Rochas Okorocha Spits Fire, Says APC Will Collapse In 2023
Rochas Okorocha, former governor of Imo State, has been making headlines due to his controversial statements against his party APC. Okorocha, who is now a senator representing Imo West Constituency has said emphatically that the ruling All Progress Congress, APC, may not retain power come 2023.
He made this much known in an interview with journalists in Kano during the weekend, where he said that the character and integrity Buhari brought to the party may end with him.
Here are excerpts from the interview
“The masses of the North who saw him as a true leader, massively support him and the party and we all rode on that to achieve that victory. But after the credibility of Buhari into this party, there seem to be no alternative in the same manner that will drive this party to 2023 victory.
“This is why I expressed my concern that if we are not very careful, APC might go with Buhari in 2023, and that will be a very unfortunate situation for the founding fathers of APC. The party needs to show purposeful leadership, show character,” he said
“I have said this earlier, APC is a party that we hurriedly put together when we were governors because we felt that the government at that time was not living up to expectation and we wanted to make sure that we brought about change at that time.
“That is why we came together and formed the All Progressive Congress and we ensured that the party got power in 2015. That was how it was then, and we achieved that.
“Right now, I think we should continue with the same pace that we started within 2015 election but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Crisis in the party
“This idea of crisis and idea of commotions shows that the said party does not have a common ideology. If the ideology is one and you believe in one thing, there should not be reason for disagreement at that level. You might have a minor disagreement, but when it comes to the issue of do-or-die, it is no longer a political party.
“What has been our challenge in Nigeria is that we don’t really have a common vision and common ideology for our political parties. So, it is just what we call ‘agidi’ and ‘goro’ combination. People come from all different beliefs, meet up in one place and form a political party.
“So, until we have such a political party that is more like a family in their belief, then we are still growing our democracy. Talking about what is happening in Edo State, it is unfortunate, but a true political party cannot work against itself. So, I want to advise that they reconcile and relax their differences. The truth is that a party that is divided among itself can never stand,” he said.
“Right now, I think we should continue with the same pace that we started within 2015 election but that doesn’t seem to be the case. President Muhammadu Buhari gave character to APC. He brought his integrity to bear on the party. He made the party what it is in the northern part of the country and the masses of the North who saw him as a true leader, and we all rode on that to achieve that victory, but after the credibility of Buhari into this party, there seem to be no alternative in the same manner that will drive this party to 2023 victory.
“This is why I expressed my concern that if we are not very careful, APC might go with Buhari in 2023, and that will be a very unfortunate situation for the founding fathers of APC. The party needs to show purposeful leadership, show character,” Mr Okorocha said.
On border closure
“I am not sure we are achieving results on the intention for border closure because we have more than 3000 entry points in this country. If we close the border, what have we done with some other bushes that surround Cotonou, Cameroon and other places.”
“We as a country need to start looking inward to solve the problem of importing these goods by creating that kind of atmosphere, people will now begin to understand why we should be self-reliant and ensure food security.”
“Any time you see us eat a bag of rice produced in China, it simply means that you have created jobs for people in China while we are here as a consuming nation. So, whether we want to face this now or later, we must pay this price, either by this generation or the generation to come.”
“To say so means that there is nothing wrong to encourage local production. What I consider very afraid of is that if you travel from Sokoto to Kano, Lagos, Owerri, Ogun and Ondo and see any smoke coming out from the roof, that smoke is not a smoke for production, it is a smoke for consumption”.
“It is either the smoke for pepper soup or smoke for fried fish or smoke for Jollof rice. This nation for too long has been a consuming nation and not a productive nation. This also has made our own problems more worrisome because we are not economically independent. We depend on other countries for virtually everything that we eat and use; and that is not good for our youths and the generation yet unborn.
“So, (rather than) border closure, a creation of awareness for us to begin to consume what we produce. So, we should take a more practical approach in ensuring that we encourage the youths and the people to look inwards and produce those things that we import,” he said.
It would be recalled that Okorocha was suspended by the APC for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities, when he was said to have supported the candidate of another party to succeed him as governor, instead of the preferred APC candidate. This move led to the failure of the party in the state, and the emergence of Emeka Ihedioha, of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate.
However, Okorocha won the senatorial election on the APC platform. He recently called for the reduction in the number of senators across states, so as to reduce costs for the FG, his opinions has made him unpopular amongst his colleagues in the ninth assembly.
What do you think of this story?
Do you believe Okorocha’s predictions will come true?