By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—BISHOP of the Anglican Diocese of Egbu, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Okorafor, says “Governor Rochas Okorocha has not only failed God, but has also disappointed the citizenry.”
This is as a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC and Okorocha’s former aide, Dr. Theodore Ekechi, described the process adopted by the governor to hoist his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, on the state as “a charade and an insult to the integrity and dignity of Owerri, Okigwe and Orlu people.”
While Okorafor bared his mind during a Eucharistic service at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Egbu, Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, Ekechi made his feelings known during a media chat in Owerri.
Bishop Okorafor was particularly irked by what he termed Okorocha’s “avowed determination to install his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor, irrespective of what the people think or feel about the damnable, ill-conceived, ill-advised and ill-motivated project.”
The Anglican cleric recalled that in his 2017 presidential address, he advised Okorocha to “resist the urge to put forward his son in-law as his immediate successor in 2019”.
The Bishop had then cautioned that “the governor’s son in-law ought not be a candidate after him”.
In his own reaction, Dr. Ekechi opined that the coalition he represents, remains resolute that “it is unfair, unjust and inequitable for Orlu Zone, after holding on to power for 16 years, to continue to hold the same power again, particularly in the way and manner the governor is going about it.”
He accused the governor of “using the state resources clandestinely, to obtain endorsements” that will pave way for another gubernatorial candidate from Orlu.
“That is why we are up in arms against the governor, who ordinarily would have been the leader of our party. Those of us who have been counted out and who are not recognised by a man who is supposed to be the leader of our party, should rightly begin to doubt our loyalty towards him,” Ekechi noted.
APC membersworking to pull me down—Okorocha
But Imo Governor and chairman of APC Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday said some members of his party, in the Southeast region, were plotting for his downfall.
Okorocha stated this through a release to newsmen in Owerri, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, while reacting to a statement credited to the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, VON, Mr. Osita Okechukwu that Okorocha has pitched APC against the Catholic Church.
According to the release, “Mr. Okechukwu is one of those who have the erroneous feeling that the only way they can grow in APC is by attacking or pulling down Governor Rochas Okorocha. And the man has been doing it religiously without a response from us.”
He went further to say: “For some of those in APC in the South-East who think that Rochas is their problem, they should not bother. The 2019 election will settle all these over bloated egos.
“Don’t forget that President Buhari got only 14,157 votes in Enugu State where the DG comes from, and got 133,253 in Imo not minding that Imo was the target of the PDP-led Federal Government’s onslaught in the 2015 election with thousands of soldiers and other security agencies besieging the state.
“If the governor didn’t mean well, he would not have taken President Buhari to the Archbishop.”
The statement boasted that, “the governor has donated N100million on behalf of the State Government to Okigwe Catholic Diocese to assist in the completion of their Cathedral and assured that the government would continue to play the needed role to see the Cathedral completed”, advising that the Diocese should begin the building of a University.