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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

So much bitterness in APC, says Okorocha

Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor, says there is so much bitterness in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking on Wednesday when he visited Senate President Bukola Saraki at the national assembly, Okorocha accused the party of not being able to manage its “God-given victory”.

The chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum said he decided to visit the nation’s number three citizen over the crisis in the party.

“I am here because I am a stakeholder. I am here as the chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum – your friends and colleagues in the struggle,” he said.

“Mr Senate President, leaders of these great senate, you may recall a few years ago that we were all in the trenches, in battle, asking for change in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I recall vividly the role most of you played in that very struggle.

“We became a government when no one gave us a chance to be so. And shortly, Nigerians believed in us and entrusted us with the responsibility of leading this nation. But one year and several months after, we have not been able to manage this God-given victory very well and it is very worrisome, Mr Senate President.

“That Nigerians expects so much from us but yet we seem to be in crisis within ourselves. Not crisis made by the opposition parties but crisis created by ourselves for ourselves and which has kept us in total difficult position that we are not making the headway we need to make as a party.

“And I noticed particularly that there is so much bitterness in the system – from the party, from the legislature, from the executive, from the governors – and it seems to me like there is no more platform for us to chant those old songs which we used to sing in the days of struggle for change. One wonders, ‘was this what we were asking for or was this the change we were asking for?’ I think Nigerians expect so much from us and at the end of it all.”

Okorocha said it was obvious that the party had not lived up to expectation, wondering the cause of the so much “bitterness”.

“One wonders then what went wrong. Where did we get it wrong? And after these troubles and after the much hope we have given to Nigerians, we still cannot work together as a party, as a family,” he said.

“Nigerians will not ask us, how many of each other we have been able to destroy or how many we have been able to bring down. But they will ask us how many plates of food have we put on the table of the common man who elected us. So, I am here Mr President of the senate to call for unity among us and our party. And to sheath our sword in whatever form anger has gotten to us.

“We noticed and we know that we are a party in majority at the national assembly and we are a party with majority in the number of governors – state houses of assembly – but we notice there is no cordial relationship between the governors, the executive and the legislature.”

In his response, Saraki told Okorocha that he had raised vital issues that the APC national assembly caucus would look into.

He assured him that the senate would work in synergy to deliver the dividends of democracy,but wondered why the leadership of the APC had not deemed it fit “in the past 16 months” to visit and meet with their members at the national assembly.

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