Listen to article
There has been confusion at the grassroots, especially in the Southeast zone since January, 2021, as a result of Senator Rochas Okorocha’s public confirmation of plans to float a mega party ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
Okorocha, a former governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West, who spoke when the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, led him to inaugurate the Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna Awuse Link Road in Emohua Local Government Area, said that time has come for politicians of like minds to come together in a new political platform.
As he puts it: ‘In this dispensation, there are many bad people in APC, many bad people in PDP.’
‘I think the good people of APC and good people of PDP must come together for the purpose of making Nigeria great. I could imagine where I would join forces with Wike.’
‘Governor Wike, this is my hand of friendship. Let us bring all like minds, all great people of Nigeria.’
‘Rather than complaining, let us come together to make this country greater and greater as it should be.’
Explaining further, he said: ‘What brought me here today is not a party. What brought me here today is love and friendship. I am not PDP, I am APC.’
‘But the time has come when we must break the jinx of party division and begin to embrace brotherhood and friendship and be able to state what is good and what is bad. A bad man is a bad man, even if he is PDP or APC.’
Responding, Governor Wike said bringing Senator Rochas Okorocha, a member of the APC, to inaugurate the road project did not mean he was fraternising with the opposition party. ‘But let me tell you what you may not understand. I don’t believe that you must only have friends in your own party. You must have to build relationships across boards but that does not mean that you’ll sell your party.’
‘Senator Okorocha has been my friend since I was Deputy National President of ALGON down to when I became the President of ALGON.’
‘He was a member of the PDP. He left us and said they are going to make Nigeria great.’
‘He is still there, I believe that in these two years that they have, they’ll make us to be that great. But as at today, we
Since that eventful encounter, Okorocha’s declarations have generated speculation across the country that all is set for the emergence of a mega party to contest against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential elections.
On a good day, Senator Rochas Okorocha is no new face to jumping from one political party to another. He started his political career with the National Constitutional Conference party and then he moved over to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after which he jumped ship again to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) this was where he played a major role in the founding of the Action Alliance (AA) which he created for his presidential ambitions. After his stint with the Action Alliance, he abandoned the failing party to join the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) after which he again contributed to the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) a party which has in one way or the other turned its back against him.
Another indication of his plan to decamp to another party was his recent stint with his successor and fellow political bigwig, Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma.
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, are on each other’s throat. These two politicians, who, ordinarily should have been working together by virtue of their being members and leaders of the same political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), are fighting dirty, over sundry matters.
The acrimony between them preceded the emergence of Uzodinma as governor of the state. It dated back to the last days of Okorocha in office as governor in the state, when the former governor attempted to impose his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, to succeed him as governor. The ensuing battle, spare-headed by the immediate past national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, forced Nwosu to switch to another political party, to actualise his aspiration.
Uzodinma, who was Oshiomhole’s anointed governorship candidate, however lost the election to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emeka Ihedioha. The PDP flag bearer was however removed from office, by virtue of a controversial court judgment, which declared Uzodinma as the real winner of the election.
The animosity generated by the rejection of Uzodinma as successor of Okorocha as governor, apparently fueled the speed with which Uzodinma attacked Okorocha. In fact, Uzodinma did not hide his disdain and hatred for Okorocha and his government.
No sooner he was sworn-in as governor, Uzodinma embarked on a campaign to rubbish the eight years of Okorocha as governor of the state. He did not only accuse Okorocha of diverting the state’s resources for personal use, he insisted on sustaining the probe panel set up by Emeka Ihedioha, before he was sacked by the court.
Barely a week after he was inaugurated, Uzodinma embarked on a demolition spree, of certain structures erected by Okorocha. These included about five roundabouts and the huge image of former South African President, Nelson Mandela.
Okorocha cried foul, accusing Uzodinma of demolishing his legacy projects. But Uzodinma whose bulldozers went on rampage, insisted he was on a rescue mission to beautify Owerri, the state capital.
The Imo state government on Friday last week, seized the Royal Palm Estate on Akachi Road, Owerri, allegedly belonging to Nkechi, Okorocha’s wife. The government said the seizure was in compliance with the directive of the Imo state gazette on the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the recovery of lands and other related matters.
Okorocha, however, dared Uzodimma’s directive, and broke the locks to recover the estate. Hell stormed the estate with his supporters, policemen, soldiers and personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and ordered the unsealing of the estate.
Government officials also mobilised to the estate, leading to a confrontation that left many persons injured and cars smashed.
The face-off that ensued culminated in the arrest of the former governor with 14 of his aides, and whisked to the state police command headquarters.
In his reply, Okorocha minced no words as he accused Governor Hope Uzodinma of pushing an unnecessary vendetta against him while using his position to frustate him in the State. Okorocha also swore to fight back if pushed to the wall and he promised Uzodinma that the outcome would not be funny for him and the APC party.