Indications emerged yesterday that governors under the platform of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) have concluded plans to remove Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, as chairman of their forum.
LEADERSHIP gathered reliably that majority of the governors have agreed among themselves to serve Okorocha quit notice, following what they described as highhandedness and overbearing attitude.
A competent source close to the forum told our correspondent that the governors “resolved last night to remove him (Okorocha) as chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum because he has derailed as far as providing leadership and direction for the forum is concerned.”
According to our source who did not want his name in print, the governors are not happy with Okorocha who they accused of using his influence as their chairman to mislead the ruling party, adding that his activities are also responsible for the internal wrangling within the party.
He said Okorocha is also accused of undermining the integrity of the forum by engaging in unsolicited negotiations with other caucuses of the party without due consultation.
Governor Okorocha, the source continued, also incurred the wrath of his colleagues for allegedly convening meetings without consulting them on issues to deliberate on.
“The governors are also worried about Okorocha’s undemocratic tendencies, which according to them, threaten the nation’s democracy”, our source hinted, noting that members of the forum vowed last night “to put a stop to all of these”.
Also, another source close to the party’s leadership hinted that Governor Rochas Okorocha’s troubles with his colleagues may not be unconnected to his role in the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the APC held in February, in which a one year extension for the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC) was approved.
The one-year extension was expected to commence on June 30, 2018 when the current tenure ended before President Muhammdu Buhari unexpectedly upturned the NEC decision penultimate Tuesday.
LEADERSHIP learnt that while NEC members had agreed to extend the tenure of all elected and appointed officers of the party in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Governor Okoroacha and some others moved against it, a development which drew the ire of the majority that eventually carried the day.
It was further learnt that the decision for the tenure extension was finally taken after a head count in which 104 NEC members supported the tenure extension for the Oyegun-led NWC and others as against four members who opposed the move.
The source said those who were opposed to the extension included Governors Okorocha and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State.
If the APC governors eventually remove Okorocha as their chairman, it would mark the end of his over four-year regime.
He was elected as chairman of the forum after series of meetings by then opposition governors under the aegis of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) in December 13, 2013.