As the presidential elections draws near, several politicians will be hedging their bets and considering their options depending on public opinion and acceptability of the various candidates running for several positions.
It is not uncommon for many underground dealings to be going on at this time with many looking to secure their political and personal interest after the poll. Not many Nigerian politicians will willingly go down with a sinking ship therefore some form of anti-party activities with subtlety often takes place.
In recent weeks, the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has been accused of secretly working for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, against his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their candidate, President Mohammadu Buhari.
The rumour was born out of the fact that the governor recently had a well-publicised conflict with the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole over the choice of the party’s flag bearer in the states governorship election.
The governor wants his son-in-law to replace him as governor and he set up all machinery to make that happen, however, the party wanted to go another way which did not go down well with Rochas. This pitched him squarely in conflict with the Oshiomhole, after the initial power struggle, the APC chairman got his way.
However, determined to see that he gets his way and install his preferred candidate, the Imo State governor shipped his son-in-law to another party, the Action Alliance (AA) while he remained with the APC, governor Okorocha has since declared support for President Buhari but insists that he will work against the interest of the party in the governorship race.
This has pitched him against the many interest in the APC and they have moved to take action against him by first suspending the state’s party caucus and instituting a new one. The Governor’s dilemma was even made worst when the Action Alliance publicly declared support for Atiku Abubakar’s presidential ambition.
This made many to conclude that Governor Rochas Okorocha was indeed working against the interest of the party and they therefore moved to suspend him. However, speaking recently, the governor has dismissed the suspension threat stating it is the work of fraudsters, he said:
“There is only one APC in the state with Hon. Daniel Nwafor as the Chairman and Owelle Rochas Okorocha as the leader. Any other group claiming to be a faction of Imo APC must obviously be a gang of 419ers or league of fraudsters who are experts in the issuance of dud cheques and collecting billions for jobs not done. The only contentious issue in Imo APC is that the National Chairman of the Party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, imposed a known PDP member and a known character in the state on the party as its governorship candidate, and by so doing, pushing the party and its members to a very tight corner especially when it comes to the issue of marketing a candidate.
“We are worried that the elections are around the corner and some people who are expected to know better, are behaving as if they have nothing at stake. Governor Okorocha and APC members in the State will deliver President Muhammadu Buhari and other marketable candidates of the party. And the party in the state shall outlive these yahoo folks.”
It would appear that the Governor Rochas Okorocha is gradually getting himself out of the political forest as the Action Alliance recently denied ever endorsing Atiku Abubakar for president, the party’s national chairman stated that there was no such consensus within the party to adopt the PDP candidate. The party went further to declared its full support for President Buhari stressing that the statement made by a faction in the party should be disregarded.
“Let me use this opportunity to tell our party members and Nigerians in general that Action Alliance is in full support of President Mohammadu Buhari and we have resolved to work for him. Our resolve to support Buhari is borne out of our conviction that he has what it takes to move Nigeria to the next level.
“He is a patriot and a committed leader who has passion for the growth and development of Nigeria. Through his various programmes and policies in the last four years, particularly his anti-corruption fight, huge sums of money had been recovered; there is ?improvement in power supply across the county; the school feeding programme and infrastructural revolution among several others, has put him high and above other presidential candidates, ” national chairman of Action Alliance (AA), Dr. Tunde Anifowose-Kelani, said.
“A vote for Buhari is a vote for continuity, progress, development, economic emancipation, poverty alleviation and better life for Nigerians,” he added.
This should lay to rest any form of conspiracy regarding the loyalty of governor Okorocha and his supposed support for Atiku Abubakar, however, one would suspect that the last have not been heard regarding this matter and more could be revealed in the coming days.
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