Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) could lose its bearings completely by 2023 if Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the party, is allowed to continue to run its affairs as things stand.
Okorocha claimed that Oshiomhole was responsible for the party’s failure to capture or retain some states during the elections that took place in February and March.
The Governor, who is yet to be presented with a certificate of return to the Senate by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) spoke with newsmen in Abuja after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Okorocha also called attention to the zoning of the principal offices of the 9th National Assembly, noting that failure to give key offices to the South-East would make it look as if the party had ignored the region.
He added that ignoring the South-East might be the beginning of real trouble for the APC ahead of 2023 elections.
Okorocha said: “I have been watching what is happening in the National Assembly; it is a very interesting drama. But all I ask of them is that they should consider the South-East in their calculations.
“This nation will not be properly balanced if the South-East is not carried along properly in the affairs of the National Assembly. Nobody seems to be talking about the South-East; it looks like the South-East doesn’t have a place anymore. That is wrong, politically speaking and that will not be good for the APC because there is going to be a bigger APC after President Muhammadu Buhari must have left the seat.
“My fear now is that the APC may have a serious setback in 2023 because the Oshiomhole-led executive is actually turning the APC into a regional minority party, which shouldn’t be. Right now in the whole of the South-East, we don’t have an APC governor. So, if there is any discussion in Nigeria now among the APC governors and President Muhammadu Buhari, there will be nobody from the South-East. This is what the APC has done in the South-East.”
Speaking on the governorship election that produced Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Okorocha faulted the declaration of Ihedioha as the winner and called the victory a form of “gangsterism” aided by INEC.
He added: “The governorship candidate of the PDP never won that election because the election flouted Section 179 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which says that you must have the highest votes and you must have 25 per cent in two-thirds of the Local Government Areas.
“Now the gentleman who was declared the winner by the same INEC had 135,000 votes from 24 local governments. Of course, you know, he didn’t win that election.
“But, even at that, we had the highest mark. The Returning Officer of INEC was never patient to even calculate to know there were 200,000 cancelled votes where there was supposed to be a rerun. That also flouted the basic constitutional provision, which says you must have 25 per cent in two two-thirds.”