The Delta State chapter of Labour Party seems to be embroiled in leadership crisis. Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Tony Ezeagwu, who has been in the saddle of leadership since 2014, has maintained that he is the authentic chairman of the party. In this interview, Chief Ezeagwu speaks on issues surrounding the party in the state.
Just last week, there was this rumour of another chairman, in the person of Emeka Nkwoala, succeeding you as the state chairman by a special national convention of the party in Abuja. What is your take?
Well, I am surprised that you press men do not follow the trend of events properly. If you follow the trend of events properly, this is Emeka’s third coming. When Ogboru left, Ogboru used Emeka to create a faction which they did. They addressed the press, went and opened his own secretariat at Textile labour house opposite falcon club.
That one failed and he left. Emeka is known for a yoman’s job and you know what is disheartening about it is that Emeka, is not from Delta state. Emeka is from Imo state, the father and mother are from Imo state.
I know Emeka up to his house in Imo state. Emeka does not even live in Asaba, Emeka lives in Lagos with his family. Emeka does not cover Delta state in the textile industry any longer, he is now in Lagos.
When Omo-Agege wanted to leave, it was Emeka and his group that he paid that created the faction which Omo-Agege capitalized on and defected. Do you call that kind of a man a party man?
He created faction, collected money from Omo-Agege to defect. Then at the end they did that one and it failed. This is their third coming!
They now went and brought Omotoso. Well, I don’t know anything about him. I don’t even know him as a person. I have been in Labour since 2014, I don’t know Omotoso. I have never met him, I have never seen him and he is not part of the exco that I used to know. So, as far as I am concerned, I have no problem with them.
The only thing I know is any day INEC says it recognizes them I will have no option than stepping aside because I will be fighting a fight that is useless. It is who INEC recognizes that states are affiliated to.
I have candidates who are going for national election now, if I say I am the state chairman and I don’t belong to their group at the national level and they are the ones that INEC recognized, even if candidates take my form and do everything if I carry them to the national, they won’t send them to INEC.
So, we don’t need to struggle about it or fight about it. All we need to do is to sit down and watch them. As far as I am concerned, I am the state chairman of Labour Party.
Emeka has done this for the third time. If he is a man that has shame, he will not be doing it. He has done the first one when Chief Ogboru defected, he came back saying he was the chairman, he failed in that one.
He came the second time when Omo-Agege defected, he created platform for elected legislators in Labour to leave and collected money.Emeka, is a job man.
First and foremost, Emeka does not have the interest of Delta state at heart. Emeka is just like those women that have children in the Bible, when one of the child died, she went and took the other woman’s child, when she brought the child before the king, the king said well, both of you say he is your child. What do I do, do I divide this child.
The one that does not own the child said divide it so that I take half and she takes the other half. The one that owns the child said leave the child, when the child grows, he will know who the mother is. So, that is Emeka’s case now. Because Emeka is not from Delta, Emeka is doing a yoman’s job.
The only thing Emeka is struggling to get in Delta is, in case maybe he succeeds and becomes the chairman, if there is government’s grant to political parties, he will come and take the grant and go back to Lagos.
He is just interested in becoming a chairman, he is not interested in grooming the party and he is not interested in making the party grow. So, I think there is nothing for us to argue but as long as I am concerned, as soon as they are able to put their chairman in INEC, I will quickly remove the Labour Party flags here. I own this secretariat. Labour party neither anybody gave me money to hire it.
The only thing I will do is any day INEC recognizes their chairman, I will come here, remove the Labour Party signboard, remove the Labour Party flag and that is the end of it all.
He also said that anybody who picks form from you is heading towards his/her doom. What is your reaction?
I had indirectly addressed that by telling you that INEC recognized A. A Salam as the national chairman of Labour Party. So, if INEC recognizes Salam as the national chairman of Labour Party, I just said any day INEC flashes Salam’s name from their system and say it is Omotosho, from that day you won’t see Labour Party flags here, I will remove them.
What is the preparedness of the party ahead of 2018 January 6 local government polls and the 2019 general elections?
By the grace of God, we are doing everything possible and if you have been watching, you will see that in Sapele over 500 persons from APC defected to Labour Party and very soon, I will beckon on you again, another group is about defecting but it is a discussion that we are still having as soon as that one is ripe, I will invite you to come and see them. So, no cause for alarm, we are working.
Not this properly, A. A Salam is the national chairman recognized by INEC and that is where I belong. Any day INEC ceases to recognize Salam, this office ceases to exist as Labour Party office. I will remove all the flags, that means they have removed the person I pay allegiance to, that is all.