local government Peoples Democratic Party chairman, Godwin Ogorugba have allegedly bypassed other leaders of the party in the area to force councillors to hurriedly screen five supervisory councillors despite a recent protest against it.
There was a protest in the local government area by some youths numbering over 200 on Tuesday.
The protesters stormed the council secretariat, Ozoro and stopped the screening of supervisory councillors over allegations of imposition, among others issues.
The protesting youths, drawn from the 13 wards of the local government area, were with leaves and placards that had different inscriptions accusing the commissioner representing Isoko North in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Paul Oweh; local government PDP chairman, Godwin Ogorugba, council chairman, Christian Iteire and a few other leaders, of imposing candidates on the people.
SaharaReporters learnt that after Tuesday’s protest, the council chairman, the PDP chairman, the commissioner representing Isoko nation in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Paul Oweh and other leaders met and resolved to carry on with the screening and swearing-in of the supervisory councillors without recourse to some of the party leaders.
Our correspondent learnt that on Wednesday as the supervisory councillors were about to be secretly screened, youths numbering over 100 stormed the council secretariat, chased away the council chairman, councillors, workers and guests already seated and locked the venue before leaving.
It was gathered that about two hours after the incident, the council chairman with the support of the PDP chairman and the DESOPADEC commissioner, hurriedly got the supervisory councillors screened and sworn in without the knowledge of other leaders of the party in the local government council.
Reacting to the development, a former leader of the legislative arm of Isoko North, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, condemned the action of the council chairman and others for factionalising the party in the area and not carrying other leaders along.
“How can the council chairman and the PDP chairman, Paul Oweh and others throw caution and respect to the wind? I am still wondering why the likes of Emmanuel Ogidi, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, Jude Omena Ogbimi, Kome Okpobor, Philip Adheke, Nelson Ejakpovi, Emma Egbabor and other leaders from the 13 wards were not carried along in the appointment, screening and swearing in supervisory councillors,” he said.
As at the time of this report, it was gathered that following Wednesday’s secret screening and swearing-in of the supervisory councillors, youths in the area are already meeting to storm the council and beat the council chairman.
Contacted on the issue, the chairman of the local government area, Christian Iteire, confirmed the screening and swearing-in of the supervisory councillors but warned the youths against causing problems in the party and the area.
He alleged that the youths were being used by some disgruntled elements to cause disaffection and breakdown of law and order in the area.
“Yes, the supervisory councillors were screened and sworn in yesterday, Wednesday, according to the law. Apart from some few individuals who are angry, everybody was carried along in the process. These few individuals are those sponsoring these youths to protest and destroy government property.
“We learnt the youths are regrouping for a possible attack and I can tell you now that the law enforcement agencies have been briefed on this. You can’t destroy government property and go free; no one is above the law. For now, my local government area is peaceful,” he said.