- Imo speaker, 18 other lawmakers defect to Action Alliance
Amby Uneze in Owerri
The intrigues in the All Progressives Congress (APC) persisted yesterday with Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, who he said had become a loose cannon, attacking everyone within his range.
The Imo State governor said the party’s national chairman’s verbal attacks on many prominent Nigerians in recent times were unguarded and could put the APC in bad light.
Oshiomhole had on Wednesday tongue lashed Okorocha and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, telling a group of women who visited him in Abuja that the party would win their states in spite of the belligerence of the duo.
The APC boss also lashed former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, saying God would punish him for supporting the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Okorocha in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, said, “Since Muhammadu Buhari became President he has never used any foul language on any Nigerian, low or high, and that is the best way to go.
“And Oshiomhole should borrow a leaf from the president. One of the reasons the PDP lost in 2015 was the abuses the handlers of the party then were heaping on the APC presidential candidate then, and the president today, Muhammadu Buhari. Oshiomhole should be advised not to tow the 2015 PDP line.”
He said Obasanjo deserved everyone’s respect because of his status as a former president of the country.
“And no matter the provocation or his political activities this time, Oshiomhole should have considered his status as the former president of the country in talking about him, and should have exercised caution in addressing him,” he said, adding, “Saying that God would punish the former president was never advisable. This should not be the language of APC.”
He referred to the most recent attack on him and some other governors of APC extraction by Oshiomhole, stating, “We won’t take the pain to begin to talk about all the abuses, but to humbly plead with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the leader of the party, to call Oshiomhole to order.
“The party’s national chairman has, in less than six months, enthroned the culture of rascality into the party and the development is not good for the Party. APC is not known for rascality and abuses. And the earlier he is called to order the better for the party.”
Okorocha said Oshiomhole should help the party and its candidates by making his points without abusing people, adding that the way Oshiomhole is talking has become nauseating to most Nigerians and the earlier he is called to order, the better.
According to the governor, “He should be talking about the achievements of President Buhari and APC as a party instead of using the opportunities he would have used to do that, to be insulting people.
“To say the least, few weeks to the elections, APC and its candidates do not need Oshiomhole’s abuses or insults but the reasons Nigerians should re-elect President Buhari and elect APC candidates.”
Imo Speaker, 18 Other Lawmakers Defect to Action Alliance
Meanwhile, 19 out of the 27 lawmakers of the Imo State House of Assembly yesterday joined the Action Alliance (AA), denouncing their memberships of APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively.
The speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Acho Ihim, who read the notice of defection signed by the lawmakers during plenary yesterday evening, also announced that he had joined his colleagues in AA.
Reading the defection notice, Ihim said the members elected on the platform of PDP have also joined AA.
According to him, the defection notice was dated November 7.
The former PDP lawmakers are Ken Agbim, Bruno Ukoha and Mike Iheanatu.
Apart from the speaker, the former APC lawmakers, who joined AA are Ikechukwu Amuka, Authur Egwim, Uju Onwudiwe, Uche Ejiogu, Ngozi Obiefule, Lugard Osuji, Lloyd Chukwuemeka and Victor Onyewuchi.
Others are Chinedu Offor, Kennedy Ibe, Lawman Duruji, Max Odunze, Henry Ezediaro, and Obinna Egu.
Speaking after the notice of defection had been read, one of the defectors, Amuka, a former member of APC, accused Oshiomhole, of “collaborating with some people to hijack APC in Imo State.”
The Majority Leader, Osuji, who also joined AA, alleged that the APC national chairman “meted grave injustice” to them during the controversial APC primaries in the state.
He said he felt ashamed that he was ever associated with APC.
Osuji, who still retains his position as the Majority Leader after his defection, said the lawmakers would team up with the AA governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Uche Nwosu, to win the governorship election and also ensure that Buhari wins re-election.
Agbim, who joined AA from PDP, said he and two others left the main opposition party because of the “emergence of new PDP” in the state.
He said currently, PDP in the state has “no leadership direction,” adding that this development forced them to join AA in order to ensure that Nwosu and Buhari win their elections.
The speaker said, “What Oshiomhole did in Imo State was injustice and against the tenets of ideal democracy.”