© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Okorocha campaigns for another party at APC Owerri rally
CHAIRMAN of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors’ Forum and the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, is campaigning for the governorship candidate of a parallel political party other than his.
At a recent women rally held in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in Owerri, Okorocha asked the people to vote for his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, who dumped the APC after he failed to win the governorship ticket and joined the Action Alliance (AA).
Hope Uzodinma, the APC governorship candidate for Imo State was also present at the rally, as was the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, and other APC women leaders.
According to Okorocha, Imo people should vote Nwosu because “he is APC in spirit (and) Action Alliance in dressing”.
“He (Nwosu) is still one of you. He is only going to use that (AA) platform to correct an injustice that was done to Imo people,” Okorocha said as the crowd cheered while some jeered.
“The APC leadership owes Imo people an apology,” he continued. “They treated Imo very badly. But for reason of Buhari and Buhari alone, and my love for him, there would have been a different story in this land.
“There is no point bothering yourself, Buhari will win this election, and believe me, he will do so. Not because the APC has supported us, or because they have treated us good, but because we love him.
“And let me inform those of you from Abuja, don’t even waste your time, don’t you be deceived. Ugwumba Uche Nwosu is AA and he will win the governorship election.”
Watch a video clip of Okorocha’s speech as was shared on Twitter by one Bishop Faisal:
APC is a mess lol. Their Imo State guber candidate, Hope Uzodinma, is sat listening to his APC Governor say that another party will win in the state.
I'm disgusted. pic.twitter.com/WMSULk0Mr3
— Faisal 'Jajayomi (@JajaPhD) January 12, 2019
Nwosu is married to Okorocha’s first daughter and was the governor’s Chief of Staff during his eight years in office. He only resigned recently after Okorocha anointed him to succeed him.
This caused serious friction in the Imo APC, leading to a split; one headed by Okorocha and the other by Hope Uzodinma, a serving senator who had defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The latter camp had the support of Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the APC, hence the emergence of Uzodinma as the party’s recognised governorship candidate.
This led Nwosu to pull out of the APC alongside many members of the Imo State House of Assembly, and joined the AA, where he still enjoys his father-in-law’s support.
Okorocha, who is currently the APC candidate for the Orlu Senatorial District election, has been accused of filling several top government positions in Imo State with members of his family and close business associates.
His former deputy, Eze Madumere, was his close business partner for years. He resigned after it became clear that Okorocha would not support his governorship ambition.
Okorocha’s younger sister, Ogechi Ololo, was Chief of Staff (Domestic Affairs) before she was appointed the Commissioner for happiness and purpose fulfilment last year.
The current Minister of State for Education, Anthony Onwuka, is an in-law to Okorocha who nominated him for the post. His son is married to Okorocha’s daughter.
The Vanguard had reported that “Okorocha’s wife and deputy Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the state, Nkechi also supervises five other ministries and departments”. They include “the Ministries of Works, Health, Women Affairs and the Office of the Secretary to the Imo State Government as well as the state Amnesty Committee”.