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Rochas Okorocha’s Suspension: What Is Best For The APC

By Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu

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OPEN LETTER TO THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) NATIONAL WORKING COMMITTEE (NWC)

I write this letter not because I am a member or sympathizer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), but as a patriotic Nigerian who believes in upholding national interest above sectional or party interests. It is not in doubt that as the ruling party, whatever goes on in the APC could have far reaching consequences on the country. Nigeria belongs to all of us and it is our duty to join hands together to build the nation, hence my undertaking to write this treatise.

It is no longer news that several months ago, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) suspended and even recommended the expulsion of Sen. Rochas Okorocha from the party, for anti-party activities. The decision of the party was basically a backlash against Okorocha’s immoral and greedy quest to contest for the Senate, while at the same time installing his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as the Governor of Imo State, after himself.

It was even reported that in order to give him a soft landing, the party hierarchy had proposed to give Okorocha the party’s senatorial ticket for Imo West Senatorial District, in order for him to forfeit the guber ticket to Sen Hope Uzodinma. An offer which he rejected and greedily insisted that he must have both the Senatorial and guber tickets. A bid which was resisted by members of his party, who denied Nwosu the party’s guber ticket, but surrendered the party’s senatorial ticket to Okorocha.

But in his desperation to still have his way, Okorocha, in violation of every code of honour and in defiance to the party’s constitution, supported his son-in-law’s decamping to an opposition party, the Action Alliance (AA), from where he would contest for Governor. The Senator who usually projects an over bloated image of himself, never hid his support for his son-in-law’s decamping to the AA, as he even campaigned for him openly, thereby constituting himself an embarrassment to his party.

The climax of Okorocha’s insults to the party that gave him an undeserved second term in office, came when the first lady, Aisha Buhari visited Imo to campaign for the APC’s governorship candidate. To the chagrin of party chieftains and faithfuls that were gathered at the venue of the occassion, Okorocha, once again, openly campaigned for his son-in-law, and asked Imolites to support the opposition party as against his own party. He repeated the same thing during President Buhari’s visit to campaign for the party’s candidate.

Such a brazen act of treachery coming from a supposed stakeholder of the party, wasn’t only viewed as a mere anti-party activity, but equally a slap in the face of the President, his wife, the party hierarchy and indeed every other member of the party. Galloping like a Bull in a China shop, Okorocha blinded by greed and selfishness, continued his illicit pursuit of foisting his son-in-law on everyone as the next Governor.

But according to the wise sayings of the philosopher, Stephen Hawking, “we are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity “. True to this saying, the party’s NWC led by the no-nonsense and assertive National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, reacted accordingly by wielding the big stick. Okorocha was suspended and recommended for expulsion from the party.

It is believed that the objective of sanctions is to bring the deviant back in line. But that is not the case with Okorocha, who continued to openly support his son-in-law’s futile efforts of challenging the election of Gov Emeka Ihedioha through the Courts. Thus establishing the fact that he has no regard for President Buhari who is the leader of his party, the party hierarchy and even the party constitution.

Come to think of it, what is the political value of Okorocha to the party in Imo State, Southeast and nationally? It is on record that in Imo State, the party lost the guber polls mainly because of Okorocha’s very bad performance as Governor. In his 8 years in power, Okorocha, through his unpopular policies and selfishness, consciously destroyed the party’s structure in the State and eroded the little goodwill the people may have had for the party. As a result, it is popular opinion that Okorocha is the most unpopular Igbo politician in the Southeast in particular, and Nigeria generally.

In the Southeast, it is also on record that party chieftains such as Dr Chris Ngige, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and even Osita Okechukwu have at one time or the other cried out against Okorocha’s refusal to “oil” the party’s machinery in the region, during his tenure as Governor. This according to them, obviously accounted for President Buhari’s woeful outing in the Southeast during the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections.

Nationally, it won’t be out of place to say that Okorocha’s very poor performance as Governor, including the revelations of how the State was massively looted under his watch, his ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the ensuing probe of his tenure by the present administration in Imo are all deficits to the fortune of the party. To make matters worse, it has been reported that Okorocha has reserved a large chunk of the over N200bn loan he took during his tenure as Governor for his inapt 2023 presidential bid.

This means that in his usual belligerent manner, he may likely heat up the contest and even apply the “barrel of the gun” style of grabbing positions. This won’t be good for the party. Based on the foregoing, it has become compelling to believe that Okorocha is more of a liability than an asset to the ruling party.

Today, the NWC would be meeting to decide the fate of Okorocha and it is pertinent for the party to take note of the foregoing in making their decisions. In this case, the dignity and supremacy of the party must come first, before any other thing. Failure by the APC to expel him from the party, would mean that President Buhari and the party leadership would have succumbed to the whims and caprices of Okorocha to reduce the party to his foot mat.

Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu Esq; bobekene@gmail.com

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