The All Progressives Congress (APC) has charged Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo to, in the party’s interest, work with its new executive committee in the state. National Publicity Secretary of the party, Malam Bolaji Abudullahi, gave the charge in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja. He noted that the governor had been making libellous attacks on the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. “Hardly a day passes without Gov. Okorocha verbally assaulting our National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other party leaders over the recently-concluded congresses in Imo,” he said. Abudullahi noted that in a recent advertorial entitled “Let Truth Speak for Itself”, a number of false claims were made against the party.
According to Abudullahi, the advertorial was signed by a known associate of Gov. Okorocha, Mr Ireagwu Obioma, who parades himself as Acting Secretary of APC in Imo. “The import of the allegations was that the party was aware of a court order preventing it from conducting the Imo Congress following receipt of a copy of so-called injunction, which directed it to maintain status quo.
“But nothing can be further from the truth; even the published documents in the advertorial do not support this position and in fact, gave a lie to the governor’s version of events,” he said. He stated that Okorocha’s position was that the party was duly served with the court papers and prevented from going ahead with the Congress in the state.
The APC spokesman explained that published report revealed that the party was served the court rulings on May 18, whereas Ward and Local Government Congresses in the state were held on May 5 and May 14, respectively. According to him, this was four days before the court ruling was issued. He stressed that the court ruling being paraded as injunction did not serve Okorocha’s interest because at the time of the ruling, a new set of party executive had been validly elected. “Consequently the court ruling directing that the status quo be maintained actually means that no one should interfere with the newly elected APC party executives in the state,” Abudullahi said.
He added that in the advertorial, an internal party memo was published, which purportedly showed that the party’s leadership was aware of the pendency of legal issues involving the congresses in Imo and Abia. He maintained that the published memo by the agents of the governor was fake and replete with inconsistencies, adding that no such memo was generated by the party’s leadership. He said one of the consistencies was that the published advertorial was generated by the Chief of Staff to the APC National Chairman, Edwin Ikhinmwin, but was signed by the party’s Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire. According to Abdullahi, the APC National Legal Adviser and the Chief of Staff have since denounced the document as fake, that they neither originated nor signed such memo. “This is therefore, a clear case of forgery borne out of desperation; we are currently seeking legal advice on how to proceed with the matter to ensure that those culpable are identified and duly punished.
“The sensible thing to do when you find yourself in a ditch is to stop digging. “We therefore, once again, urge Gov. Okorocha to tread the path of caution and reconciliation and to work with the duly elected party executives in the state for the good of the party. “We shall, however, not tolerate his constant assault on the party, either directly or through proxies,” he said. Okorocha has been in a running battle with APC stakeholders in Imo, who accused him of mismanaging the state’s resources and high-handedness.