Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has warned that lack of vision on the part of political leaders from the South-East may deny the region the opportunity to produce the next President of the Senate.While addressing leaders of the APC and party supporters at the Imo International Convention Centre in Owerri, Okorocha lamented that despite the contributions of the Igbo to national development since Independence, they had continued to lag behind in Nigerian politics due to their leaders’ selfishness.
He blamed the present situation on members of the Peoples Democratic Party, whom he accused of stealing the mandate given to the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in the 2015 National Assembly election by the electorate.
The governor said, “It is very painful for the Igbo to lose the position of the Senate President after they have been denied leading positions in the country for a long time. We saw it coming and we told our political leaders why Ndigbo should embrace the APC, but they did not believe us.
“Now the story has changed. The PDP, which they have been following all these years with nothing to show for it, is now an opposition party.”
Noting that there was no election in the South-East geopolitical zone last week, the governor said Ndigbo still stood a chance of clinching the position of Senate President.
“There was no election in the entire South-East on the March 28. The PDP leaders, with the aid of the military and INEC officials, intimidated and harassed our people and thereafter wrote the results in their homes,” he said.
He assured APC supporters and natives of Imo State that the party would do everything necessary to recover the stolen mandate of its candidates in the state.
Addressing the gathering, former Governor Ogbonnaya Onu of Anambra State, who is also an APC stalwart, observed that with the emergence of the APC in 2013, everything about Nigerian politics had changed and would no longer be the same.
Onu believed that Nigeria had started moving forward and Ndigbo should not continue to lag behind in the country’s politics.
He added, “In the past, the people of the South-East put all their political eggs in one basket. They were taken for granted. The things that were of great importance to them were left undone. They gave their very best to the PDP, but got little or nothing to show for it. Ndigbo should embrace the APC and make it the number one party in the zone.
“We need Nigeria as much as she needs us. We must be in the mainstream of Nigerian politics. Our political home should be the APC. In the last election, members of the APC were not treated fairly in the South-East. They were harassed and intimidated by the PDP. In the end, those who were rejected by the voters were declared winners.”
Senator Chris Ngige, however, described the March 28 election as the end of “bad election in the country.”
He expressed satisfaction with the knowledge that the PDP’s alleged involvement in electoral irregularities in the South-East could not stop its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, from winning the election.