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I’m suffering injustice in the hands of Govt I put in power – Okorocha


I’m suffering injustice in the hands of Govt I put in power – Okorocha

Rochas Okorocha, former Governor of Imo State and Senator for Imo West, speaks with SOLOMON ODENIYI about his presidential ambitions and the allegations brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, among other things. 

You’ll be running for president for the fourth time. What gives you the impression that you’re going to come out on top this time?

I’ll be running for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the fourth time this year. The first time was in 2001, when I announced that I would run for President of Nigeria under the All Nigeria Peoples Party in the 2003 election. I had a very colorful and wonderful outing, but President Muhammadu Buhari was elected as the party’s candidate at the time.

As you may recall, there were some problems at the convention, and some individuals walked out because the governors of the North insisted that the presidency must come from the North, which is why President Muhammadu Buhari was chosen as the ANPP’s presidential candidate.

Then, in 2006, I announced that I would run for president on the PDP platform once more. At the time, I had only been in the PDP for two weeks before the primary. President (Umaru Musa) Yar’adua, of blessed memory, came in second. Because President Olusegun Obasanjo eight year term had ended, the PDP had again allotted the presidential ticket to the north.

I didn’t run again; instead, I returned to Imo State to run for governor on the All Progressives Grand Alliance platform after failing to acquire a ticket in the PDP and the ANPP. All major parties have refused to issue a ballot. So I formed a political party with no central organization and no counsellors, and I utilized it to beat the incumbent governor, who was serving his first term. When President (Goodluck) Jonathan was in office, he was also a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While President Muhammadu Buhari headed the Congress for Progressive Change and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu led the Action Congress of Nigeria, I guided the APGA to its merger with the APC. The Igbo people refused to embrace Buhari in 2015, and the term Buhari became a taboo in the South_East for them. So I had to do everything I could to persuade Igbo to believe in the political party, and the only way I could achieve that was to run for president on the APC platform with Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar. This significantly aided the APC rebranding in the Southeast. Jonathan six year term was also coming to an end at this time, and it was decided that power would be returned to the people of North.

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