By Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Former governor of Imo State and member representing Imo West Senatorial District, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has denied having any problem with Governor Hope Uzodinma.
The senator said rather, Governor Uzodinma is the one creating problems for himself and also inventing problems where they do not exist.
Uzodinma had at the Imo APC stakeholders meeting last weekend said that the reasons he fell out with the senator was because Okorocha asked him to dissolve the probe panels set up against him by Chief Emeka Ihedioha and that Okorocha also asked him to retain Mr. Daniel Nwafor as the State Chairman of APC, because of his 2023 presidential ambition.
The governor further stated that Okorocha asked him to recall the sacked elected Local Government Chairmen and that he refused to grant any of the requests for the former governor.
But, reacting to the statements, Okorocha through his special adviser (media), Sam Onwuemeodo, said that was the first time he was hearing from Uzodinma that he had demanded the dissolution of the probe panels.
Okorocha stated that he had gone to court to ask that “the EFCC cannot be probing him on issues contained in the avalanche of petitions written against him by the state government and the same government, would also have about twelve panels probing him on the same items or issues. The fact remains that the real APC members in the state have wondered why an APC governor would retain panels set up by the PDP government to probe APC government, in party politics. And they have suggested that the governor should set up his own panels, instead of continuing with the PDP panels. But we know that certain forces behind the governor won’t allow him to do that”.
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On the governor’s claim that Okorocha wanted him to retain Daniel Nwafor as the State Chairman of APC, the former governor said, “What would the State Chairman of a party do for a presidential aspirant, which Okorocha has not even talked about? Governor Uzodinma has only officially unveiled why those who recruited him against Okorocha did so. And he has continued to act that script, but without caution.
“It has gone beyond the governor allowing him to remain as Chairman or not. Nwafor was elected during the last congress of the party as the state chairman of the party. When Adams Oshiomhole came up with the issue of Caretaker Committee in Imo, Nwafor went to court and got judgement in his favour. All these were before the emergence of Senator Uzodinma as governor. In the circumstance, he was expected to take steps to resolve all these issues but he has not cared to do so”.
On the sack of the elected council officials, Okorocha noted that it was not Governor Uzodinma that sacked the elected Local Government Chairmen, but Chief Emeka Ihedioha’s government.
He said, “The chairmen went to court and got judgement in their favour. The chairmen even went as far as pledging loyalty in their media publications to Governor Uzodinma. Yet, Governor Uzodinma has never deemed it necessary to meet with them since it is believed that they are all APC. He has never called them for a meeting, either to ask them to stay or to go. And if they are to go, on what condition? But he has never met with them,” he said.
The former governor also accused Governor Uzodinma of sidelining core APC stakeholders in the state, adding that the governor had not done anything to show that he is of APC and that his government, is that of APC.
“The government in Imo as we speak or as we write, is APC in name, but totally PDP faction in structure and in actions. The governor has not done anything to show that he is of APC and that his government is that of APC. The government is made up of those who were with him in his own faction of the PDP.
“He was inaugurated in January 2020 as governor. The key or the main stakeholders of APC in the state and their supporters were all at the inauguration, including Rochas Okorocha, Ifeanyi Araraume, Uche Nwosu, et al. But few weeks after the inauguration, the governor made his appointments of about One Hundred and Six (106) people, including Commissioners. He never deemed it necessary to bring in at least one known APC member in the state to make the list.”
Okorocha also stated that he and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume had asked 14 members in Action Alliance (AA) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) who were core members of APC to go back to APC which put the party in the majority in the State House of Assembly with few other PDP members, “but what has the governor done in appreciation of all these gestures?”