By Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI—FOLLOWING the worsening of the rift between Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and the national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole, the governor yesterday said that he was trying hard not to talk like a tout.
Okorocha through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo yesterday responded to a statement credited to Oshiomhole in which he allegedly suggested that Okorocha was “behaving like a drug addict.”
The duo have been in a running battle since the party adopted Senator Hope Uzodinma as the governorship flagbearer of APC in the state, a move which has threatened Okorocha’s plan for his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu to be his successor.
While replying to Oshiomhole, Okorocha described the Catholic Bishop of Owerri, Archbishop Anthony Obinna as his spiritual father, denying that he was at loggerheads with the Bishop.
He went further to state that Oshiomhole’s behaviour since his reported announcement of Senator Uzodinma as guber candidate would destroy the party.
According to the statement: “The national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was reported in the media to have apologised to the Catholic Church in Imo State and the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese, Bishop Anthony Obinna for whatever ‘sins’ Governor Rochas Okorocha must have committed against them. The APC national chairman did not mention the sins that warranted the apology. He kept his audience guessing.
“In responding to that deliberate blackmail, we won’t toe the path of Comrade Oshiomhole. We recognise the fact that he is the national chairman of a ruling party which President Muhammadu Buhari is the leader
“We would not therefore throw caution to the wind like he did when he was abusing or attacking governors in his party as if he is the publicity secretary of any of the political parties in opposition.”
The governor challenged Oshiomhole that, “If he had asked questions, he would have discovered that members of the Catholic Church in the State constitute the bulk of Governor Okorocha’s supporters especially at the grassroots.
“They voted for him overwhelmingly in 2011 and 2015 respectively. And he has never taken their support for granted. He has shown gratitude in several ways which cannot be catalogued in this response, including making them majority in his cabinet.”
The release expressed that, “the governor holds the Arch-bishop in a very high esteem and has no personal problem with the outstanding man of God. But the truth is that the Archbishop perhaps expects the perfect leadership in heaven to be established in Imo which is not possible.
“So, Comrade Oshiomhole’s apology was a badly tailored blackmail and somewhat inciting. He is only trying to justify the blunder which he dispatched Ahmed Gulak to commit in Owerri.”
We warned Oshiomhole about Okorocha —Allied Forces
Meanwhile, the spokesperson to the coalition of Imo State stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, known as Allied Forces, Mr. Theodore Ekechi yesterday said the group warned Oshiomhole to be wary of the style of politics played by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Ekechi told Vanguard in Owerri that Okorocha’s pattern of politics has made him (Okorocha) lose many friends.
The former commissioner for Information to Okorocha also claimed that the governor since seven years he has been in office, lost two deputy governors, adding that if Okorocha continued in this way, he might also lose Uche Nwosu who is his preferred successor.
According to Ekechi, the current saga has proved them right.
He said: “When Adams Oshiomhole on assumption of office as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, resorted to a “shaku-shaku dance’ romance with Governor Rochas Okorocha who claimed he installed him, we warned the chairman that his new found love would lead to his self-destruction and erode all his life-earned reputation.”