Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), have said the party has nothing to fear over the recent defections.
They said their position is hinged on the fact that the party was still in the majority both in the states and in both houses of the National Assembly.
Chairman of APC Governors Forum and Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, made the disclosure after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday night.
He said it was unfortunate that their colleagues from Kwara, Benue and Sokoto left but said it was not surprising.
Okorocha said, “As you are aware, three of our colleagues left the party and we got one in through Ekiti. This is politics, it is unfortunate that they had to go but that has not in any way reduced our party or has touched us in any way. We are still strong, much more stronger and united.
“We have 22 states, 53 Senators, we are still the majority and we are hoping to get more into our party so we are here to let President Buhari know that we are with him and nobody is leaving the party anymore and those who have left, we were aware they will leave many years before now because what they were asking for, the party could not afford to give them.
“But all said and done, we are determined and happy that Nigerians know the truth and our President is in high spirits,” he said.
According to him, President Buhari means well and he is willing to fight corruption adding, “you all know if you are fighting corruption, it will fight back and this is what’s happening.
“We are here to let him know that we are ready as his foot soldiers.”
Okorocha also called on Nigerians to again vote for President Buhari next year, to enable him complete the good works he has started for the country.
Also speaking in the same vein, National chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole said the party will not be deterred by the defections, which he said has filtered the membership of the party. He said the party is solidly on ground and will work hard to win at all levels in 2019.
“We have 22 states after all the defections and that represents a very comfortable overwhelming majority of the states but much more important is that we have gone through the filter and what we have are people who are strong believers in the mission of our party. I’m not really surprised at what is happening. I have always said that it is not going to be sustainable to have people from all the extremes, we have tried to manage it but you can see that at the end of the day, water has to find its level,” he said.
In attendance at the meeting were 17 governors, namely: Governors Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Abubakar Bello of Niger, Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Mohammed Jibrilla of Adamawa, Abubakar Bugudu Atiku of Kebbi Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo, Aminu Masari of Katsina, Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa, and Godwin Obaseki of Edo.
Deputy Governor of Osun State, Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori represented the governor of Osun State.
Others were the Secretary to the Governement of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.