The crisis rocking the South-east zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Monday took another dimension as one of the leaders of the party in the region, Osita Okechukwu, urged the Imo state governor Rochas Okorocha, to leave the party if he so desire.
But one of the conveners of APC Restoration Coalition in Imo state Dr. Toe Ekechi, said the VON Director General was only expressing his own opinion.
Okechukwu, who is the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) declared that without governor Okorocha, the party will win in 2019 general elections, including parliamentary seats and governorship seats.
Addressing newsmen before the inauguration of state chairmen at the APC national secretariat Abuja on Monday, Okechukwu, said the actions and inactions of governor Okorocha has caused APC more set back in the last four years.
According to him, recent development that made the governor to lose at party congresses was grand plan to reposition APC to such that can win elections in the South-east.
“At least there are more than 60 political parties now, Okorocha is free to join any of his choice. Though, we are not forcing him to leave, what we are saying is we have taken the leadership out of his hands because he was playing God. He was personalizing power, so the majority of the leadership and membership of the APC in the south-east said ‘thank you’, so far so good enough is enough.
“So what I am just saying is that he was at liberty leave APC but let nobody anywhere think that the APC will lose because we have retrieved the party from him, no APC is the winner as a political party. Mr President is going to get more votes, we are going to win more parliamentary seats, more governoship seats without him.
“In my place when the bird is dancing on the main road it means there is a drummer in the bush and I am pointing at the drummer of all that is happening in the South-east. But luckily majority, over 90% of the leadership and membership of the APC in the south East has said enough is enough to our former leader Owelle Rochas okorocha.”
When asked to explained what he meant by Okorocha behind vices rocking the party in South-east, Okechukwu said: “From day one, he kept us where we are in the APC government of the federal republic of Nigeria because in that meeting where he insisted he must run for Presidency, he was virtually aware that there is a convention called zoning, he is not a small boy, he is a brilliant person.
“A brilliant person with high business acumen. When our competitors of the south west, we made it known that the leaders of the south west Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had met with Muhammadu Buhari and our group the then defunct CPC had said we are going to vote for you.
“We thank the people of Imo state Izunanso and others, the people we recruited, we retrieved from him. They did so well. They have killed a lion.”
While reacting to Okechukwu’s statement, one of the leaders of the coalition who opposed governor Okorocha in Imo said: “He who wears the shoe knows where its pinching most. Osita Okechukwu is from Enugu state and I am from Imo state. Rochas Okorocha is the governor of Imo state. I think there is joy in heaven when one lost sheep is found.
“We will be most joyous to see our governor Rochas Owelle Okorocha come back to the fold and decide to work with us as a family to ensure the success of APC in 2019 and that is not the taking away the fact that he has the right to make political discussion that suits him but in terms of what we want we wish that we work with together.
“I will not want it to degenerate to that extent, not necessarily in the interest of the party have it more importantly in his own interest and I think he is a smart governor and won’t want to contemplate leaving APC.”
He, however, expressed confidence that even if the governor decides to leave the party, “the kind of discipline we have in this coalition, we are more than able, prepared to sustain APC in Imo state.”