*Describes him as a ‘desperate’ politician
*Says party won’t tolerate his constant assault on leaders
*It’s laughable, Okorocha’s aide
*Insists there was no party congress in Imo
The rift between the Imo state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and the
leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, following the outcome of the
party’s state congress in the state took a new dimension yesterday as the warring
parties engaged themselves in war of words.
While the party through its spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi described Okorocha as a
‘desperate’ politician warning that it would no longer tolerate his constant
assaults on its leaders, Okorocha said he is only demanding for justice following
the poor handling of the party congress in Imo state.
In a telephone interview with Nigerian Pilot, Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary,
Sam Onwuemeodo insists that there was no state congress of the party in Imo
because according to him, there was a court order stopping the congress but the
party leadership ignored it.
“They said there was no court order and that if there was one, they were not
served, but we proved that they were properly served by publishing the court
order, what is an insult there”, he stressed.
But in the statement, Bolaji Abdullahi noted with regret that on different
occasions, the governor has made uncomplimentary remarks about the National
Chairman of party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun over the internal crisis in the state
chapter of APC.
It would be recalled that shortly after Oyegun inaugurated Hillary Eke who is in
the faction of the party in Imo state that is not loyal to Okorocha as chairman of
the APC in the state, Okorocha said the national chairman ought to be in prison.
Abdullahi’s statement read in part: “In recent weeks, the Imo state governor,
Rochas Okorocha, has made libellous attacks on our party and its leaders a daily
“Hardly a day passes by without Governor Okorocha verbally assaulting our
national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other party leaders over the
recently concluded congresses in Imo state.
“In an advertorial published in the Daily Trust Newspaper of June 11, and titled in
part: ‘Let the Truth Speak for Itself’ which was signed by a known associate of
governor Okorocha, one Hon. Ireagwu Obioma, who styles himself as ‘acting
secretary, Imo APC’, a number of false claims were made against the party.
“The import of the allegations was that the Party was aware of a court order
preventing it from conducting the Imo state Congress following receipt of a copy
of the so-called court injunction which directed it to maintain status quo. But
nothing can be further from the truth. Even the published documents in the
advertorial do not support this position and in fact gave a lie to the governor’s
version of events, that the party was duly served and prevented from going ahead
with the congress in Imo state.
“A cursory look at the published court papers revealed that the party was served
the so-called court rulings on May 18, 2018, while the ward and local government
congresses which produced the recently inaugurated party executives from the
state was held on May 5th and 14th, 2018 respectively, four days before the court
ruling was issued.
“In fact, we strongly believe that the court ruling being paraded as injunction does
not serve governor Okorocha’s interest. At the time of the ruling a new set of
party executives had been validly elected, consequently the court ruling directing
that the status quo is maintained, actually means that no one should interfere
with the newly elected APC party executives in the state.
“Also in the advertorial, a so-called internal party memo was published, which
purportedly showed that we were aware of the pendency of the legal issues
involving the congresses in Imo and Abia states. The published ‘memo’ by the
agents of the Imo state governor is fake. No such memo was generated by our
party. A casual look will reveal the inconsistency of the published document.
“The memo, according to the published advertorial, was generated by the chief of
staff to the APC national chairman, Edwin Ikhinmwin but was signed by the
party’s legal adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN). It is impossible for such an incoherent
document to have emerged from our party, or any sane organisation – for one
person to generate a memo and another person to sign it!
“Indeed Banire, our party’s legal adviser and the chief of staff, have denounced
the document as fake, stating clearly that they neither originated nor signed such
memo. This is therefore, a clear case of forgery borne out of desperation.
“The sensible thing to do when you find yourself in a ditch is to stop digging. We
therefore, once again urge governor Okorocha to tread the path of caution and
reconciliation and to work with the duly elected party executives in the state for
the good of the party. We shall however not tolerate his constant assault on the
party, either directly or through proxies.”
The APC spokesman said the party is seeking legal advice on how to respond to