‘APC’s defection strategy to penetrate South East, South South zones, a deceit’
Obiano, Okorocha trade words
Perhaps, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have realised that the only means through which it can penetrate the South-South and South-East zones before the 2019 elections, is to continue ‘woo or coerce’ elected public officers from the areas, into the ruling party.
This may have been hinged on recent defections of politicians, both serving and non-serving in the zones, who attained their political influences on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that lost control of the central government to the APC, in the 2015 general elections.
In recent time, several PDP lawmakers from the South East and South South have defected to the APC, leaving political pundits to begin to insinuate if there is any kind of underground plans by the north to divorce its current partnership with the South West ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The development has however triggered some kind of faceoff among the South East governors, which has ultimately led to hot exchange of words between Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who is serving on the platform of the APC and his colleague from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Willie Obiano of Anambra State.
It would be recalled that Okorocha, who was the architect of the faceoff, following his recent statement that three governors in the South East were set to defect to the APC, won his first term ticket on the APGA platform before he defected to APC.
Okorocha had made the statement at the APC stakeholders’ meeting held at the Imo International Conference Centre (IICC), Owerri last Saturday.
While Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and his colleague in Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu said they were not part of such plans, Obiano lambasted Okorocha wondering what has Okorocha achieved for his people under the APC.
Some observers also viewed the recent defections of some PDP members to APC as a deceit because it would be difficult, if not impossible, for any indigene in the two zones to vote for the APC.
According to Obiano, “The question should be; has Rochas Okorocha provided an inspiring leadership for the people of Imo State under APC? So, why would any governor in Nigeria heed Okorocha’s call? Okorocha is an example of what a leader should not be.”
Reacting, Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Sam Onwuemeodo said Obiano is a ‘clueless’ governor.
The Imo State governor said his comment does not call for unwarranted insult or any foul language.
He said two other governors have reacted in descent manner without using foul languages “but Obiano’s response justified the general impression about him that he is an aggressive person.
“I do not expect that my statement should have sparked off provocation, rather debates, which is the beauty of democracy. Governors with ideas and the right exposure gave their polite reactions. Leadership is about ideas and service.”
Okorocha added that if his achievements in five years should be place side-by-side with that that of Obiano, who had ruled Anambra for four years, I am still better.
To buttress his claim, Okorocha challenged the media to embark on project tours of Imo and Anambra and make their findings known to the public, saying: “Obiano no doubt, has taken Anambra several kilometers backward, while we have raised the bar of leadership or governance in Imo.”
Okorocha also claimed that he made APGA tick before leaving for APC while Obiano turned it into a toothless party.