A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Prince Collins Eselemor, has accused the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of edging him out from the party’s House of Representative’s primary for Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency to pave the way for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to win in the 2023 general elections.
According to The Union Nigeria, Eselemor alleged that his aspiration was horse traded by Omo-Agege and the APC State Party Chairman, Engr. Omeni Sobotie after a secret meeting with Hon. Nicholas Mutu, who currently represents Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.
The medium quoted Eselemor, in an interview in Abuja that the Senator Omo-Agege and Chief Omeni Sobotie’s leadership were purportedly sabotaging the interest of members of the party for their personal gains.
Eselemor said, sometime in March 2022, a week before the APC National Convention where Senator Abdullahi Adamu was declared National Chairman, Omo-Agege was in a closed-door meeting with Hon. Mutu.
According to him, the reason for that meeting was for Mutu to prevail on Omo-Agege to stop him (Prince Collins Eselemor) from contesting the national assembly seat under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Eselemor said it was well known that he has been at the fore of exposing the alleged corrupt acts of the incumbent Mutu before anti-graft agencies across the country.
“In that meeting, it was arranged that Nicholas Mutu would help to swing votes in support of Omo-Agege’s Governorship ambition.
“At the end of that meeting, I learnt that Hon. Nicholas Mutu gave some amount of money in dollars to Senator Omo-Agege and to the State Party Chairman, Engr. Omeni Sobotie.”
“Their game plan was for the APC to field a weaker candidate under the flag of the APC to allow for Nicholas Mutu’s easy victory,” he stated.
Eselemor told The Union Nigeria, that he was invited for a meeting by the Deputy Senate President, Omo-Agege in the company of the State Party Chairman, Engr. Sobotie who was earlier lodged at Reiz Continental hotel at the time.
He said the meeting was held at Omo-Agege’s residence in Asokoro, Abuja, where he was prevailed on by the duo to hang his ambition of running for the House of Representatives seat.
“I asked Senator Omo-agege to give me reasons why I should not run. Instead, he asked me to work with him to win the governorship seat in order for us to work together at the state level.
“Surprisingly and true to their arrangement, today they have produced one Tamuno Obriki an acolyte of Nicholas Mutu, as the candidate of the party for the seat. It is sad and I must add that a party cannot grow with such arrangements,” Eselemor stressed.
Allegations Unfounded And Contradictory – Omo-Agege’s Aide, Duku
Efforts by The Union Nigeria to reach the Deputy Senate President, Senator Omo-Agege did not yield results, however, his Special Adviser, Dr Efe Duku, said the details were mere allegations.
“First, these are allegations that have no proof. I can tell you for free that nobody was stopped from contesting. The right of anybody to contest is preserved under the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“Yet in order to build a peaceful post-primary situation, parties always engage in conversations. That is not rocket science. Everybody in politics understands that you engage members of your party in order to duse tension. While I am not involved in that conversation, I can relate to it that Senator Omo-Agege as the leader of the party did engage in such discussion on a general note.
“But Senator Omo-Agege will not, and he could not have done that for pecuniary benefits. In fact, it is an insult for anybody including Prince Collins Eselemor to make such a suggestion. I want to believe he didn’t say so, but if he did say so, then it is quite unfortunate.
“You don’t just come to the public to make allegations like that to taint people’s images without evidence. Did he say he was there when Omo-agege met with Hon Nicholas Mutu? I urge you to discountenance them as fictional.
“He may have been prevailed upon or given reasons why a particular person should go, but that did not in any way constitute a decree against his constitutional right. Senator Omo-Agege did not put a gun to his head for him not to contest.
“So, I find it not right that anybody would make such allegations. Like I said before, Prince Eselemor is an elder brother whom I respect, and I find it hard to believe he would make such allegations, but if he did, I think something must be wrong somewhere,” Duku stated.
NASS Member Nicholas Mutu Mute On Allegations
Meanwhile, the member representing Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency, Hon. Nicholas Mutu has maintained radio silence on the allegations.
A text message and call put across to his mobile phone number 0816****400 were neither replied to nor answered at press time.