Some notable Igbo leaders in All Progressives Party, APC, in South East region, Tuesday, shunned rally organised by Governor Rochas Okorocha for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid at Dan Anyim Stadium, Imo State.
This is even as Buhari stated that the political future of Igbo in Nigeria depends on his re-election in 2019.
The rally, which was supposed to be a mega rally for the South-East zone, saw the absence of major stakeholders of APC extraction from the zone- Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state, serving ministers, Senators, former Senators, and House of Representatives members from the zone.
The stakeholders of Imo APC included Eze Madumere, the Imo state Deputy governor, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, former speakers of Imo state House of Assembly, former commissioners under Okorocha, and more than 150 APC leaders in the state, were absent in the Okorocha’s rally.
Buhari was represented by the Secretary to the Federal government of Nigeria, SGF, Boss Mustapha.
According to Buhari’s representative, “The people often the Southeast are part of Nigeria and they have rights to make claim where the need arises and we will all support them.
“The Igbo are not good starters. Whenever they start they can catch it. Let me say this, 2019 is an election that will make or mar the chances of Igbo in Nigeria. I want Igbo to make a paradigm shift.
“We have to know that the position of the presidency is negotiable. You can argue it from the point of strength and not from the point of weakness. 2019 will determine the future of this country. Let me say this, there are 18 Christians and 18 Muslims.
I see a whole lot of people coming out to be president. Let me tell them Nigeria is not a Banana Republic.”
In his remark, Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of APC, said, “In politics what you see is what you believe. I am impressed with the crowd that I have seen here. It is a sign that the Igbo people love Buhari.
“We are tired of the People deceiving people. What they could not do in 16 years, they want us to do it in 3 years. How many times did they invite the Igbo to the ground breaking ceremony of the second Niger Bridge?
“Many have spoken on the enormous projects of the Federal government in this part of the country but it not yet over more are cooking.”
Speaking too, Rochas Okorocha, the Imo state governor said, “Let me start by saying that Igbo people love Buhari and the President should know that Igbo people love him.
“I am happy for our new brand National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. I describe him as the silencer of PDP. Adam’s is a hope of APC and we look up to him to him to give us the best.
“We are one in South East. We are celebrating leadership of Buhari. People have argued that we made a mistake.
“It is just that in 2019, Igbo did not believe in Buhari but in 2018 Igbo now believe in Buhari.”
In his opinion, Modu Sherriff, said, “Okorocha is man of the people. There is no part of this country Okorocha has not received a tittle. I am very happy with what I have seen today. It means that Okorocha is in charge. We believe that in 2019, that the Igbo will give Buhari 5 million votes.”
While Timipre Sylva, the former governor of Bayelsa state, said, “From the South South part of the country we will give Buhari, 80 percent of our votes.”