APC group passes vote of confidence on Lauretta Onochie, rejects suspension


A group of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the aegis of APC State Assembly Forum (ASAF) has condemned the purported suspension of the Chairperson of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Lauretta Onochie, even as it passed a vote of confidence on her.

The APC group while describing the said suspension as illegal, null and void, condemned actions leading to the isuspension and the unsubstantiated claims of the sponsors.

In a statement released Wednesday in Abuja, signed by its Director-General, Amb. Fubara Dagogo, the group said beyond the fact that the process does not satisfy the constitutional procedure required to suspend a duly registered member of the party, the reasons adduced for such action is yet to be proven with verifiable evidence; and therefore smacks of witch-hunt, malice and very bad politics.

The forum which comprises of all elected and serving state assembly members under the APC platform in all the states of Nigerian federation, has its core objective is to provide a common platform for all APC lawmakers at the state assembly level that enables them pool resources together towards the promotion of the progressive ideology of APC, for the purpose of bringing visible good governance to every nook and cranny of the nation.

“We have noted with utmost dismay a recent development within our great party the All Progressives Congress (APC) wherein the Delta State Chapter of the party is said to have issued a purported suspension notice on one of the respected and foremost amazons of the party in the person of Madam Lauretta Onochie; serving Chairperson of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for some baseless and unfounded reasons bordering on anti-party activities in the just concluded 2023 general elections.

“We have taken time to review the actions leading to the illegal suspension and the unsubstantiated claims of the sponsors and wish to state that the unfortunate act cannot stand, is illegal, null and void.

“This is because the 2023 presidential elections recorded strange peculiarities across the states, and the loss of ones polling unit (a fate that befell countless party leaders and followers alike) cannot be a valid ground to level anti-party allegations against any party member.

“The antecedents of Madam Onochie as a core party woman, a reputable founding member of intellectual resource who have taken so many bullets for the party and its government since 2013 is very well known, and cannot be wished away by the machinations of a few disgruntled elements within the party fold who are not only later day members, but have contributed nothing but chaos and unimaginable discord in the party.

“While the National leadership of the party already rightly condemned the action in totality, we join in condemning this irresponsible act in the strongest of terms and urge the perpetrators to desist from such irrational conduct and concentrate in the efforts to reclaim the stolen mandate of the party in Delta State, while also working to unify members and strengthen the party for the onerous tasks ahead.

“We have just won a decisive but highly contested presidential election and should be preoccupied with thoughts and plans for meeting the development aspirations of Nigerians. We should have no luxury of time for petty politics or infantile bickering.”

The statement, however, called on the Mrs Onochie not to be distracted in the face of “thi obvious provocation, but stay focused on her current assignment of ensuring the timely actualization of the very important mandate of NDDC to transform the Niger Delta region into a development hub for the good of its people and the nation at large.”