By Anthony Ogbonna
The Imo state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has revealed that he would be contesting the 2019 presidential election on two conditions; if President Muhammadu Buhari declines to seek a re-election and if 10 million Nigerians endorse him.
Governor Okorocha gave the statement in Owerri, the Imo State capital, when he addressed a youth delegates from all the geo-political zones in the country, who paid him a courtesy visit.
The Imo state governor also said that, as a child, the north gave him education and secured his future. He said he was born of Igbo patronage, raised by the north and empowered by the west, hence, he needed nothing more than to be a detribalised Nigerian.
Okorocha also said that he is in politics not for personal aggrandisement but for the sheer glory of it and for the reason that he came to serve selflessly.
According to him, “I will not run in 2019 if President Muhammadu Buhari will be running. Even at that, I will not also run at any given time unless 10 million Nigerians endorse me.
“May I remind all of you that my joy this evening has no bounds for the singular fact that the Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, northern minorities, western and eastern minorities, Muslims and Christians and others can sit down in a roundtable and speak like members of one family. If only for this, my mission for this nation is today achieved.
“I am an Igbo man with Igbo parentage. I was born and raised in the north. The north gave me education, guaranteed my childhood, even when I was not worthy to be called anybody in this world.
“I did all my schooling— primary, secondary and tertiary— in the northern part of this country. I finished and needed to be successful and wealthy. My encounter with someone from the South-West gave me the financial empowerment.
“So you can see that in my person, I have no choice whatsoever but to be a detribalized Nigerian, having been born of Igbo parentage, raised up by the North and empowered by the West. Nigeria remains my constituency.
“Most of you may not know that I am not in politics for self-aggrandizement or as a means to seek livelihood. I am in this job for the glory of the job, not for the profit and for the honour of this job, not for the wealth in it.
“I believe that one day it will become a manifest truth that somebody somewhere really cared for this nation.
“In my quiet time have I gone through lamentations, thinking about our nation and particularly. So is the youth of Nigeria, believe me, if our youths are not alright, our nation can never be alright.”