Paul Obi in Abuja
The Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha Sunday took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC), National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, accusing the duo and other top hierarchy of the party of conspiracy and engaging in fraudulent activities in the just concluded ward and local government congresses.
Okorocha, who pointedly accused the APC national chairman of conniving with his political enemies in Imo State to derail him, promised to go the whole hog in exposing the corruption in the APC under Odigie-Oyegun.
Okorocha hinted that his decision taken among the APC Governors Forum, opposing the elongation of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC), which Odigie-Oyegun is the chairman, might have irked the former governor of Edo State, leading to his attempt to frustrate and truncate his political future using the ongoing congresses of the party.
He also lambasted the trio of Izunaso, Senator Hope Uzodima and Senator Ben Uwajumogu for their nefarious activities to dethrone him as the leader of the party in Imo State.
Speaking on the efforts by the APC national chairman and his political enemies to manipulate the congresses, Okorocha said: “I’m here to intimate you of the happenings in my state. Only yesterday, I learnt of the party office gutted by fire, I think this is as a result of agitation or what has been happening in the state as a result of the purported congress which was meant to hold in Imo Saturday, last week.
“I have informed the public that there was no congress whatsoever in Imo State. Rather, the material for the congress was missing and it was traced to the house of the APC National Organising Secretary.
“We have informed the police and the security agencies that the materials were missing in the house of the National Organising Secretary and that has prompted a lot agitation.”
The governor added that he “personally went to the national chairman, Chief John Oyegun’s office and I met him there. And I did request from him the position and terms of this our congress whether it has been cancelled or not”.
“He was not categorical with his statement as to whether it was cancelled or not but said that he was waiting for the appeal members. And fortunately while there, the secretary of the appeal panel came to the national secretariat and she was interviewed where she said there was no congress in Imo State, adding that there was even no material not to talk about congress held.
“And that those who submitted the result sheet should tell the security agencies how they conducted the congress and got the result sheet only for us to hear today that no result is in the party’s office,” he said.
Okorocha accused the APC national chairman of lying, adding that: “This means the party lied that they have gotten the result. Everything there looks funny, it looks like some kind of mischievous connivance of people trying to make up things, cook up stories and tell people that this is how I lie.
“I see the chairman, John Oyegun as a man of integrity and he must be very careful not to allow this Imo something to remove his integrity in this country because as he’s bowing out and aging, not to allow this to dent his political image because history would not write good about him if he would come out publicly to tell the world that there was congress when there was no congress and that he has received result sheet when they have not seen result sheet. That is not good for our party.”
The governor further accused the APC NWC of conducting the congresses for themselves rather than ensuring the promotion of the party.
He maintained that as a result of the vested interest of the NWC in the congresses, the whole process have been messed up.