ABUJA – Arising from an emergency meeting in Abuja on Monday, All Progressive Congress’ (APC) leaders in Imo State said they had credible information that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was putting pressure on APC national leadership to tamper with the outcome of the party’s ward congress on Saturday.
Advising the vice president to stay clear of the state chapter’s affairs and respect the will of the people, the party’s leaders in Imo State said as a senior lawyer, he should be mindful of the legal implications of his alleged interference.
In a statement signed by Dr. James Obi after the meeting, the APC’s leaders said their advice was predicated on “credible information that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led forces within the party’’, was putting pressure on the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to alter the party’s ward congress that took place last Saturday, as it affects Imo State.
Okorocha, who was said to have lost out in the ward congress, reportedly rushed to Daura, Katsina State on Sunday and briefed President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged infractions that characterised the congress in Imo, saying the “funny politics” witnessed at Saturday’s ward congress of the APC across the country must stop.
Speaking with journalists after meeting the President, Okorocha said internal democracy was the way to go.
“We expect internal democracy and internal democracy is the way to go. This kind of funny politics that we are playing must stop,” the governor said.
But Dr. Obi, on behalf of APC’s leaders in Imo, said the outcome of the congress on Saturday in the state was a ‘’sound democratic decision’’ of members of APC across the wards, and warned against tampering with the result.
Obi said: “Against the falsehoods being peddled around by Governor Roachas Okorocha, who was defeated in the ward congress on Saturday, congress was held in all wards in Imo State.”
‘’In fact, it was Okorocha who attempted to write the result in the Imo State Government House, but he failed woefully. From the beginning, he wanted to manipulate the process.
“First, he rejected members of the committee that were sent to the state to conduct the congress, and forced the party to send the panel initially deployed to Anambra State to Imo State. But members of the committee who came to Imo State stood their ground and refused to be used by Governor Okorocha.
“Now we hear the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is putting pressure on the national leadership of our party, on behalf of Okoroacha, to tamper with the congress.’’
The party leaders in Imo State advised the vice president to stay clear of the state chapter’s affairs in the state and respect the will of the people, saying that as a senior lawyer, he should be mindful of the legal implication of his suspected action.
The statement further stated, ‘’The Vice President should be very careful; he is a senior lawyer and should not do anything that will undermine the internal democracy of our party. Those elected will go to court if their mandate is tampered with.
‘’We should not resort to the impunity and lawlessness that destroyed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the past; we are trying to rescue Imo APC from Governor Okorocha, who want to destroy the party in the state.’’
Dr. Obi added that Governor Okorocha had lost relevance in the state because of his alleged anti-people policies and programmes in the past seven years, saying any attempt to placate him through undemocratic process would spell doom for APC in Imo State.