A FORMER Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, appears to have fallen out with the ruling All Progressives Party (APC).
On Monday, he called for a new political alliance ahead of the 2023 general elections to rescue the country.
Okorocha, a serving APC senator and former chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, said good people in both the APC and PDP “must come together for purpose of making Nigeria greater.”
He spoke when Rivers State Governor; Nyesom Wike led him to inaugurate the Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna Awuse Link Road in Emohua Local Government Area.
Okorocha, who represents Imo West in the Senate, was recently accused by Governor Hope Uzodimma of planning to destroy the APC before defecting to another party.
Inaugurating the link road, the senator, who said he was not a PDP member, stated that people of like-minds needed join forces for the betterment of the country.
He made a veiled reference to Wike, a PDP governor and himself as some of the “good people” that could form the new political alliance.
”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 purpose of making Nigeria great. I could imagine where I join forces with Wike,” he said in a statement by the governor’s Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebrington
Facing his host directly, Okorocha said: “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.”
The senator advised Nigerians to embrace each other irrespective of their political affiliations in order to break the barriers that make it difficult for them to work together for the good of the country.
His words: ”What brought me here today(yesterday) is not 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.”
Okorocha described Wike as a courageous leader, who had spoken truth to power and continued to improve the lot of his people with his project delivery mantra.
The former governor said political power remained a trust, which could only be justified when used for the common good.
He pointed out that it was obvious that the masses were not asking for too much from their leaders other than basic necessities of life.
The Senator also said leaders unable to provide basic amenities such as electricity, water and road, must be considered as failed politicians.
The governor clarified that bringing Okorocha to inaugurate the link road did not mean that he was fraternising with the opposition party.
He said: “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 build relationships across borders but that doesn’t mean that you’ll sell your party.
“Senator Okorocha has been my friend since I was deputy national president of ALGON(Association of Local Governments of Nigeria) 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 of today, we are not great.”
Wike counseled members of the APC in the state to discard politics of bitterness and allow projects to reach their communities.
He said since politics is a game of interest, future looking-politicians like himself must not be vindictive,
The governor challenged Senator Andrew Uchendu of the APC to show what he attracted to his community when he was a member of the House of Representatives and now that he is in the Senate.
Wike announced the immediate award of contract for the reconstruction of the Mgbuitawo Road in Uchendu’s community to serve as proof that he was a liberal politician.
He said: “I am different, so, I will do the Mgbuitawo Road immediately. I am going to do it because I am not a vindictive politician. If I am a vindictive politician that road will not be done.
“I also want to tell the senator that there is no need to play politics with bitterness. Politics is a game,we will talk today and talk tomorrow. No permanent friend and enemy but permanent interest.
The governor also announced that the recently inaugurated Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna Awuse link Road and Isiodu Road all in Emohua Local Government Area would soon have street light.