Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, on Wednesday said the people of the state would neither support nor vote for any governorship candidate “who was brandishing a stolen ticket.”
This was contained in a statement made available to journalists in Owerri, the state capital, by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo.
He said those peddling fake news stories that he had dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress were being scared by his political popularity.
Okorocha said he remained a staunch member of the APC and was committed to making sure that President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected.
The governor also said he would only support those he described as “marketable candidates in APC.”
The statement read, “lmo people do not support stolen tickets and that is why all those who stole the governorship tickets of their parties for the 2019 elections cannot fly.
“They have become stranded and looking for who to blame for their woes or misfortune. They know this fact. Imo people do not support anything stolen. That was the reason they dealt with 419ers in 1997.
“It was out of frustration that those concerned came up with the story of Governor Okorocha leaving APC for AA, which is not true.”
Okorocha alleged that those he described as parading stolen tickets blackmailed him in Abuja in order to get the tickets.
He said politicians could not win elections through blackmail but through political popularity and goodwill.
The governor added, “With the ill-gotten ticket, they have also seen that the sound of bitterkola in the mouth does not reflect its real taste.
“They used blackmail and what they know how to do best to get the ticket of the party and their challenge now is how to convince Imo people to vote for them.
“In their blackmail in Abuja, they told their audience that they would win Imo without Rochas Okorocha. Then, if that is true, why are they still bothered about Rochas and his politics?
“Rochas Okorocha defeated an incumbent governor of PDP extraction in 2011 with APGA ticket and with the APC ticket defeated a sitting Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of PDP extraction too, who had the backing of the Federal Government, in 2015.
“They told lies to those who do not know them and got the ticket but Imo people know them and won’t entertain lies from them.”
Okorocha noted that he had not been accused of non-performance and nobody had challenged him on his claim that he had achieved more than all his predecessors.
“The only blackmail tool they have is the son-in-law issue. And nobody has gone to court to say that a man from Nkwerre Local Government Area cannot be governor because his in-law from Ideato South Local Government Area is a governor.
“Rochas Okorocha does not play hide-and-seek.
“He has assured all that President Muhammadu Buhari would win overwhelmingly in the state and all the APC marketable candidates, because you cannot force Imo people to vote for someone they know cannot govern them,” he said.