The political leader of South South zone, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Agege; Minister of State Petroleum Timprey Silva; Minister of Niger Delta Senator Godswill Akapabio and National Vice Chairman, South South of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Prince Hillard Eta have shunned the zonal consultative meeting convened by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
The South South leaders, who are pro-Oshiomole, claimed that the convener of the meeting lacked constitutional power to call such zonal meeting.
Their absence at the meeting, which held Thursday night at Edo House, was reportedly due to opposition to Obaseki.
The National Vice Chairman, South South had on Wednesday declared the Obaseki convened meeting illegal and outside the ambit of the party’s constitution.
Eta, in a telephone interview, hinted that Obaseki has sent letters of invitation to leaders of the party in the zone, to attend a consultative meeting he planned for Thursday at Edo State Governor’s lodge in Abuja.
The APC leader said he gathered that the meeting was to discuss the issue of the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, whom he vowed to ensure he is removed as chairman.
“I saw the invitation the governor is sending out to people inviting them for a meeting. But I am calling on all our party leaders to shun the meeting because he has no right to convene such meeting. I am the South South Vice Chairman of the party and any APC leadership meeting is convened by me.
“I have also communicated to our political leader in the zone, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and he is not aware of any such meeting. So we are calling on all our leaders not to attend any such meeting because it is ill conceived and ill motivated,” he stated.
Aside from the South South leaders, it was also gathered that some invitees from Cross Rivers State that came for the meeting turned back when it became glaring that the decision may be influenced by a Minister who had majority of the attendees.
However the meeting pushed Acting National Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief Victor Giadom to take over as acting national chairman of the party at the Emergency National Executive Committee meeting slated for Tuesday in Abuja.
Those in attendance at the meeting unanimously endorsed Giadom.
Justifying the choice of Giadom, Obaseki, in a communique after the meeting that lasted for hours, claimed he has provided the much needed leadership for the party since the on-going crisis of the party began.
The meeting also demanded that the party should respect the present zoning arrangement by retaining the chairmanship of the party in the South South zone, even in acting capacity.
It further resolved that the most senior party officer from the zone being the Acting National Secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, should be confirmed Acting National Chairman of the party at the Tuesday emergency NEC meeting.