Reactions have continued to greet Monday’s declaration by former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Recall that Okorocha, now Senator representing Orlu Senatorial zone, who on Monday officially declared his intention to run for the presidency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) come 2023, had attempted to become the president in 2015.
However, some people from the South-East geopolitical zone who spoke to DAILY POST correspondent on Thursday said the move indicated desperation on the part of Okorocha who had tried many unsuccessful times to become Nigeria’s president.
While reacting to Okorocha’s declaration, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Imo State chapter said Okorocha’s presidential aspiration is a monumental mockery to democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
The ruling party in the State said as a responsible and responsive political party, it received the news of Rochas Okorocha’s presidential declaration with strong disbelief and consternation.
The party, which spoke through the State Publicity Secretary Cajetan Duke, said his eight years as governor left Imo in a debilitating state of squalor, social and economically comatose occasioned by gross abuse of rule of law, financial recklessness and administrative rascality and impunity.
According to the party, “it is an affront to the people of Imo State, that a man under whose watch, the business of governance was reduced to a ridiculous low of a family business- the infamous my people, my people which later turned to the inglorious my family, my family; my in-laws, my in-laws, where public assets were barkanized and shared amongst family members with reckless impunity, will present himself for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Before unsuspecting Nigerians are misled by Rochas bogus claims, manipulative promises, evil and pretentious smile, we advise they take a working visit to Imo State, where 27 uncompleted general hospitals, collapsed Imo International Conference Center, Mother and Child Hospital, substandard flyover and other infrastructure which remain Rochas indelible landmark and footprints will confront them on arrival.”
Speaking with DAILY POST in Owerri, the Director-General, New Media of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Imo State, said it is within Senator Rochas Okorocha’s fundamental right to contest as a Nigerian.
The social activist said Okorocha is qualified and the PDP wishes him well.
Also speaking, the Acting Youth Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Mr. Jones Onwuasoanya, said “yes, we want a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023. And this is non-negotiable.
“We have to get it now but we wouldn’t in the bid to have a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, support or even keep quiet while some, very insensitive, blind, self-centered, smooth talkative go around talking about becoming Nigerian President because they are Igbo.”
He said, “for instance, someone who was governor for eight years or even four years, yet, doesn’t have a road to his own house, should rather be in his house crying for being a disappointment to himself and the State, not talking about becoming President.”
Meanwhile, some southeast stakeholders have accused the ex-governor of aiding the Engr Chidi Ibeh-led factional leadership of the apex socio-cultural body in Southeast.
They said that a factional body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo had long opened a parallel secretariat in Enugu led by Okorocha’s former Commissioner, Engr Ibeh.