The Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has written to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, rejecting President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominee from the state.
The party made the rejection known in a letter dated July 30, 2023, and jointly signed by its Isoko Chairman, Lucky J. Esigic, Ijaw Co-chairman, Felix Datouwei and Itsekiri Co-chairman, Evans Omatsoguwa.
Naija News reports that the president submitted the name of Hon. Stella Okotete as the ministerial nominee from Delta State.
But according to the letter, the Delta APC said the nomination followed “extreme and inexplicable” marginalisation of the Southern Senatorial District of the state.
It stated that Okotete comes from the Central senatorial district of the state which enjoyed that honour under former President Muhammadu Buhari with Festus Keyamo (SAN), as the Minister of State for Labour and Employment.
The statement read in part: “Moreover, the pending ministerial nomination is in complete disregard of the principle of zoning of positions in our party. We do not think that it is fair or equitable for the state Chairman of the party, the gubernatorial candidate and the ministerial nominee to be not only from the same senatorial zone but also the same local government.
“Given that Delta North senatorial district has also had a minister with Mr Ibe Kachikwu as Minister of State for Petroleum from 2015-2019, it is evident that the next minister from Delta State ought to come from the South senatorial district, especially in the light of the total absence of any high-profile federal appointment from among the Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko since 2015.
“The party is at a loss regarding the reason for this sustained neglect of our people, despite being the mainstay not only of oil and gas production in Delta State but also the heartbeat of our party from formation under the leadership of the late Senator Francis S. Okpozo.
“Our unmitigated marginalization is weakening morale and threatening to exact high political costs. We fervently plead with you again to kindly intervene with the President on our behalf to take urgent steps to end it by nominating the Delta State minister from among the Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko of Delta South senatorial district.
“This will be an act of overdue recognition that would assure the faithful party members in Delta South that they are not only useful to the nation for their oil and gas but are also equal stakeholders and participants in your government.
“It will also be conducive to the sustenance of the peace that currently prevails in the otherwise restive and volatile Delta South district of the Niger Delta.”