The Director General (DG) of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will not suffer any setback if Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State decides to leave after losing the control of the party structure.
Okechuwu, who is a chieftain of the APC in the South-East, said this in Abuja on Monday while fielding questions from journalists at the party’s national secretariat.
The VON DG, who narrated the alleged contribution of Okorocha to the poor performance of the APC in the South-East during the 2015 polls, said that the party would win the 2019 general elections, including parliamentary seats and governorship seats with his absence in the party.
He said, “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.
“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.
“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, Osita Izunanso and others. They did so well. They have killed a lion.”
However, one of the conveners of APC Restoration Coalition in Imo State Dr. Toe Ekechi, said the VON Director General was expressing his personal opinion.
Ekechi, who also fielded questions from journalists at the APC national secretariat, said the group was ready to embrace Okorocha if he decided to return and work for the unity of the party.
He said the development that made the governor to lose at party congresses was meant to reposition the APC so that it could win elections in the South-east.
“He who wears the shoe knows where it’s 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 comes 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 taking away the fact that he has the right to make political decision 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. I think he is a smart governor and won’t want to contemplate leaving APC,” he added.