The All Progressives Congress(APC) presidential rally held in Imo State, could be referred to as earth shaking as the entire State was shut down as a result of the mammoth crowd that graced the occasion. All notable stake holders of the party congregated in Imo shopping for votes for the president and all candidates of the party across the State.
The earth shaking rally was attended by many notable political heavy weights including the national chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the minister of Labour and productivity Dr. Chris Ngige, his transport counterpart and Director General of the party’s presidential council- Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu as well as the party’s governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
The event which was scheduled to commence at 10 am did not start till 5pm when the president with his entourage stormed the sports arena in an intimidating convoy just as a detachment of soldiers from the 34 Artillery Brigade, heavily armed mobile police men and men of the DSS manned strategic positions for fear of the unknown.
Hardly had the President Muhammadu Buhari and his entourage entered the pavilion than thousands of party supporters, faithful and loyalists erupted in jubilation, hailing and cheering governor Rochas Okorocha as the peoples messiah who has liberated the masses from their shackles of poverty and destitution through his result oriented rescue mission programmes and free education programmes.
As Nigerians continue to wait anxiously for the forthcoming presidential election, President Muhammed Buhari rece ntly shocked the All Progressive Congress when he told the electorate in Imo State to vote according to their conscience. He said that gone were the days when ethnic and religious play out in the voting pattern of Nigerians stating that people should vote across party lines according to the dictates of their conscience and various candidates of their choice irrespective of their political or religious inclinations.
The president stated this at a one day presidential rally of the APC held in Owerri, the Imo State capital. He however advised members of the party to remain focused and not to allow intra-party squabble to distract them adding that what should be uppermost in the minds of Nigerians is the continued peace, unity and cooperate existence of the country.
The president said that he has over the years improved the nations economy, tackled security challenges in addiction to promoting food security. He assured that effort would be made to procure more fertilizer for onward distribution to farmers at avoidable prices.
This is more so as their presence was heavy in all nooks and crannies of the 637 autonomous counties in the date Emboldened by the show of support and solidarity, an elated governor Okorocha speaking on the occasion noted that the President had always demonstrated his love for the Igbos and would continue to show his love for the Igbos.
His words “my President you are a man of destiny. Your Victory come 2019 has been signed and sealed. You love the Igbos. And you have always demonstrated that. You took Chuba Okadigbo and Edum Umezuoke at different times to be your running mates. No good result came from all that. It will be wrong for anybody to say that you don’t love Ndi-Igbo. Whoever says that, is lying from the pit of hell”.
He Continued “Mr. President you were forced to look elsewhere. So it is not right that Buhari does not love Ndigbo. He shall Continue to show us love. You have shown your Capacity and Capability in fighting Corruption. There is nothing you can do to please the elite of Nigeria. Continue to work for the Ordinary Nigerians while protecting the interest of the few elites”.
The governor added “Let me remained you sir, I am Owelle Rochas Okorocha, I am the founder of APC in Imo State and I am the only governor in the whole of Southeast from APC. As it stands today, those that challenged us, those that came with the Army and Police and SS are now sitting boldly as the owners of the party. Let me say to you hat, it is Iberiberism Chapter I vs I.”
In his remarks, President Muhammadu Buhari asked the APC members in Imo State not to allow intra-party conflict to influence their senses, but advised the party faithful to choose whoever they wish to vote for across party affiliations. He stated, “I don’t think that there is anything new that can be said which has not been said”.
His words “I assure you that we will continue to secure the Country and fight corruption. I want to plead with you not to allow intra-party conflict to influence your senses, your vote is your vote, chose whoever you like across party, ethnic and religious affiliations”.
Continuing, the President added, “we made three promises to Nigerians which are Security, economy and fight against Corruption, depending on the part of the country you are, you can see that we have made some remarkable achievements in the areas promised”.
His words, “In the Northeast, we have achieved a lot in terms of Security that our farmers now go to farm and this has helped in upgrading our food security as a nation. Today, we have reduced the importation of rice by 90%. We have saved hundreds of millions of dollar from this”.
Also speaking, the National Chairman of the Party, Adams Oshiomhole said the achievements of Mr. President are well documented and that Imo people should vote for the President who has done very well.
Meanwhile, traditional rulers in the state have unanimously adopted President Buhari for a second term.
The monarchs who pronounced their adoption of the president when he paid them a courtesy visit as part of the programmes for his one day rally in the state said that they made the adoption because of the wonderful achievements of the president.
The traditional rulers who were more than 600 in attendance and led by their Chairman, HRM Eze Agunwa Ohiri also reserved the Chieftaincy title of Omenkeahuruanya (I) of Imo State for the President, adding that the best that can happen to the nation is to vote for President Buhari for another term of four years. The Chieftaincy title is expected to bring the President back to the State for conferment.
The President was received at the Ultra-modern Complex of Eze Imo Palace when he paid courtesy call on the traditional rulers, during the Presidential rally in Owerri with the traditional rulers remaking that the fight against corruption must be encouraged to succeed.
The President in his speech at the visit said “Your Majesty, I stand here to thank you very much and these senior citizens of all the communities in Imo State. I thank you very much for waiting for us for so long. Like His Excellency Governor Okorocha has mentioned, last time I was here, I was looking for votes and I am here again to look for votes. I’d like to invite you to think of where we met the Country in 2015, where we are now and what we’ve been able to do throughout the period we’ve been in power with the little resources available to us.”
He stated, “I’m sure within your communities that there has been one little reform or the other. So I want you to discuss with your people on the relevance of their votes for our party which will make a lot of difference. So my advice to you is to educate them.
Everybody has one vote and the President has one vote also. As far as voting is concerned, we are all equal. Show them how to vote and respect them and I assure you, they will in turn respect you.”
The President continued: “I assure you that the-3-point agenda of my administration which is security, economy and fighting corruption are still relevant. But we need substantial improvement in security. Boko Haram used to exist in 17 LGAs of Yobe, Borno and some other North-Eastern states but today, they are not holding any local government.”
His words: “On the economy, we now thank God that the government has been able to make inputs in the agricultural sector that has yielded positive results and we’ve almost 100% self reliant in food production. On fighting corruption, that has been the most difficult, but we are encouraging the law enforcement agents to work very hard and the report we are getting is something.”
Receiving the President at the Eze Imo Palace, the Chairman of the State Council of traditional Rulers, HRM Eze Agunwa Ohiri intoned “Mr. President, on behalf of the Royal fathers of Imo State, I welcome you to this chamber. Your Excellency, your coming on stream at this time was apt because we needed a change, a new direction.
You will realise that the greatest problem of our nation and of course Africa is corruption and we saw you as the person that will tackle that problem. Once corruption in our nation is tackled, every other thing will fall in place. We really commend you in this struggle Mr. President.”
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