One of the Imo State governorship aspirants in the 2011 election under the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Hon. Peter Orji has insisted that the leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike installed Owelle Rochas Okorocha as Imo State governor.
Hon Orji said Okorocha lied by denying that the MASSOB leader made him governor of the state.
In a statement released by Orji and made available to Nigeria Newspoint, the former guber aspirant stated that having read in the papers where Governor Okorocha denied being installed the governor of Imo State by Uwazuruike, “I felt so disappointed and decided to make this public clarification to state the truth.”
He insisted that without Uwazuruike, Okorocha could not have got the ticket of APGA not to talk of becoming the governor of the state.
Orji went down memory lane to narrate how Uwazuruike single-handedly installed Okorocha as governor of Imo State to the dissatisfaction of the other aspirants and party leaders.
According to him, “I was one of the guber aspirants in 2011 under APGA, believing that it was the turn of Okigwe zone. When I approached Chief Ralph Uwazuruike who was my school mate in India to inform him of my ambition. He advised me not to waste my time and resources as the APGA ticket was reserved for Rochas Okorocha.
“Uwazuruike there and then informed me that he had already taken Rochas Okorocha to Ojukwu and that Ojukwu has already endorsed Okorocha as Governor.
I felt dissatisfied with Uwazuruike’s explanations and went to Enugu to see Ojukwu myself…..(nut) Iyom Bianca told me that Okenwa (Uwazuruike) had brought Okorocha to Ojukwu a week before and that Ojukwu had endorsed him (Okorocha) as APHA governorship candidate for Imo State. Iyom told me that Uwazuruike came with Rochas and Chief P.C. Onuoha. She told me that though Ojukwu objected to Okorocha’s candidature but that Uwazuruike pressurized him (Ojukwu) to adopt Okorocha.
“Few weeks to APGA primaries, Uwazuruike summoned all the APGA guber aspirants to his country home in Okwe. The three guber aspirants including Rochas Okorocha, Captain Umeogu and I went to Okigwe….
“At the meeting in Okwe, Uwazuruike told the gathering that Ojukwu (who was in London Hospital receiving treatment) directed him to present Okorocha to us as APGA guber candidate for Imo State.
“When captain Umeogu and I protested that the move was undemocratic, Uwazuruike told us that the meeting was indeed the APGA guber primary for 2011, and warned us against objecting to Ojukwu’s instructions. That was how Rochas became APGA governorship candidate in 2011.”
He continued that Uwazuruike took Rochas to Victor Umeh’s house in Enugu to present him as APGA candidate for Imo State and that Umeh who was rooting for Chief Martin Agbaso for governorship, had to agree with Uwazuruike and Ojukwu’s position.
This, Orji stated, had to be possible with an agreement reached for Agbaso’s younger brother to be drafted as deputy governor in stead of Chief P.C. Onuoha, to placate Agbaso.
He said it was laughable that Governor Okorocha was denying what was done publicly, saying, at least the Special Adviser on political affairs, Chief P.C. Onuoha and the SSG, Prof. Anthony Anwuka were present in Okwe when Uwazuruike presented him (Okorocha) as the candidate for APGA in Imo State.