The post primaries elections crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is far from over as the Imo State Governor and Chairman of APC Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, said that the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is acting on aberration and must learn to respect the rule of law.
Okorocha also claimed that the APC has lost five million voters through the action of Oshiomhole.
The governor further stated that contrary to claims that Oshiomhole was acting based on instructions from the Presidency, he insisted that “there is no such directive for Oshiomhole to do anything illegal or create any sort of injustice.”
Speaking after a closed doors meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday in Abuja, Okorocha told State House correspondents that the party’s chairman “is on his own.”
The political quagmire between Okorocha and Oshiomhole went sour when the latter refused to recognise the governor’s son in-law, Uche Nwosu, as the governorship candidate of the APC in Imo State, insisting that he will only recognise Senator Hope Uzodimma as the party’s guber candidate.
Speaking to State House correspondents, Okorocha said, “I am here to clear the air that the Presidency is behind what Oshiomhole is doing in some of the states and which has affected our party negatively; and from my understanding from Mr. President, there is no such directive for Oshiomhole to do anything illegal or create any sort of injustice.
“So, Oshiomhole is on his own in this whole thing. There is no presidency’s support for him to refuse candidates who won elections and give wrong candidates who didn’t win elections.
“This is the matter and I will simply say that he is not with the consent of the presidency, he is on his own.
“I also requested that Oshiomhole must learn to respect the rule of law and obey court orders where they apply.
This issue of treating court orders as tissue papers must stop, it doesn’t reflect the image of our party, he must act quickly to fix the integrity of this party because his coming in ought to have brought joy into the party and not sadness.”
Asked if the APC will disintegrate, the governor said: “Well, APC will not disintegrate for as long as the person, Muhammadu Buhari is still the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and remains the leader of this party. So we cannot give that credit to the chairman.
“He cannot disintegrate this party, the party is still intact, just that many people are hurt.
Since his inception and after this primaries, we are losing almost five million voters because of anger, protest everywhere and he needs to be called to order, he has to respect the rule of law, respect court orders and do the right thing – obey court orders where applicable and not turn himself into INEC”.
On the alleged submission of Senator Hope Uzodimma’s name as the governorship candidate of the APC in Imo State, Okorocha said: “He cannot be standing on Hope Uzodinma because that man did not win election, you cannot compare somebody who won 265,000 votes with somebody who won 7,000 votes.
“He (Hope Uzodinma) never won election and you cannot impose a candidate who is unacceptable to the people, that is how serious the matter is now. “So he (Oshiomhole) should do the right thing and I have advised him severally to do the right thing before he creates more disaffections in our party.
“He can’t! I don’t think the National Working Committee will do that because in the first place, the National Working Committee sent a 13-man delegation who conducted election and 12 of them signed proven that Uche Nwosu won the election with 265,000 votes as against Hope Uzodinma who got less than 7,000 votes; so they can’t do that.
“And there is a letter to that effect from the National Working Committee saying Uche Nwosu won. There is a Certificate of Return given to Uche Nwosu, there is a Police report saying Uche Nwosu, there is INEC report saying Uche Nwosu.
“So nobody can do that and if they do that, that must be the worst imposition in the history of Nigeria”.
Reacting to Tinubu’s support for Oshiomhole actions, Okorocha said: “No, may be he (Tinubu) is being misinformed. If he is properly informed, he will not say what Oshiomole is doing is the right thing.”
On the rumour making the rounds that the governor and his son in-law were planning to join SDP, Okorocha denied the allegation, saying, “SDP? How can I build a house and leave it for someone else? I am in APC, I founded the APC, I gave the name APC and so this is our party and we must continue with the party and build the party for victory.”
But the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole had insisted on Wednesday that he would not be pressured into acting against his conscience over the crisis in the ruling party.
Oshiomhole said that only three APC governors were unhappy with his running of the party while the majority are confident that he is doing his best, adding that he would rather obey his conscience than pressured to do what is wrong.
He said: “Rochas Okorocha was one of those who had issues with my predecessor and I did my best to try and resolve those issues in a way that has been given him a new platform. And I am happy that God used us to do that not by cheating in his favour but by doing what is right.
“It is just that once you stick to the goal, sometimes, you either get caught on the right side or the wrong side.
“I will say it is the tree that bears fruits that attracts stones; the tree that doesn’t bear fruits doesn’t attract any stones.”