●…You’re free to leave APC – Osita Okechukwu, VON DG tells Okorocha
●…Okechukwu entitled to his opinion – Coalition
There seems no end in sight for the crises rocking All Progressives Congress (APC) in South-east, as one of the leaders in the zone and Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu challenged the Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha to leave the party if he wants to.
Okechukwu, who stated this on Monday while addressing newsmen before inauguration ceremony of states executives at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, stressed that the party will win 2019 general elections, including parliamentary seats and governorship seats convincingly with his absence.
According to him, the actions and inactions of governor Okorocha have caused APC more set back in the last four years, adding that recent development that made the governor to lose at party congresses was grand plan to reposition APC to such party that can win elections in the South-east.
“Atleast there are more than 60 political parties now, Okorocha is free to join any of his choice. Though, we are not forcing him to leave. What we are saying is, we have taken the leadership out of his hands because he was playing God.
“He was personalizing power, so the majority of the leadership and membership of the APC in the south-east said ‘thank you’, so far so good enough is enough.
“So, what I am just saying is that he was at liberty leave APC but let nobody anywhere think that the APC will lose because we have retrieved the party from him.
“No APC is the winner as a political party. Mr president is going to get more votes, we are going to win more parliamentary seats, more governorship seats without him.
“In my place, when the bird is dancing on the main road, it means there is a drummer in the bush and I am pointing at the drummer of all that is happening in the South-east.
“But luckily, majority, over 90% of the leadership and membership of the APC in the south East have said enough is enough to our former leader Owelle Rochas okorocha,” he said.
When asked to explain what he meant by Okorocha behind crises rocking the party in South-east, Okechukwu said, “From day one, he kept us where we are in the APC government of the federal republic of Nigeria because in that meeting where he insisted he must run for Presidency.
“He was actually aware that there is a convention called zoning, he is not a small boy, he is a brilliant person.
“A brilliant person with high business acumen. When our competitors of the Southwest, we made it known that the leader of the South west, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had met with Muhammadu Buhari and our group, the then defunct CPC had said we are going to vote for you.
“We thank the people of Imo state, Izunaso and others, the people we recruited, we retrieved from him. They did so well. They have killed a lion,” he said.
But reacting to Okechukwu’s statement, Imo group under the aegis of Restoration Coalition led by T.O.E. Ekechi berated Osita for saying Okorocha is free to leave the party, adding that he (Osita), who is from Enugu state shouldn’t commented the way he did.
Ekechi said, “He who wears the shoe knows where it pinches most. Osita Okechukwu is from Enugu state and I am from Imo state. Rochas Okorocha is the governor of Imo state. I think there is joy in heaven when one lost sheep is found.
“We will be most joyous to see our governor Rochas Owelle Okorocha come back to the fold and decide to work with us as a family to ensure the success of APC in 2019 and that is not the taking away the fact that he has the right to make political discussion that suits him but in terms of what we want we wish that we work with together.
“I will not want it to degenerate to that extent, not necessarily in the interest of the party have it more importantly in his own interest and I think he is a smart governor and won’t want to contemplate leaving APC.”
He, however, expressed confidence that even if the governor decides to leave the party, “the kind of discipline we have in this coalition, we are more than able, prepared to sustain APC in Imo state.”