Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday gave a damming verdict on the post-primary election crisis rocking the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC): the situation is irreconcilable.
Okorocha told the Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led APC Reconciliation Committee that everything had been done to resolve the issues but to no avail.
The governor noted that the development had heightened the fears that the party may not come out of the post-primary crisis before the general elections early next year.
In his opening remarks at the meeting at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), Owerri, the state capital, Okorocha said he honoured the meeting because of his relationship with the Ganduje and former Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio.
He said: “There shouldn’t have been a crisis in the party because of the affinity of the members. We are like one big family. When we came in 2011, it was a miracle. The who-is-who in Imo politics were against us, but we won that election. We moved from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to APC because of the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, which is synonymous with integrity. I am a foundation member of the APC. I suggested the name APC.
“When we started, we were called names; we were made to look like aliens in our state. This is the only state you have elected office holders that are of the APC extraction. Those Adams Oshiomhole gave the tickets were not APC members. The worst political injustice in the history of Nigeria happened in Imo.”
Okorocha added: “The only reason these people are here is because of President Buhari, not because they have benefitted. The issue we have is with Adams Oshiomhole. He stole the mandate of the people and gave it away for reasons best known to him. The people here are concerned because the name of the person on APC ticket is not the candidate of their choice.
“Let me make bold to say that this is not about the people here but across the breadth of the state. The name you hear is Uche Nwosu. But for me, against all the speculations that I am leaving APC is not true. All the state and local government executives are intact. We have done everything to resolve the issue but it appears to have gone beyond repair. The situation at hand has gone beyond what we can manage.”
Ganduje said the first task of the committee had been achieved as it got the assurances of the governor that he would remain in the party and work for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
He said: “He has done it before and he will do it again.”
Also, APC governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and his faction of the party, snubbed the peace parley.
Uche Nwosu, the former Chief of Staff to the Governor and the presumed winner of the October 6 governorship primary, was also absent.
Hundreds of APC faithful loyal to the governor’s camp attended the meeting.
Tempers rose at the beginning of the meeting when a clip of the Ahmed Gulak Committee meeting with party’s stakeholders when he cancelled the governorship primary before absconding the following morning to Abuja where he announced Uzodinma as the winner of the primary was shown.