Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has urged the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to forward to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Uche Nwosu’s name, as the authentic governorship candidate of the party in the state in the forthcoming general election.
According to Governor Okorocha, who addressed journalists at the Government House, in Owerri, on Saturday, he noted that the only way to uphold the integrity and honesty for which he (Oshiomhole) is known for in resolving crisis bothering the party is to do the right thing, leaving behind sentiments and recognising Nwosu as the winner of the APC governorship primary election in the state.
Governor Okorocha also expressed shock that the party was contemplating undemocratic ways in determining the governorship candidate of the party in the state despite a candidate has been duly elected.
The governor insisted that Oshiomhole and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party owe it as an obligation to defend the integrity of the party, which, he noted, distinguishes it from other political parties.
He observed that Oshiomhole was elected as the National Chairman of the party as a result of his track record of honesty and integrity, which he adduced were and are still his highest selling points.
In the words of the governor, “We elected Oshiomhole because we felt that he is a man of integrity and we are only asking him to uphold that integrity for which we have priced him.
“He must that image which he has cut for himself as Oshiomhole prior to his being elected as the National Chairman, anything short of that will reduce his value completely in this country, he should do the right thing and be simple,” Governor Okorocha said.
He continued “I think people are trying to change the narratives, some people are trying to upturn the truth they want to cover the truth by leaving the main to discuss frivolities.
“The truth remains that a certain Ahmed Gulak with a sinister mission came here and disappeared with result sheet by 4:00am on the day of the proposed election.
“The NWC of our party disbanded that Committee, despite the fact that eight members of the Committee, including the Secretary, stayed back and conducted the election and declared Uche Nwosu winner.
“Despite the fact that Uche Nwosu won the election, the National Working Committee disbanded that Committee and called for fresh election.
READ ALSO: Enugu APC chair, Nwoye escapes assassination
“This fact is known to everybody and the second election which they came to conduct on October 6.
“The same Uche Nwosu won. Now how could the man who is supposed to be facing charges of criminal conspiracy turn around and say that the election he disappeared with result sheet is genuine.
“It makes a mockery of this country but one fact remains that President Muhammadu Buhari is known for justice and fairness.
“That is the image he has and let no one or the party destroy this image which has given us victory and that is why we are here today as APC members.
“So, it is not a question of who is a good or bad loser, the issue is that people are trying to change the narrative to cover the truth, it is diversionary as far as I am concerned.”
Governor Okorocha, still expressing in anger said, “How could you, for God’s sake, somebody won in the first election, the results are clear and signed by the members of the Committee.
“Same person won the second election signed by all the members, even when you cancelled the first election and then you have the Police and INEC reports confirming the election and you have a letter from the NWC disbanding that Gulak Committee and you also have a letter from the NWC confirming that Uche Nwosu is the candidate of the party and again you have forms given to him from INEC for his name to be submitted.
“I don’t understand what is happening but I think this issue of semantics and sentiments being poured cannot cover the truth.
“The truth is that APC holds it as a point of duty and honour to declare winners of election and anything short of that will not go down well with the people and the history of APC in Nigeria and I beg to disagree with those who try to change the issue from what it is.
“I mean what can you say to the whole world that Gulak didn’t disappear with result sheets or that election was not cancelled or that Uche Nwosu did not win I don’t just understand what is happening.
“So, people are trying to change the truth but that is not going to work. APC must remain APC and our party’s NWC holds it as a point of duty to defend the integrity for which APC is known, anything short of that will amount to self destruction of the party”.
On the alleged plot against the National Chairman, “I think talking about Oshiomohle’s removal is not an issue. It is not important. We elected Oshiomhole because we felt that he is a man of integrity and we are only asking him to uphold that integrity for which we have priced him.
“He must guide that image which he has cut for himself as Oshiomhole prior to his being elected as the National Chairman.
“Anything short of that will reduce his value completely in this country. He should do the right thing and be simple. I mean we are democrats and this is our party.
“This is APC and the right thing must be done so when people try to change the narrative and to say governors are bad losers, the governors want to impose people, excuse me, democracy is about the people.
“If the people have spoken, who are you to change what the people have said.
“Buhari is a President today because the people spoke and if Buhari can be a President because people spoke, then the party must respect that and allow the voice of the people to prevail in whatever election and avoid sentiments.
“The campaign they try to put forward is that Uche Nwosu can’t go because he is Okorocha’s son-in-law and I say to them, has Uche Nwosu gone contrary to any section of the Nigerian constitution? Nobody has been able to give an answer to that.
“Nobody has come forward to say that the young man is a criminal or that he is corrupt or does not have capacity.
“It is not enough to sit back in Abuja and be talking. They should come to the state to understand the feelings of the people down home.
“That’s the point am making so my advice to our party, is that our party should sit up and do the right thing and not allow the people get misled.
“And if you are talking about morals, what is the morality in somebody that joined the party in less than two weeks to be given the number one job by Abuja and not the people, how is he going to win.
“So, I want to advice those behind this to stop forthwith and it is a directive that they should stop forthwith so that this party can enjoy that name that it is known for as a party of justice, equity and fairness if not there is no difference between this party and any other party in Nigeria.
“Ninety percent of those who have joined APC in the last two months are doing so not because they love APC, they can never go to an election without federal might and per adventure President Buhari loses this election, the next day they will leave the party.
“So, these set of people are simply called ‘political opportunists’ who are not with the people, but always want to grab victory through the use of gun.
“But I think this has to stop, why should our party promote this and I warn they should stop this”.
On the likelihood of him leaving the party, Governor Okorocha noted that, “The option of leaving the party has not come to my mind.
“APC is my party in 2011 when this party was called Boko Haram and Islamisation party.
“Where were these people? Nobody gave us a chance that APC was going to win the 2015 election.
“So, what makes you think that we are going to leave the party for those that came through the back door and are being given a voice by the National Chairman of our party.
“All you hear is rumour. Everywhere that they are backed by the Presidency that Rochas should take one position and leave the other one as if we are sharing groundnut, but I tell them I have met President and he told me he never said to anybody to impose a wrong candidate or to remove the name of anybody and change it with another in whatever guise.
“I think they want to make Mr. President a liar. So, what they are doing is wrong and unacceptable so they should stop”.