Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State yesterday held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.Okorocha, fielding questions from journalists after the meeting, blamed the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, for the loss of key states to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections in the country.
Okorocha, who is facing a difficult task in securing a Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after his victory at the senatorial election, also attributed his predicament to Oshiomhole’s actions.
The governor specifically said that Oshiomhole’s leadership style and other actions were capable of reducing the APC to a regional party with serious setback in 2023.
He further warned that the situation could get worse if the South-East region of the country is further sidelined in the election and selection of principal officers of the Ninth National Assembly in June.
“I don’t have any problem with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. I only have problem with the chairman who 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 said.
Okorocha said he was in the Villa to invite the President to come and commission several federal but state-funded projects in Imo State before the end of May this year.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole while reacting in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, said: “This shows that Okorocha is still suffering from his own Iberiberism after he lost woefully in his effort to force his son in-law on Imo people.
“He should be ashamed today that he connived with the PDP to rig the Imo gubernatorial election in favour of the PDP just because his son-in-law lost the governorship ticket of the APC. Okorocha’s greed has destroyed his political career and he may not resurrect from it.
“APC will continue to soar higher beyond 2023, it is only Okorocha’s political career that will be destroyed before 2023. Okorocha should hide his head in shame.”
In another development, the Imo State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has warned Okorocha to discontinue forthwith appointment of members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
In a statement yesterday, the state secretary of the party, Nze Ray Emeana, said the appointment was a plot to impose heavy burden on the incoming governor, Emeka Ihedioha.
It described the appointments as “hurried, belated and strange.”
The party also alleged that less than two months to the expiration of his government, the governor had appointed his cronies as members of the commission.
But when contacted, Secretary to the State Government, Mark Uchendu, debunked the PDP claims and said that the appointment was constitutional.
However, two groups based in Imo State have vented their positions on the emergence of Ihedioha as the governor-elect of the state.
While the Imo Patriotic Vanguard with the Chancellor as Batos Nwadike vowed to unearth who actually won the disputed poll, another, Committee of Imo Patriots, has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) standard bearer in the March 9, 2019 poll, Senator Hope Uzodinma, to withdraw his petition challenging Ihedioha’s victory at the tribunal.