It is still too early to tell whether Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State is an asset or a liability to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
However, the APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has labeled him a liability, without mincing words. Oshiomhole said Okorocha and another disgruntled Governor, Ibukun Amosun of Ogun State, are political liabilities and that the APC is better-of without them.
He said the chances of APC winning Imo State is better now than when Okorocha was in the forefront. This follows what has been perceived as irreconcilable differences between the APC and the governors.
In the case of Okorocha, the APC and Oshiomhole refused to accept his son-in-law,his hand-picked successor, and this has led to several verbal clashes.
Oshiomhole is certain the APC grip at Imo State is firmer.
“The real headline today is that we will win in Ogun State and we will deliver Hope Uzodinma in Imo State. Our popularity in Imo State today is increasing, what we don’t know and Nigerians always make this mistake that once you are a governor you have electoral value,” he said.
“Yes, we have overwhelming majority of APC governors who have electoral value and we also have some few electoral liabilities. I can tell you that in Imo State today we will win more votes. Politics is about numbers. And I am looking at the average Imo voter because on that day, the governor will have one vote and his son-in-law will also have one vote, those market women, artisans, mechanics and farmers will also have their votes.”
Oshiomhole was speaking while receiving the APC women leader from Edo State and Abuja who paid him a solidarity visit.
The chairman insisted that Nigerians should learn to play by the rules.
“There is nothing we can do about it. Nigeria has to move to a level where rules are what matter not the power of a person. If you are a big person or a small, the rules are not supposed to discriminate,” he added, describing Okorocha and Ibukun as poor students of their own history.
“Those who think our political future is tied to them, they are poor students of their own political history. Some of these people who talk as have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost, until they abandoned their parties and joined us. So if they return back, history will repeat itself.”
Responding, Governor Okorocha accused Oshiomhole, formerly his friend, of trying to destroy the APC. His Commissioner for Information, Patrick Nzeh said the chairman himself was a liability and a victim of his own actions.
Meanwhile, immediate past National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun has predicted that the 2019 election will be tough.
During an interactive session with correspondents, Oyegun expressed concern about the crisis rocking the ruling party but refused to apportion blames.
Governor Okorocha’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu has also pitched his tent with the Action Alliance (AA) Party as his governorship candidate for the up-coming election.