The spokesman to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ikechukwu Eze, has debunked the reported claim by Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha that the ex-president offered him huge sums of money and other inducements ahead of the 2015 presidential elections.
In a statement issued wednesday, Eze dismissed the claims as lies, stressing that Jonathan did not need Okorocha to garner votes in the South-east, which he described as the former presidentâ€™s political stronghold.
Eze who insisted Jonathan never had any conversations with Okorocha ahead of the 2015 elections, also affirmed that the former president was not in the habit of making frivolous promises.
He said: â€œWe offer to quickly dismiss these claims as lies, because we are clear in our minds that such conversation never happened.â€
The statement read: â€œOur attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Okorocha, and published in the New Telegraph Newspaper of Wednesday 27 September 2017, where he was quoted to have said that Jonathan offered him an influential ministry and huge sums of money to dump his party ahead of the 2015 elections, which he rejected. We offer to quickly dismiss these claims as lies, because we are clear in our minds that such conversation never happened.
â€œWe are wondering whether this truly came from the governor because we are sure that even Okorocha himself did not believe that anybody would accept these claims. In the first place it sounded irrational and absurd. Besides, it was obvious to all and sundry that, the South-east, being Jonathanâ€™s political stronghold, the ex-president did not need Okorocha to win in the zone.
â€œHowever, to set the records straight, we make bold to say that former Jonathan never made any contact with Okorocha, ahead of the 2015 elections. The claim of an offer of â€œan influential ministryâ€ is also quite surprising because the former president was not in the habit of making frivolous promises, especially pertaining to government positions and offices. All those who had either worked closely with him in any capacity, or served in Jonathanâ€™s administration can bear testimony to the fact that idle talk is not his style.
â€œSince we know that the only proof the purveyors of this bribery allegation could offer is to probably claim that the transaction happened in a dream, we can only offer the governor sincere advice, to avoid rumours and twaddle, and get down to the business of result-oriented governance. Okorocha would have served his state better, if he directed his enormous drive to creating growth and development opportunities for the good people of Imo State, rather than allowing himself to be drawn into dissipating his energy on platitudes and propaganda.â€