Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Tuesday while speaking with journalists in Abuja said that the evil he feared in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has befallen him 10 times in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The evil I feared in the PDP has befallen me 10 times in the APC,” Okorocha said.
According to the governor, he had been afflicted with more evil in the ruling APC more than he would have suffered if he had been a member of the PDP.
Okorocha accused Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the APC, and other leaders of the party of working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to destroy his senatorial ambition.
INEC had refused to issue Okorocha his Certificate of Return after the February 23 election. The electoral commission said that his return certificate was withheld because the electoral officer in the state declared him winner under duress.
According to him (Okorocha) however, there were all moves by his enemies to destroy his political career.
He however said that despite the plot to frustrate him, he would still remain in the APC.
“The evil I feared in the PDP has befallen me 10 times in the APC. Last week, I wrote a letter to INEC for the first time informing them of their wrongdoings and illegal actions to withhold my certificate on mere allegation of duress which was never founded, neither was there any committee set up to investigate the matter.
“So, INEC on its own believed the reports of the Returning Officer without investigating the authenticity of the accusation. So, there was no issue of fair hearing at all.
“What is important here is that INEC does not have the power to withhold the certificate of return, having declared the result.
“I believe the INEC chairman is up to a game with the chairman of the APC, who is being used to frustrate my coming to the Senate, and this is politically motivated. I’ve given INEC enough time to correct itself and do the needful and issue me my certificate of return but to no avail.
“Many things have happened so far and these should be of concern to everyone. INEC that made the submission to the tribunal has gone back, requesting to withdraw it because the submission was defending its declaration. But because the submission seems to be in my favour, they have said they want to withdraw the affidavit which is out of time.
“The withdrawal was made by one of their members of staff who said that Festus Okoye, a commissioner in INEC, had threatened to sack him if he did not withdraw it. So, there is a huge threat going on in INEC.
“Festus Okoye is presently being used as the hatchet man; he has gone to the tribunal in Imo asking for the withdrawal of the affidavit that has been filed defending the APC.”
“I wonder what they want to do with the certificate, if they don’t give it to me, who will they give it to?
“Maybe they will give it to Festus Okoye because he is from my senatorial district but what they are doing is presenting INEC as a lying organisation and that is dangerous for our democracy because, as it stands right now, the image of INEC is bastardised.
“What it means is that tomorrow somebody can withhold the certificate of return of anybody because you don’t like his face, because you feel that he wants to politically challenge you in future.”
“If you know the President well, you will know that he will never intervene as he will only keep mute. But whether President Buhari speaks or not, INEC should do the right thing by giving me my certificate of return,” he said.