– He declares support for President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of 2019
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has reportedly said the defection of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not good for the ruling political organisation.
The Punch reports that Okorocha stated this after receiving an honorary doctorate degree at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state on Saturday, December 9.
NAIJ.com learnt that Okorocha described Abubakar as a heavyweight politician, adding: “I have taken a holistic view of our party, it (Atiku’s exit) is not the best because no matter how anybody thinks, Atiku carries some political weight. His leaving our party is not the best.”
The governor however said since the former vice president had taken the action, the APC would make amend and fill up the space he left behind.
Okorocha also declared his support for Muhammadu Buhari while reacting to the recent declaration of the APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, that the president would not get an automatic ticket in 2019.
“The (Tinubu’s) statement came to me as a surprise. Come to think of it, I never referred to him. I refer to the governors of Nigeria including the PDP governors and I said only one or two of them have not joined yet.
“Since I made the statement, no governor has said something contrary to what I said. I am surprised that Asiwaju will now be speaking for the governors.
“He looks like somebody crying more than the bereaved. I did not see reason for the statement actually. But he commands my respect and I don’t want to join issue with the National Leader of my party.
“What I mentioned was for the governors and secondly what I said is support. The word I use is support that does not mean there will not be primary.
“Governors can only contribute only 37 votes, we still have over 5,000 votes up there. What I was talking about was governors.
“I was not talking about other party members. Governors alone do not determine the flagbearer of a party.
“If you recall, I said but for Buhari, I would have run for presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But I found in him a man credible and he still has four years term to do.
“I will allow him to complete and I will go back to my political trenches because I would still run for presidency anyhow.
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“I consider myself young enough to wait until 2023 and I don’t hide my stand on any issue. But for now, my support goes to President Muhammadu Buhari.”
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the deputy national publicity secretary of the APC, Comrade Timi Frank, recently said that the leadership of the party should be remorseful following the resignation of the former vice president Atiku Abubakar and many others from the ruling party.
According to the Bayelsa-born APC chieftain, in as much as democratic system of government permit politicians to move from one party to the other, the failure of APC leaders at the national level must have been responsible for the recent massive defection from the ruling party.
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