Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has disclosed that two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors from the south east, would defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the 2019 general election. Okorocha also revealed that some chieftains of the party who are only defecting now, have nursed the ambition for two years.
The governor, who spoke at a media interaction with journalists at the government house in Owerri, yesterday, advocated that people not see the defections as spiting the APC but should view it as the only chance the defectors have to pursue their political interests.
“APC is not in crisis, because those leaving the party are those who should leave. APC is still a sound and united party. We hold the President in high esteem because of our conviction in his leadership. Muhammadu Buhari is still the best at this point. Look at the candidates, he remains the best for 2019,” the governor said.
Okorocha then asked that the Igbos work towards rewriting their political history so that they can change the narratives with the 2019 election. He expressed happiness in the fact that the Igbos, for the first time, have returned to who they are, and are willing to playing politics rightly to ensure that President Buhari receives the right votes from the South-east.
“It will be good news for us and our political future when two South-east governors jump ships soon, and move to APC before the elections. We won’t accept the idea of a PDP governor working for the Buhari Presidency. It will be unfair for the party. It is either you are with us or not.”
“In the last election, the PDP in the South-east brought tribal and religious sentiments and sold the dummy to our people who in turn, bought it without thinking twice. We had all our eggs in one basket. And the bad politics the Igbos played is reflected today in our position in the country.”
On the issue of Prince Eze Madumere’s impeachment as deputy governor, Governor Okorocha said “the swearing-in of the deputy-governor designate was stopped by a court order. The former deputy governor was duly impeached according to laid down rules of the Constitution. He went to court praying that the new deputy governor would not be sworn-in. but the court granted him the order on the basis that due process was not followed. Being a law abiding government, we obeyed. So, as it stands now, the deputy- governor has been impeached.”
The governor also declared Wednesday and Thursday next week, as public holidays to enable indigenes in the state the chance to collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC). He also insisted that markets and shops remain closed on the two days till 4pm for the exercise. He however, lamented the fact that Imo has about 480,000 uncollected PVCs.
He informed too, that all things being equal, President Buhari will soon be in the state on a three-day working visit to commission projects. He said that the problem with his administration was not commissioning projects as they came up.
The governor challenged Imo politicians like Senator Hope Uzodinma, Ifeanyi Araraume, Osita Izunaso and others to float a party if they have what it takes or do what he did in 2011 or 2015. He explained that they are too unpopular and would always want to be in every ruling party. He added that the coalition issue in the state has come to an end.
“People should advice Hope Uzodinma, Araraume and their cohorts to do what Rochas did in 2011. I went to PDP they refused me a ticket to run on. I went to President Jonathan and he told me that I could not defeat an incumbent. I dared him and moved to APGA without Ojukwu because shortly I went to APGA, Ojukwu took ill and couldn’t come for my campaign.”
“I moved to a party without any structure, no councillor or honourable member and I defeated an incumbent with all the honourable members, senators, federal might and so on. I challenge Hope, Araraume and Izunaso to be man-enough to pick up a ticket with a party and win an election rather than causing confusion in a united party.”
According to him, Hope, Araraume, Ihedioha cannot win elections without the federal government, so that they will have access to Police and Army to write results since they are not popular politicians.