By Lawrence Olaoye
Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, has raised the fears that the ruling All Progressives Congress may not survive beyond 2023 when President Mohammadu Buhari may completed his second term.
This is coming as the governor, who spoke with State House Correspondents after a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa yesterday, urged the leadership of the ruling party to consider the South/east in the distribution of the leadership positions in the Ninth Assembly.
The governor said the leadership style of the APC’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, which seems to exclude the South-east would soon reduce the party to a regional one by the next general elections in 2023.
Okorocha, who contested a senatorial seat on the platform of the APC, is facing an uphill task in securing a Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a development he partly blames on Oshiomhole.
He also openly campaigned for a governorship candidate of the rival Action Alliance, and his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, who was denied an APC ticket, which further compounded his face-off with Oshiomhole.
According to him, Oshiomhole’s penchant for imposition of his will on the party resulted to APC not having any elected political office holder in Imo State after the last recent general elections.
Okorocha explained that the situation could get worse if the Southeast region is further sidelined in election and selection of principal officers of the incoming 9th National Assembly this June.
According to him: “I don’t have problem with the Working Committee of that party, I only have problem with the chairman of that, who partly took it upon himself to do the wrong thing against me for just no cause and to fight a battle that he can never win.
“He is the one that is behind all these impositions. Can you imagine, as I speak to you the APC candidate in Imo State did not win a seat, APC does not have a councilor in Imo State now, it does not even have a House Member. But the AA candidate has eight seats in the Imo State House of Assembly, two Federal House and they have one senator about to come to the senate. This is why internal democracy must be respected.”
“This nation will not be properly balanced if South East is not carried along properly in the affairs of the National Assembly. Nobody seems to be talking about the South East. It looks like the South East doesn’t have a place anymore.
“Right now in the whole South East, we don’t have an APC governor. So if there is any discussion in Nigeria now within the APC governors and President Muhammadu Buhari, there will be nobody from the South East.
This is what the APC chairman has done in the South East.”
The governor insisted that the PDP candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, who was declared winner of the Imo governorship contest, did not meet the constitutional requirements to be so returned as elected as he did not win 25 percent votes in two thirds of all the local governments councils.
He consequently predicted a rerun of the elections, adding that the university professor who declared the results ought to be derobed for perpetrating such travesty of the electoral law.
Regarding his certificate of return, the governor said he had problem with the APC, not with President Buhari, with whom he maintains a cordial relationship, declaring that “Buhari is a great man, he is a man of wisdom, a visionary leader. That is why you see some of us going along with him.
On why he came to see the President, Okorocha disclosed that he came to officially invite him to come to his state to commission his numerous projects before the end of his tenure in May 29th.
The projects include the Cargo Airport Terminal, warehouses and cargo sheds; new police headquarters and prison headquarters in Imo State; Justice Oputa Court – the new Imo State High Court Complex, and others.