Youths of the All Progressive Congress in the South East have warned Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodimma to desist from his campaign of calumy against Senator Rochas Okorocha’s Presidential bid ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The group under the South East APC Young Progressives Forum also cautioned the Ohaneze Ndigbo against being used by those it described as scrupulous and hungry elements to drag its name to the mud.
The National Convener of the group, Comrade Paschal Candle, in a statement on Wednesday, particularly frowned at the comment credited to one Osmond Nkeoma, claiming that Okorocha was unfit to be the President of Nigeria.
He insisted that the statement was not only petty, uncalled for and embarrassment to the group and Ndigbo in general, but a demonstration of the weakness Ohaneze as a body.
He called on Imo state governor to concentrate himself with governance, stressing that his recent activities had shown he was out to fight Okorocha for no just cause.
The statement partly read, “Our Attention has been drawn on the recent visit of one Osmond Nkeoma and some scrupulous elements to Imo State government where they claimed that Senator Rochas Okorocha is unfit to become the President of Nigeria. Their reasons were based on baseless fact that Okorocha achieved nothing while he was Governor.
“Ohaneze Ndigbo is a revered Umbrella body and voice of Ndigbo and should not allow some scrupulous and hungry elements to bring its name to the mud. The South East Young Progressive Forum finds the statement issued by Osmond Okeoma as an embarrassment to APC Young Progressive Forum and Ndi Igbo in general.
“We warn Mr Osmond Okeoma and his cohorts to desist from such act of pull him down syndrome. We stand for Nigerian President of Igbo Extraction, not Igbo President of Nigeria. The likes of Senator Rochas Okorocha, Chief Peter Obi, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Governor Dave Umahi, Okonjo Iweala and so many others are eligible and qualified to become Nigerian President in 2023 if eventually zoned to South East.
“We make bold to say that the visit of the so called Mr Osmond Okeoma and his scrupulous elements was a hatchet job of Imo State Governor to discredit Senator Rochas Okorocha Presidential bid and we will not allow such to happen.
“We as a group are not here to highlight the achievements of Senator Rochas Okorocha as Imo State Governor, but to make it clear that Igbo President is a collective project achievable by collective efforts with love, unity of purpose and brotherhood.
“We urge Ohaneze Ndigbo to desist from being used by some elements who did not mean well for Ndi Igbo. Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and Governor Hope Uzodimma alone cannot determine the Igbo Man that can be President of Nigeria. We will want Ohaneze and Uzodimma to learn from History.
“In 1999 Presidential election, when it was zoned to South West, the Yorubas, Afenifere and some Governors wanted Chief Olu Falae to be the President. But other ethnic Groups and parts of the country wanted Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as their Choice. The rest is history.
“Ohaneze Ndigbo and Senator Hope Uzodimma should know that only Igbos or Imo State Government cannot determine who becomes Nigerian President of Igbo Extraction. To give political power is not easy and in giving that political power, other parts of Nigeria will go for that man who they will trust with such power based on his antecedents and this is where Senator Rochas okorocha stood out.
“His Political followership cut across all parts of Nigeria and to us in South East APC Young Progressives Forum, he is highly qualified having been a former Governor, two times Presidential aspirant in PDP and APC and now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What other qualification does he need?
“Gov. Hope Uzodinma should concentrate with Governance in Imo State. His activities in recent time has shown he is out to fight Senator Rochas Okorocha for no just cause. He has sent some charlatans on social media to be insulting the most distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic.
“This is also the kind of propaganda they had launched against Senator Okorocha and some leaders of APC in South East when they joined the merger that gave birth to APC in 2013. All those propaganda was meant for our brothers to hate Senator Rochas. They never succeeded and will not succeed now.
“If Senator Rochas Okorocha decide to run for the 2023 Presidency after he finished his consultations like other prominent sons and daughters of Igbo extraction, We as a Forum will give him and others a maximum support.
“We call on Ohaneze Ndi Igbo to call their members to order and for them to mind their utterances. If there is one person who has brought peace to Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and supports Ohaneze ndi Igbo, it is Senator Rochas Okorocha. Today, Okorocha is building a magnificent National Secretariat for Ohaneze Ndi Igbo in Enugu State singlehandedly and he was instrumental in bringing Chief Nnia Nwodo-led leadership of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo.
The Group maintained that 2023 Presidency should be for Southern part of Nigeria and should be for East, stressing that the country needed a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, urging all other relevant stakeholders in the Nigeria Project to support the South East.
“Presidency for 2023 of Igbo extractionis a collective aspiration of all, both home and in diaspora. We urge our Political class to avoid this pull him down syndrome and if it is not me, it will not be anyone else.
“We urge our leaders mostly those in APC from South-East to re-strategise for 2023. Our Leaders should start now to consult, interact and negotiate with other parts of Nigeria on why they should support South East this time. We maintained that power is not given, power is taken,” the group added.