Rochas Okorocha, outgoing governor of Imo State, has said if President Muhammadu Buhari can be the Nigerian leader today then his Son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, should be allowed to be the next governor of Imo State.
Mr Okorocha stated this on Thursday after meeting with Mr Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor whose tenure winds down next year has been leading a front-line battle to ensure Mr Nwosu succeeds him in office.
The move has thrown the state chapter of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) into chaos with the national leadership of the party.
It has also led to several governorship primaries of the APC being conducted in the state, pitching Mr Okorocha against Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the party.
The governor said two gubernatorial primaries conducted in the state was won by Nwosu and other candidates of the party but the national leadership have shortchanged the winners with their preferred candidates.
“The truth is that APC holds it as a point of duty and honour to declare winners of election and anything short of that will not go down well with the people and the history of APC in Nigeria and I beg to disagree with those who try to change the issue from what it is,” Okorocha said.
“So people are trying to change the truth but that is not going to work.
“APC must remain APC and our party’s NWC holds it as a point of duty to defend the integrity for which APC is known.
“Anything short of that will amount to self-destruction of the party.
“So when people try to change the narrative and to say Governors are bad losers, the governors want to impose people, excuse me, democracy is about the people.
“If the people have spoken, who are you to change what the people have said?
“Buhari is a President today because the people spoke and if Buhari can be a President because people spoke, then the party must respect that and allow the voice of the people to prevail in whatever election and avoid sentiments.
“The campaign they try to put forward is that Uche Nwosu can’t go because he is Okorocha’s son-in-law and I say to them, has Uche Nwosu gone contrary to any section of the Nigerian constitution?
“Nobody has been able to give an answer to that.
“Nobody has come forward to say that the young man is a criminal or that he is corrupt or does not have capacity.
“It is not just enough to sit back in Abuja and be talking.
“They should come to the state to understand the feelings of the people down home.
“That’s the point am making so my advice to our party is that our party should sit up and do the right thing and not allow the people get misled,” he said.
Advising Oshiomhole to maintain the self-acclaimed integrity for which he was voted for, Okorocha said failure to do so will means there is no difference between the APC and other opposition parties in the country.
“So I want to advice those behind this to stop forthwith and it is a directive that they should stop forthwith so that this party can enjoy that name that it is known for as a party of justice, equity and fairness.
“If not, there is no difference between this party and any other party in Nigeria.
“Ninety per cent of those who have joined APC in the last two months are doing so not because they love APC.
Dismissing reports making round that he was warning up to leave the party as rumor, the governor exonerated Buhari of claims that he was backing what was going on in APC.
“The option of leaving the party has not come to my mind.
“APC is my party.
“In 2011 when this party was called Boko Haram and Islamisation party, where were these people?
“Nobody gave us a chance that APC was going to win the 2015 election.
“So what makes you think that we are going to leave the party for those that came through the back door and are being given a voice by the National Chairman of our party?
“All you hear is rumour everywhere that they are backed by the Presidency, that Rochas should take one position and leave the other one as if we are sharing groundnut, but I tell them I have met the President and he told me he never said to anybody to impose a wrong candidate or to remove the name of anybody and change it with another in whatever guise.”