Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has declared that no amount of letters written by ex-presidents can stop President Muhammadu Buhari from running for President in 2019 if indeed he has resolved to seek re-election.
This is as the governor disclosed that he would erect three more statues of some renowned Igbo leaders, as part of activities to mark the 42nd anniversary of Imo state. Okorocha, who is Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, spoke yesterday when he addressed newsmen in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
The governor said that the memo from Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida to President Buhari was a high level memo that required a high level answer.
Both Obasanjo and Babangida have in their separate letters advised Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019. While Obasanjo accused the president of poor performance, nepotism and other allegations, Babangida in a controversial letter called for the enthronement of new breed leaders in 2019. “This is a letter from one General to another, and from a former President to a sitting President.
We do not dabble into their conversations because they know how to convey their messages to one another beyond the obvious. So we should not cry more than the bereaved. However, I know for sure that if indeed President Buhari has resolved to seek re-election in 2019, Obasanjo’s letter would not stop him.”
Okorocha stated that for 2019, Buhari remained his choice candidate in spite of the letters and negative political assertions put in circulation by the political class. “You will all recall that I have said this time and again. Having considered all there is, it is my informed opinion that Buhari is our best bet at this point in time in our political history.
You will also recall that I made it clear that if Buhari is not running for the presidency of the country, I will run for the top job but as long as he is still in the race, I shelf my ambition.
“I am confident that things will get much better in Nigeria. Let us get involved and play national politics and not the retrogressive ethnic politics.” The governor informed that Imo State has lined up activities to mark its 42nd anniversary and will also host the Imo Merit Award where 42 persons shall be honoured.
He listed Chief Sam Mbakwe, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and Dr. Michael Okpara for special post-humous recognition. The trio, whose statues would be erected, would be bestowed with the highest award of the state. The award committee will be headed by the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly. Imo was created in 1976.