National Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie has returned a damning verdict on the political situation in Abia State, describing it as pitiable. He also blasted the Abia Elders for doing nothing while the state continues to drift away from the path of development.
Speaking with News Critic in a telephone interview, Chief Okorie said Abia is the worst governed state of the federation, adding that it did not start with incumbent governor Okezie Ikpeazu, but predates 1999 return to democratic rule when Chief Orji Uzor Kalu was elected as governor.
He pointed out that since the advent of this republic till date the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has never produced good governors in Abia State, while the state has continued to move into a failed state. Okorie lamented that the Abia elders have lost their voice and hardly return home to see the state of affairs in the state.
Said he, ’’all the elders hide in Lagos and Abuja they don’t come home. Abia is the worst governed state in Nigeria and it did not start with Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. Abia situation remains pitiable, I had opportunity to talk to all the governors individually still they will continue with the way they like’’.
Reacting to a statement credited to him which, he reportedly asked Igbo to wake up from their political sleep, the former APGA national chairman explained that ‘’our people have poor readership attitude because they only pick the caption of a story without bordering to read the content. He said the criticisms that trailed the said statement were baseless.
According to him, there is nothing the Igbo can do without political power, adding that Ndigbo have the number and strength to be more relevant in the political equation of the country. ‘’We are talking about restructuring but the truth is that we cannot do anything without political power. I have been a champion of Igbo rights all through my life, as well as followed Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu for 22 years. I founded APGA when registration of political parties was a serious affair and made Ojukwu the presidential candidate. They came to accuse me of selling the party to Dr. Chris Ngige, I ask how can one sale a party? Anything the Anambra people will do to run me down they will not hesitate to do it, he submits.
On his support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection bid, Okorie said that before UPP endorsed Buhari for second term, the party met in August 2018 and decided that it will not present a candidate for the presidential election. He went further to argue that Chief Peter Obi declared for the Vice Presidency in November of the same year. In this circumstance, he asked whether he should go back to the party to reverse the earlier decision taken because Obi is a presidential running mate.
He said that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar once told him that the VP is a spare tyre, and that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan also said the same. ‘’So why should anyone get excited that Peter Obi is vice presidential candidate’’. He wondered why some people should get upset about his support for Buhari whereas many Igbo leaders including Senator Ken Nnamani, Orji Uzor Kalu etc joined APC after holding executive offices under PDP.
‘’I just said I’m supporting Buhari and there is uproar, I will not because of the opinion of people stop to do what I should do’’, he concludes.