Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha has reacted to comments by the Spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in which he described Okorocha and two other governors as bad losers.
Okorocha, in his reaction, said Issa-Onilu has sent a bad signal to the world, adding that castigating governors who have made the party thick right from the outset was not the proper thing to do.
The Imo State governor stated this in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo.
‘We have read in the media certain statements credited to the Acting National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mallam Lanre Issa Onilu, in which he described some governors of the Party’s extraction as bad losers with regard to the Party’s Primaries.
‘He named Governor Okorocha as one of such bad losers, and never exercised caution in talking about the situations in the affected states.
‘As the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mallam Onilu would have first and foremost appreciated the fact that both the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the governors are all partners in progress with regard to the fate of the Party. They are all major stakeholders who can at times disagree to agree. So, in handling issues concerning the National Chairman and the Governors, the Acting National Publicity Secretary would have struck a balance to avoid giving outsiders the impression that there is an on-going war between the Chairman and the Governors.
‘Again, castigating governors who have made the party thick right from the outset was not the proper thing to do. Someone else could do that but obviously not the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party. Even one member is important to the party talk more sitting governors. By his approach, Mallam Onilu had sent out a very bad signal to the world. On the issues he raised about Imo State especially concerning the governorship ticket of the Party, we only advice that he should endeavour to have the existing facts to avoid feeding the public with the wrong information, that may also cause problem in the State.
‘The National Chairman himself had cancelled all that emanated from the Ahmed Gulak led 12-member Committee and then set up another 7-member Committee led by Brigadier-General Ibrahim Agbagbiaka to Conduct the Party’s Primaries in Imo. The Committee Conducted a very transparent governorship primary that saw Uche Nwosu emerging as the winner.
‘The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party led by Comrade Oshiomhole equally set up an Appeal Panel headed by the Former Governor of Edo State Professor Oserheimen Osunbor. Some of the aggrieved Guber Aspirants in the State came up with their petitions. At the end of the day, the Prof. Osunbor Appeal Panel affirmed that Uche Nwosu is the authentic governorship Candidate of the party, having convincingly won the primary.
‘Chief Hope Uzodinma went to Court over a primary he knew that never took place. The Court refused to grant him any order as requested but rather invited APC, INEC, etal, to come and explain why Uzodinma should not be granted the reliefs he had asked for.
‘However, Uche Nwosu had earlier been granted orders by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory presided over by Hon. Justice V.A. Ashi restraining the Party, INEC and others, from accepting any other name as the governorship candidate of APC for Imo State except that of Uche Nwosu and also restrained them from substituting the name of Uche Nwosu. In other words, it is only Uche Nwosu who has valid Court Orders in favour of his Candidature, coupled with the report of the Prof. Osunbor Appeal Panel. But Chief Hope Uzodinma does not have any of these leverages.
‘So, in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the APC, Uche Nwosu is the Governorship Candidate of APC for Imo State and for the 2019 election. It does not matter the sentiments that could be held by any other interested party. Truth must be told and held.
‘In the case of the National Assembly, the only worry by APC members in the State is the automatic tickets given to a Senator and three House of Representatives aspirants who claimed to have joined the party in Abuja few months ago. And these people given these automatic tickets know that they can never win election in Imo with the tickets of APC without the support of Governor Okorocha.
‘We are also aware of all the claims and Counter-claims in Abuja by some Abuja based Politicians from the State. We are yet to know how anybody can win election in Imo on the platform of APC without Okorocha’s support. We won’t go further here. The inscription on one vehicle in Owerri is “time will tell”.
‘So, the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party should take up the issues we have raised here and prove us wrong. Then we take off from there. The National Chairman and the governors should be encouraged to work together in the overall interest of the Party, because by 2019 the issue will be election and APC victory and not who said what and who didn’t say what.’