The Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has declared that three governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party from the South-East were about joining the ruling All Progressives Congress.
This was even as the leaders of the APC in the zone called on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek a second term in office in 2019.
A statement issued by Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, at the end of the stakeholders’ meeting of the ruling party in the geopolitical zone, which took place in Owerri, the Imo State capital, stated that Okorocha and all the APC leaders in the zone had thrown their weight behind the President for eight years in office.
Okorocha said, “We are going to support President Muhammadu Buhari for the eight years he is going to lead the nation. This is the time for Ndigbo to come and work together. We are also going to use the Anambra election to show that the APC has arrived in the South-East. The Igbo played bad politics in 2015. Today, we have lost a lot. We are not anywhere because of our bad politics.”
Okorocha disclosed that he was in touch with the three serving governors in the South-East, promising that they would soon join him in the APC.
He added, “Being the only APC governor in the South-East does not give me joy and I therefore advise other political leaders in the geopolitical zone to take the advantage of the moment and come into the APC.”
The stakeholders’ meeting equally produced a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, as the new leader of the party in the zone.
Okorocha said the choice of Nnamani as the new leader of the party in the zone was to give Ndigbo a sense of direction and purpose in national politics.
In his speech shortly after his nomination as the leader of the party in the zone, Nnamani said the Igbo needed more of their leaders to be on the national leadership of the APC and the National Assembly where key decisions were taken.
The former Senate President said, “Some of us going into the APC are not doing so because of hunger, but in the interest of the Igbo people. We should play politics of ideas, and avoid abusive words. Ndigbo do not have the ingredients for opposition politics. We do not have the media or business or money to play opposition politics, but we won’t ask for handouts.
“How the Yoruba people voted in 2015 should be an eye-opener. They voted both sides, but the South-East put all their eggs in one basket. I am not of the view that everybody should be in the APC, but those that have seen the need should do so. If Governor Okorocha has realised that he needs more hands in the APC, he should be commended. We are worst enemies of ourselves. If we work together, we will go very far. This is the time to play national politics,” Nnamani added.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said the APC was ready to welcome and recognise the three governors who were expected to defect to the ruling party.
Onu said this in his country home in Uburu Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Sunday, when he received the leadership of the South-East Traditional Rulers Council who paid him a courtesy visit.
Onu said, ”The APC would welcome all those who finally decides to come into the APC; we will accord them recognition and receive them with open hands the moment they indicate their desire to join the party.”