From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Gov. Rochas Okorocha has revealed that all but only two current Governors in Nigeria are already in the ruling All Progressive Congress ( APC) even though some of them are yet to declare publicly.
Okorocha who made the revelation while speaking at the APC mega rally Tuesday at Umuahia Township Stadium, boasted that APC would win landslide even in opposition strongholds in 2019 as so many of the Governors had secretly started working for APC waiting for the opportune time to make formal declaration.
He enjoined Abia APC members to stop casting aspersions on Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu as he might as well be on his way to APC.
Okorocha said God had provided a second chance for Ndigbo to correct their political mistake of 2015 by ensuring President Muhammadu Buhari is returned to power in 2019 as according to him, that is the only way the Presidency could come to South East in 2023.
He advised Ndigbo against clannish and regional politics , urging them to emulate the South West which had long keyed into the national politics and were better for it.
Speaking at the event , APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, called on the South East to embrace APC for integration into the mainstream politics.
He said President Buhari ” is working ” tirelessly to return Nigeria on the path of greatness in spite of the daunting challenges of governance.
Oyegun said significant achievement had been recorded in the power sector where he claimed Nigeria currently produces 7000 mega watts.
” The bad days are coming to an end; the good days are beginning”, he declared.
In his remarks, former Abia Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, criticised the current administration in the state , saying it is unable to pay workers salary and pensioners.
He also carpeted the PDP led administration for alleged incompetence and lack of vision.
Kalu said Gov. Ikpeazu “is under political bondage” and urged those holding him captive to release him so he could work for the people.
” When I was governor I was paying salaries and constructing roads but now the governor cannot pay workers. Pensioners are owed, teachers are not paid.
” They have destroyed ABSU, and Abia Poly. When I was governor I was giving ABSU N200 million monthly as subvention but now they get nothing. Ikpeazu is under bondage. Enough is enough. He should be released to work for the people.”
Kalu also vowed to use all resources at his disposal to deliver Abia to APC come 2019.
He also threatened to use ” federal might” against anyone who ” dares to persecute the four Abia lawmakers who defected to APC at the rally.
” If they try to touch the decamping lawmakers they will see the federal might in us”, he boasted, adding that “nobody can do anything”.
Earlier in his remarks, APC Chairman in the state, Chief Donatus Nwankpa, said Abia could not continue to take the back seat but had decided to join the mainstream politics.
He however, appealed to the Federal Government to give the state more recognition, saying ” Abia lacks federal presence”.
Speaking also at the rally, former Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime said PDP had not treated Ndigbo faily in its 16 years of political dominance, and urged the people to embrace APC.
He claimed that APC had within its two years of being in power, done for South East zone what PDP could not do in 16 years citing the ongoing rehabilitaion work on the Enugu- Port Harcourt express way , as well as Enugu- Onitsha express way as some of the achievements of APC.
” PDP is dead, PDP has disappointed Ndigbo, PDP has been taken over by strangers”, Chime declared.
Highlight of the rally was the defection of four members of the Abia State House of Assembly to APC.
The decampees include, firmer Speaker Martins Azubuike ( PDP); Solomon Okogbuo representing Bende South (PDP); Theophilus Ugbaja relresenting Ikwuano ( APGA); and Ikedi Ezekwesiri ( APGA) umunneochi state constituency.
Other new entrants including Chief Uche Ogah; DIG (retd) Azubuike Udah; Charles Nzechi; the immediate past General Manager of Abia State Environmental Management Agency ( ASEPA) Iyke Apugo; and Maj. Gen. Ogbonna Okoro ( retd.) were received into APC.
Speaking on behalf of the new entrants, Ogah who came second in the PDP governorship primaries in 2015 said he decided to join APC because of Buhari who he said was determined to transform Nigeria.
He said South East would mobilise to ensue Buhari is returned to power in 2019, while urging Abians to join APC and deliver the state from the stranglehold of PDP.