The Imo State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9, 2019 election, Senator Hope Uzodinma has described Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha as a wolf in a sheep’s clothing who in his failed attempt to destroy APC in the state and South East has been running from pillar to post to redeem his image.
He said that nemesis has already caught up with the governor as he can no longer walk freely on the streets of Owerri, the Imo State capital and mocked him over the withholding of his certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for procuring victory in his senatorial election under duress.
A statement by the publicity secretary of the APC in Imo State, Chief Enyinna Onuegbu yesterday, in reaction to claims by the governor and his son in-law, Uche Nwosu that the denial of the APC top hierarchy to give the APC governorship ticket in the state to the son in-law caused the defeat of APC in the election, noted that events preceding and during the governorship election clearly showed that Okorocha was against the interest of APC.
“The clearest evidence of this sabotage was on live television when the result of Ideato local government area (Okorocha’s home LGA) was declared as more than 70,000 in favour of AA which created a stalemate and was later reduced to 40,000 in a most funny manner. The question to ask is: what was the basis for reducing the result at a LGA Collation Centre?
“Okorocha had brazenly continued to work against the APC and this manifested on the governorship election day in the state when having realised that I was cruising to victory, the governor quickly moblised thugs dressed in military and police uniforms to snatch ballot boxes to manipulate scores in favour of the PDP candidate when it became apparent that his anointed son-in-law will not make it. It was at this point that they falsified the scores for PDP and AA.
“Prior to that, the governor used the same thugs dressed in military and police uniforms to forcibly chase away APC polling agents at the various polling units and fielded those of the AA.”
According to him, Okorocha was simply reaping the result of his anti-party activities and that “instead of accepting his fate, he is busy looking for whom to latch on as a drowning man”.
On the claim that he is not popular, Uzodinma said the only reason why APC is back on track in Imo is because of his emergence as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.
He said: “Okorocha has run for many elections, including the governorship of Imo State, before 2011, and even the presidency, and lost all. But, in 2011, in particular, Imo people voted more against former Governor Ikedi Ohakim than for Okorocha, so, he merely benefitted from the anger of the people against Ohakim.
“Even at that, the election went into a bye-election, where Ohakim was finally manipulated out of the race and Okorocha became governor. Also, in 2015, Okorocha, as incumbent governor, could not win outright on first ballot.
“The election was concluded on a second ballot, where some aggrieved PDP members helped, again, to manipulate him into the governorship.” Uzodima further said he defeated Okorocha’s political party in Imo West Senatorial District in 2011 and 2015, even as governorship candidate and incumbent governor, respectively.