By Damian Duruiheoma Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha on Tuesday blamed Igbo senators and House of Representatives members for lack of federal government projects in the south east geopolitical zones, accusing them of going after lucrative contracts and forgetting major problems facing their zone.
“Blame your senators for lack of federal presence in the south east. Most times, the president doesn’t even know what is put in the budget. It’s the senators and members of House of Representatives that attract projects and ensure that such projects are included in the budget”, Okorocha declared during a media parley at the Government House, Owerri. “I’m doing the work of a governor and, at the same time, doing the work of senators. I can’t kill myself”, he adds.
“You can imagine that the minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi bypassed Imo from the rail project when we have senators there. It can’t happen if I’m there as a senator”, he adds.
The governor, who expressed disgust at the kind of politics played by the Igbo, said that Igbo are not smart politicians, a reason he said they were always used by outsiders to pull their people down. “The Igbo are not smart politically. They don’t know how to build their own. But they take joy in seeing their own fail. For any downfall of any great Igbo man, thousands are happy. They like to be controlled from outside”, he said.
On his conspicuous absence during a meeting of South East leaders with President Muhammadu Buhar at Aso Rock Villa last week, without sending a representative, Okorocha said he deliberately abstained from the meeting because he felt there was no need for such meeting.
“If there is anything the Igbo need to tell President Buhari about the developmental challenges of the South East, I have consistently told him long time ago”, he said. The embattled governor, who equally described the kind of political battle he had faced in the run up to the party primaries as very strange, insisted that he still remained in APC as the party’s senatorial candidate for Orlu Senatorial zone. He, further, disclosed that his loyalists, who were aggrieved over the outcome of the APC primaries, would join his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, to another party where they would form an alliance with the APC to vote for President Buhari in 2019.
A defiant Okorocha, however, maintained that Uche Nwosu remained his governorship candidate irrespective of his next political party because, to him, his son-in-law remained the best amongst the governorship candidates in Imo state.