Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has described the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomole as a failure.
The Governor challenged the former Labour leader to publish his achievements for the duration he was governor of Edo State. This was in a direct response to Oshiomhole’s verbal attack on the Imo State governor when he flagged off Senator Hope Uzodinma’s governorship campaign in the state.
Okorocha spoke in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo. He said,
“We won’t allow Oshiomhole to eat his cake and still have it.
“And we start this way: Adams Oshiomhole was governor in Edo State for eight years. Rochas Okorocha has been governor in Imo for less than eight years.
“And we challenge Oshiomhole to publish his achievements in Edo State for the eight years he was governor and let Rochas publish his own achievements in Imo in less than eight years. And let Nigerians judge between the two who failed as governor.
“If Oshiomhole fails to accept this challenge, we won’t have any other option than to conclude that he is just a noise maker.
“Mr. Oshiomhole has been talking and working to fulfill his own part of whatever deal he has with Chief Hope Uzodinma. He is acting his own part and in doing that, he has thrown caution to the wind.
“A national chairman of a party who came for the campaign of a governorship candidate of his party would have used the opportunity offered by that event to market the candidate.
“But in this case, Oshiomhole talked about Governor Okorocha and carefully skipped because he knows where the problem lies with the candidate.
“All the media reports on what Oshiomhole said at the rally were all about Okorocha. He consciously avoided telling Imo people why they should opt for Chief Uzodinma at the poll in 2019 or why he chose him as the guber candidate of the party in the state.”
Speaking on the issue of salary owed workers which Oshiomole talked about, Okorocha noted that the information had long been in the public domain that he paid the December 2018 salary in November 2018 and that he had also given each of the workers N10,000 as Christmas bonus.
He added that just last week, he “handed over a new office complex, furnished by the state government to the state chapter of NLC.”
Okorocha insisted “that all these gestures showed the harmonious relationship between the governor and the workers in the state.”
Okorocha recalled that Oshiomhole admitted that he had owed Edo workers seven months salary arrears while leaving as governor and could not also pay the N18,000 minimum wage, maintaining that he was therefore not qualified to talk about payment of salary.
“The truth is that the APC National Chairman has resorted to noise making to see if that could help him out of the whole mess but all to no avail.”
Okorocha observed that “at Uzodinma’s flag-off campaign, Oshiomhole spoke with anger. And that anger stemmed from the fact that the venue of the event was empty. And he decided to vent his frustration on Okorocha.
“The blackmailing of Rochas in Abuja by few Imo born political hawks has nothing to do with the tick political followership Rochas enjoys in Imo.
“And it was the empty venue that prompted the false claim that the governor refused to give them the Dan Anyiam Stadium for the event, as a face-saving mechanism. Where would they have got the people to fill the Stadium? They had played safe by deciding to use Uzodinma’s campaign office on Okigwe road. Yet, the compound was empty.
“At a rally at the Dan Anyiam Stadium on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, Mr. Oshiomhole after seeing the mammoth crowd said, they had known who owned the land. He was referring to Governor Okorocha who organised the rally. And nothing has changed between that July and today. Rochas holds the ace of Imo grassroots politics. And there is nothing anybody can do about that,” the statement said.