Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, is being watched very closely as there are rumours that he may defect from the All Progressives Congress (APC), even though he has denied them. On Thursday, Okorocha met with President Buhari the Presidential villa and attempted to clear the air over the issue.
Backstory: Gov. Okorocha’s insistence on producing his son in-law, Uche Nwosu as his successor in office did not sit well with the Adams Oshiomole led National Working Committee of the party which insisted on submitting the name of Senator Hope Uzodinma as the party’s gubernatorial flagbearer. Both men are at logger heads, and Okorocha is one of the aggrieved governors calling for Oshiomole’s head.
Okorocha’s position: Okorocha dismissed any notion that he is going to defect from the APC even if he does not have his way. But this is what politicians say all the time and you cannot take that to the bank.
- Oshiomhole’s insistence on declaring his rival is in flagrant violation of existing court orders. “I also requested that Oshiomhole must learn to respect the rule of law and obey court orders where they apply; this issue of court orders as tissue papers must stop; it does not reflect the image of our party.” Okorocha’a argument of a court order may not stand as there is another court order that affirms Senator Uzodinma as the party’s candidate.
- His candidate won the primary elections. Okorocha insists that his candidate, Mr Nwosu was affirmed winner of the primaries by 12 out of the 13 NWC delegation members that supervised the primaries. “He cannot stand on Hope Uzodinma because the gentleman did not win election; you cannot compare somebody who won 265,000 votes to somebody who won 7,000 votes. He did not; he never won the election and Oshiomhole cannot impose candidates unacceptable to people on the people. He cannot do that and there is a letter to that effect from NWC saying Uche Nwosu won; there is a certificate of return given to Uche Nwosu; there is a police report saying Uche Nwosu; there is INEC report saying Uche Nwosu.” It should be pointed out however that the Ahmed Gulak Election committee which conducted the first primary in Imo ratified Uzodinma as the party’s flagbearer.
- He is optimistic his candidate would win. Okorocha said that Oshiomhole’s insistence on submitting Uzodinma’s name would be at grave cost to the party but he dismissed that possibility. According to him, Oshiomole lacks the backing of the Presidency on this mission. “Oshiomhole is on his own in this whole thing; there is no presidency support for him to refuse those who won elections and give wrong candidates who did not win election. So, this is the matter and I will simply say it is not on the consent of the presidency; he is on his own. He should do the right thing before he creates more disaffection for our party; I do not think the National Working Committee (NWC) will submit the name of Hope Uzodinma. Nobody can do that; and if they do that, that must be worst imposition in history,” he said.
What we didn’t know: Per Okorocha, he came up with the name of the party – All Progressives Congress (APC). “How can I build a house and leave it for someone else? I am in APC; I founded APC; I gave the name APC and so this is our party and we continue with the party and build the party for victory.”