Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha on Monday said the apology by the All Progressive Congress National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole’s apology to the Roman Catholic Church in the state is a deliberate attempt to blackmail him.
Mr. Okorocha said this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo.
The APC national chairman had recently distanced the party from what he saw as Okorocha’s disrespect for the Roman Catholic community in Imo state, and apologised to the Archbishop of the Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Most Reverend Anthony Obinna for the governor’s “sin”.
However, the Imo State governor took exception to the apology.
Okorocha said, “In responding to that deliberate blackmail, we won’t toe the part of Comrade Oshiomhole. We recognise the fact that he is the National Chairman of a ruling party, which President Muhammadu Buhari is the leader, and we would not, therefore, throw caution to the wind like he did, when he was abusing or attacking governors in his party as if he is the publicity secretary of any of the opposition parties.
“If he had asked questions, he would have discovered that members of the Catholic Church in the state constitute the bulk of Governor Okorocha’s supporters, especially at the grassroots. They voted for him overwhelmingly in 2011 and 2015 respectively. And he has never taken their support for granted. He has shown gratitude in several ways which cannot be catalogued in this response, including making them the majority in his cabinet.
“The man has put himself on trial and that is the reason since that woeful and awful outing, he has made more than nine claims to see how he could recover but all to no avail. He murdered sleep and would remain awake.”
He added, “As a matter of fact, the National Chairman did not treat the concerned governors well no matter his reasons. He should not expect them to go home celebrating. In the circumstances, his utterances and actions should be responsive and reconciliatory to a very large extent and not declaration of war.”
Mr. Okorocha and Mr. Oshiomhole seem to have parted ways after the latter refused to support the former in his bid to instal his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu as the next Imo State governor.
Mr. Nwosu lost the 2019 APC governorship ticket to Senator Hope Uzodinma.