…The counter and cross counter claims surrounding Obotebe councillorship
By Binebai Princewill
Contrary to insinuations emanating from certain quarters that Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Delta South Senatorial District, Chief (Dr) Julius Takeme (JP) has imposed his younger brother as councillor against the wish of the Obotebe people in Burutu Local Government Area, the senatorial chairman has reacted. The Liberator Newspapers can report.
Dr. Julius Takeme noted that he could have kept quiet on the matter but as a critical stakeholder in the party, his silence may be seen to been endorsing lies as truth before the general public, hence his swift response.
The Delta South PDP Senatorial District Chairman stated that he did not impose his brother Hon. Spencer Takeme against the wish of the people in Obotebe ward 17, stressing that his emergence as flag bearer of the party ahead of the forthcoming Local Government election across the state was a consensus among the approved party leaders in the ward from the state.
He continued that it was wrong for persons to make allegations that are not true against his person.
When asked by this reporter on what really transpired, Chief Takeme explained that the bid to select or elect new councillors in DSIEC Wards 17 and 18 started on Sunday 13th of December 2020 when PDP leaders from the both wards met to discuss on the modalities to use in the selection or election of new councillors from the wards.
Takeme noted that the party leaders in the ward agreed that the template from the state should be used in the selection or election process of the councillors, a situation that was said to have been agreed upon by the leaders at the level of on Sunday meeting.
He said it was based on such agreement that another meeting was called on Monday the 14th of December 2020 to finally select or elect new councillors from the Obotebe/Burutu federal ward that has been splitted by DSIEC into wards 17 and 18.
The template from the party at the state level according to Dr. Julius Takeme include himself as the party Chairman in Delta South, Rt. Hon. Franc Enekorogha, Mr. Austin Okotete, Mr. Ignatius Ziakegha and Rt. Hon. Amafini Akemeotubo.
He continued that apart from the five names from the state mentioned above, five working committee of the ward exco also forms part of the template which include Hon. (Chief ) Clarke Akpoerebo, Chairman of the ward 10, Mr Godwin Ebobra, Vice Chairman of the ward, Francis Ekemakorogha, Secretary of the ward, Felicia Bubor, woman leader as well as Evene Isaiah, youth leader of the ward.
Speaking further, Takeme said others from the ward that are in the Local Government Party Exco were also part of the template which include Francis Amawei and Helen Kenerekedi.
Chief Julius Takeme explained that a total of twelve (12) persons formed the template which was saddled with the onerous responsibility to select or elect councillors in the wards in the party.
The party chieftain maintained that it was at this point the house agreed that since they are working with twelve persons to select or elect councillors in the wards, the leaders from Burutu out of the twelve where asked to go their way to select or elect their councillor while those from the Obotebe axis also did same.
He opined that the leaders from the Burutu axis include Rt. Hon. Franc Enekorogha, Ignatius Ziakegha, Hon. Chief Clarke Akpoerebo, Helen Kenerekedi and Mr. Evene Isaiah, while the Obotebe axis include Chief (Dr) Julius Takeme (JP) Rt. Hon. Amafini Akemeotubo, Mr. Austin Okotete, Mr. Francis Amawei, Felicia Bubor, Francis Ekemakorogha and Mr. Godwin Ebobra.
On the Burutu said, Takeme said the five party leaders met and after a nomination from Helen Kenerekedi, nominating Comr. Pere Tubotu, the leaders all adopted him hence he becomes the chosen one.
He noted that on the Obotebe axis, in their meeting, Francis Amawei nominated Spencer Takeme to continue with the Councillorship position, stressing that he was adopted by six leaders out of seven, with the exception of Hon. Amafini Akemeotubo who opposed the move.
Takeme continued that since out of seven, six people have chosen a candidate, then he has no choice than to stampt authority on the will of the majority, a situation he described as democratic and fair enough.
The Delta South PDP Chairman asserted that all these while, the aspirants were all outside waiting for the outcome, adding that after the selection of Spencer, Hon. Amafini angrily left with a remark that he will not accept the outcome.
Takeme said while Amafini was opposing the selection of Spencer, he asked if he had any one in mind to nominate or they should opt out for other options, he continued that Amafini objected to all these with a position that Spencer should be disqualified to discourage second tenure.
In our bid to get a balanced report on the matter, we contacted Rt. Hon. Amafini Akemeotubo, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Deputy Governor of Delta State on Protocol in order to hear his own side of the storyy, the SSA hinted our reporter that his position will continue to remain that Hon. Spencer Takeme should not be returned for what he described as obvious reasons.
Hon. Amafini said when he saw the setting on Monday at the party Chairman’s residence, he quickly figured out that something was fishy hence he made his point that Spencer should not be returned following alleged failed representation in his first outing as a member representing Obotebe in the Burutu Legislative House, a point he said he made clear before walking out of the meeting.
He denied ever being part of the process of voting or nomination, adding that he was not aware that there was voting or anything of sort, alleging that maybe it was done after he might have left.
He noted that he is not dragging leadership with the party Chairman whom he described as his elder brother with whom he has so much respect for, he said he has no special interest in any of the aspirants, adding that once Spencer is removed from contesting, the party Chairman Takeme can unilaterally select anyone among the aspirants of his choice and that he had no issue with whoever he chooses apart from Spencer.
He noted that Obotebe needs to put her political house together ahead of 2023, adding that returning Spencer will only portend ceaseless rebellion within ward 17.
Amafini asserted that the protest and petition filed by the aggrieved aspirants is in order as they were not given the chance to speak for themselves on the matter.
Meanwhile, Comr. Timi Bougha, Comr. Andawei Okou, Comr. Christopher Bebenaghan and Comr. Samisco Okpe had expressed their displeasure in the process via a petition, calling on the party leadership to quickly address the matter before it degenerate into something else.