I ‘ve been deceived, confused, used, dumped by APC – Okorocha laments
* Says APC ‘ll disappear with Buhari if…
* Calls for change of party’s leadership
By Steve Oko
The immediate- past governor of Imo State and senator representing Imo West district, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has lamented the humiliating treatment meted out to him by his party , the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite his sacrifices and financial contributions to the party.
Okorocha who made the lamentation at a press conference in Abuja said he had been used and abandoned to his fate by APC.
He said APC had rewarded him with insults and isolation for his numerous sacrifices for the party especially in South East geopolitical zone where he earned so much enmity in his bid to reposition the party.
The former Governor said that he had to go contrary to his kinsmen and political associates just to ensure that the party was placed on a sound footing in Imo and in the South East, but was surprised that he reward was suspension.
Okorocha who claimed that he was instrumental to the emergence of Adams Oshomhole as the National Chairman of APC called for change in the leadership of the party to save the party from pending implosion.
The former Governor predicted that APC would fissle out with President Muhammadu Buhari if the party leadership is not immediately overhauled.
His lamentations :“If you recall I was called all sorts of names like ‘Okoro Hausa’ and that I was building mosques and all that were associated with it.
“But I kept deaf ears because I felt that I was on the right course with my people. “I was instrumental to bringing Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC and he cannot deny that fact.
“I took the troubles of APC in the South East and the APC I see now can easily tell Gov. Emeka Ihedioha to come to its fold if only he can fight Rochas.
“That is really an unfortunate situation and it has weakened my spirit and my faith to the party because I thought we are family working to advance the course of this nation. “But the way it is going, it does not look like there will be a solution. And there seems to be silence everywhere.
”I don’t even know my stand about my suspension because for some time, I don’t know what is happening in APC. “But for the silence all over, it just looks as if it is normal.
“So, I am just waiting and thinking of what next to do but I am still a member of APC and I love the party and will support it”.
According to Okorocha, “Buhari’s reputation is the binding factor of APC” in addition to the fact that the North was arguably the major decider in Nigeria politics.
“For the moment, Buhari seems to be the strongest pillar upon which this party is built. My worry is that the party may disappear with the exit of President Buhari.
“If nothing is done to correct the injustices in our party at the national level, then, I fear that this party may disappear with Buhari’s exit.
“Our party is already busy thinking about presidency in 2023 and not supporting the issue of governance which is what we have right now.
“The score of our party or its assessment depends on what we have done with governance and what we have done with politics.
“These are some of the problems we have and thinking that being APC is a platform to catch political power.
“People have begun to zone where the president will come from and where he will not come from, leaving the issue of governance; so, these have been some of the challenges we have as a party but I hope they will be addressed.
“But that cannot be complete unless we do some surgical movement in the leadership of the party,” Okorocha warned.
Okorocha further declared that Nigerians would judge their leaders on the basis of what they had done as a government before they could decide what to do with them in 2023.
He further said that he was not in a hurry to make decisions on the next line of action following his suspension from the party.
According to Vanguard newspapers, Okorocha revealed that his inlaw, Mr Uche Nwosu, would return to APC from AA if he eventually reclaimed his governorship mandate.
On the allegations of misappropriation of funds during his tenure as the governor of Imo, Okorocha challenged Gov. Ihedioha to try to surpass his record rather than the negative campaign against his administration.
He also said: “I challenge any government to do 50 per cent of what I achieved in Imo. I left N48.5 billion for the new government to take off.
“It is either the government of Ihedioha is confused or it is not relevant, if not, no normal thinking person will begin to witch-hunt me after all that I achieved in Imo.”
Okorocha blamed his travails on some unnamed top leaders of the APC whom he accused of conniving with opposition elements in the state to undermine him politically.
The former Governor commended the judiciary for upholding his election describing the tribunal’s ruling as a “proof of his innocence” after INEC accused him of obtaining victory through duress.