David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Oye, has said his party rejected Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha’s move to rejoin the party because his moves were not sincere.
Oye, who spoke to select journalists Thursday in his country home, Amawbia, Awka South Local Government area, affirmed that he was a Christian and very familiar with the story of the prodigal son, who returned to his father after squandering his wealth, but stated that Okorocha’s case was worse, as he was still unrepentant.
Okorocha, who won his governorship election on the platform of APGA in 2011, had dumped the party, leaving with some of its members to the then newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC).
Recently, news of Okorocha’s overture towards APGA surfaced, as he was said to have approached party leaders in the hope of actualising his dream of crowning his son-in-law as governor of the state.
It was also rumoured that he offered the leaders of the party the sum of N3 billion to pave his way back.
But Oye speaking with journalists denied that any money was collected from Okorocha to bring him back to the party.
He said: “An Igbo proverb says a man who refused to join a ship cannot say he was chased away from the ship. Rochas chased himself away from the APGA ship, and I can tell you that he can never be a member of the party again.
“He won his governorship seat on the platform of APGA, but he took away our members and our mandate and joined APC. He started well in Imo, but immediately he left APGA, he lost vision.
“He is worse than the prodigal son, and that is why we refused to take him back. He was not sincere with his return. He is an unrepentant sinner and APGA cannot take such a man. He is only coming to APGA because his APC ship had left him.”
He said fielding Okorocha in 2011 was a mistake by APGA because of the hasty need to change the Ikedi Ohakim government, which caused the party not to run a thorough background check on him.
“He does not fit into APGA. He is not a team player, he acts like Lord of the manor. He is not charismatic, he is not credible either. That is why you see even his fellow governors rejoicing when he was sidetracked by his party men recently,” he said.
The APGA national chairman vowed to ensure that Imo, which his party won in 2011 was retaken again in 2019, insisting that this time, the party had set in place mechanisms to ensure that a credible personality emerges as its candidate.
“As you can see, we are already working. We will hold a very credible primary election in Imo to ensure that the best candidate emerges. We had 20 aspirants there last month, but right now we have 14 aspirants. Six of them have dropped and we are confident that the best would become our candidate,” he said.
But the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha, Mr Sam Onwuemedo, denied that the governor made moves to join APGA.
He said Okorocha being a foundation member of a mega party like APC could not by any imagination start negotiating with a mushroom party that had no structure in Imo State for anything.
He said: “Why can’t these APGA people do their politics without calling Okorocha? You see Okorocha had become a brand in Nigeria politics that anybody who wants to get credibility must mention his name either in the positive or negative.”