ALL Progressives Congress (APC) leaders have told Imo State’s Governor Rochas Okorocha that he is on his own when it comes to the fight to get his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec).
Following the February 29 National Assembly elections, Governor Okorocha was declared the winner of the Imo West Senatorial District, with 97,762 votes, beating his closest rival Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 68,117 votes. However, Inec’s returning officer Professor Francis Ibeawuchi, has since revealed that he announced the results under duress as he was abducted and held until he pronounced the governor the winner.
As a result, Inec dropped Governor Okorocha’s name from the list of senators duly elected which it published after the polls On Thursday March 14, the senators-elect received their certificates of return from Inec but Governor Okorocha will now have to wait for a re-run in certain parts of his constituency as the elections have been declared inconclusive.
Incensed by the decision, Governor Okorocha blamed the decision on his political enemies and has been pressing the APC to intercede on his behalf. Matters have been made worse for him by the fact that the party has suspended him for backing his son-in-law Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance in the Imo State gubernatorial election against the APC candidate Senator Hope Uzodinma.
APC publicity secretary Mallam Lanre Onilu, said that the governor has also not informed the party of the problem he is having with the electoral management body probably because he is aware of his suspension. He added that Governor Okorocha is still under suspension, and until it is vacated, the party will not intervene on his behalf.
Mallam Onilu said: “On the refusal of Inec to issue a certificate of return to the governor, who was announced winner of the Imo West Senatorial District, this party cannot take any action. Don’t forget that he is on suspension and as far as this party is concerned, that situation remains because there is no way we can say that somebody is on suspension and still go ahead to intervene in his case.
“In any case, he has not even come up to inform the party of his problem because he has realised that he is on suspension. Therefore, when it is vacated, the party will now step in to intervene as a party member who has a problem to resolve.”