All Progressives Congress (APC) is likely to lose the South East geopolitical zone again in the 2019 general election.
This was the position of Imo State APC Stakeholders forum during a protest visit to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at its National Secretariat, Abuja.
The forum accused Rochas Okorocha of Imo State who is the governor of the only APC-controlled state in the entire South East of high handedness, political enslavement and exclusion driving members away from the party.
They said Okorocha’s antics were having boomeranging effect on the entire South East zone as Imo is the centerpiece of APC in Igboland and particularly lamented the decision of the governor to install his son-in law, Uche Nwosu as his successor.
Articulating the grievances of the forum, Ben Uwajumogu, senator representing Imo North called on APC National Leadership to intervene urgently before Okorocha completely jeopardised the efforts of selling the party in the South East to avoid the repeat of what happened in 2015 in 2019.
“Today, all is not well in Imo State. If you don’t do something to rescue the situation it will be a miracle for APC to win Imo State in the forthcoming elections.
“It will not only be Imo State but the damage that has occurred in Imo State will affect the other states in the South East. As we tell you today if you conduct a pool on all the APC members in the South East less than 10percent will support the continuation of what Rochas has imposed on Imo State and in the South East and there is no way one can incarcerate and deprive every members of this party their hope ad and aspiration in 2019,” Uwajumogu informed.
He stated that stakeholders were prepared to work for APC and ready to ensure that in 2019 the party wins elections in the South East but with a man like Rochas as the arrow head, APC is heading to destruction.
According to him, Okorocha has turned everything politically and administratively upside down in the state as a result of bad governance which is at variant with APC manifestoes and has brazenly undermined the powers of party leadership at all levels.
“The governor appropriated the powers of NWC, the power of the zonal and state EXCO of APC and dished out certificates and recognised people in what he called mock election.
“You have to make a statement now; let Igbo people know that there is an NWC that is ready to come to justice and deliver us from the wicked hands of Rochas Okorocha who make Imo people keep crying about APC so that the people will know that that is not the life style of APC,” the senator submitted.
Okey Ikoro, chairman Imo APC Stakeholders Forum presented a vote of no confidence in Governor Okorocha at the recent meeting of about 100 stakeholders, including, Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, Osita Izunaso, APC National Organising Secretary, 16 out of the 21 APC local government chairmen and some serving and past members of the state executive.
Ikoro called on the party’s national leadership to urgently address the disputation to avoid jeopardising the party’s electoral chances in the state and indeed the South East region ahead of the 2019 general election.
Responding, APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun said the party leadership would look at the petition with a view to resolving the issues.
“I thank you for coming jointly. I promise on behalf of the NWC that we will do, one, all we can to maintain level playing ground; two, pursue avenues for a reconciliation of the various groups and tendencies in Imo State.
“And I want to also urge on your part that you should be ready for peace, you should be ready for compromise. At the end of the day, it is the vote that counts whether inside the party, or when finally a general election comes.
“You are the stakeholders; you are the bulk, the strength, the muscle of the party in Imo State. Well, it is time to prove it in the next few days and in the next few weeks.
“Imo must lead the charge in the entire South East. So, it is a painful thing to see that we are divided but I am happy that in your speech you have opened doors of unity. I want to assure you that we on our side will do everything possible to take up your complaints, your reservations so that an acceptable compromise can be reached that will make it possible for us to fight as one party.
“I am not unaware of the issues. I am certainly not unaware. I am a Nigerian. As party national chairman, all of these issues come to my table. There has to be unity but there cannot be unity without justice. So there must be justice”, the APC National chairman said.