… Says race between North, S’West
By Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
There is an indication that the outgoing governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, may have shelved the idea of contesting for 2023 presidency following the loss of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo state and south east in general in the last general elections.
Okorocha, who gave this indication while briefing newsmen at the government house Owerri, said the 2023 presidential election would be between former vice president, Atiku Abubakar and current national leader of the ruling APC, Bola Tinubu.
It would be recalled that it was because of his ambition to succeed President Buhari that compelled him to try to foist his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, on the people of the state as his successor, a move that people roundly rejected.
According to the governor, it would be very difficult for the south east to be gifted with any serious position under President Buhari‘s second term administration because of the pattern of voting of the Igbo in the last election.
The governor also said he gave banks in Nigeria, seven days ultimatum to tell the world whether he borrowed any money from them. He also challenged civil servants in the state, to open up whether his government owed them.
According to him, the N89 billion debt, stated by the Debt Management Office (DMO) as being owed by the state, is federal government debt relationship with the state that had lasted for over 40 years.
“Some of the debts were incurred by the Sam Mbakwe administration. It’s like the Paris Club thing. That’s why there’s monthly deduction from state allocation”, he said.
On the Imo West senatorial election, he said: “Elections have come and gone and we are dealing with the outcome. For the Imo West senatorial election, somebody said that he declared the result under duress. The truth is that the gentleman was employed to do a hatchet job and he could not do that.
“The drama is that he had another option he wanted to declare it in Owerri, at first he said there was no result and at a point he entered the toilet and suddenly he saw the results sheets and shouted who dropped this result here. What it means is that there is a game.
“I think that the INEC, should do the needful. We are in court and I think that we don’t need much procedure to do the right thing.”
On the allegation that he was engaging in illegal withdrawal of funds and selling government property, Okorocha said: “After that declaration, Imo PDP, went to town with the allegation that I have withdrew N17 billion. It is not possible.
“I have said this time without number, and I gave banks in Nigeria, seven days ultimatum to come and tell the world If I have borrowed from the banks any money not only that, I am not owing any worker in Imo state, I also challenged them in seven days to come out and say the truth.
“I want to challenge Ihedioha to do more than I have done. But I want to assure you that your petitions to ICPC and EFCC will never see the light of the day because they don’t reflect any practical reality”