Posted by Temidayo Akinsuyi | 16 May 2019 | 1,070 times
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will not intervene on behalf of Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, in his bid to collect his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the senator-elect for Imo-West.
In a recent interview, Okorocha had asked the electoral body to issue the certificate before the June 2019 inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, arguing that it lacked the constitutional powers to withhold the certificate.
He also accused Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of INEC, of conspiring with Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC, to deny him the ticket because they don’t want him in the Senate.
According to him, “What is important here is that INEC doesn’t have the power to withhold certificate of return, having declared a result.
“Both the certificate of return and the declaration is just one subject matter, just that the other one is ceremonial because result has been declared.
“Looking at some of the activities that have taken place since this issue of my certificate, it became obvious that the INEC chairman was up to a game with the chairman of APC, who are being used to frustrate my coming to the Senate and this is politically motivated. I’ve given enough time that INEC might correct itself and do the needful and issue a certificate of return, all to no avail.”
However, speaking with Daily Independent, a member of the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the party could not assist Okorocha because his selfish ambition led to the defeat of the APC in the presidential and governorship election.
He also said there was no way the party could assist the embattled governor who had not shown any remorse for his actions even when he was suspended by the national leadership of the party for anti-party activities.
“The truth is that the party cannot assist him. Let him settle his differences with INEC. It has nothing to do with the party at all. The party gave him the ticket to contest which he did and won but INEC said they are withholding it because of some contentious issues. What has that got to do with the party?
“How can the party assist a man whose selfish action caused us massive defeat in the presidential election in Imo State? We were in control of Imo State but now we have lost it to the PDP.
“If Okorocha had behaved like a true party man by cooperating with our governorship candidate in Imo, I am sure we would have won that election.
“But because he wanted his son-in-law to succeed him at all cost, he supported another party and we lost. So, how can the APC, too, support him in his trying times?
“The party suspended him for glaring anti-party activities but rather than showing remorse, he has been behaving arrogantly, saying he co-founded the APC and, as such, nobody could suspend him. How do you expect the party to intervene on his behalf?” the source asked.
Also reacting to Okorocha’s claim, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC national chairman, who spoke through Rotimi Oyekanmi, his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), said while he would not join issues with the embattled governor, it was unfair for him to allege that he was colluding with the APC chairman to persecute him.
The INEC chairman, in a chat with Daily Independent, also said since Okorocha had taken the matter to court, he should allow the courts to decide the outcome of the matter and desist from seeking self-help in the media or maligning the character of others.
“INEC does not like joining issues with either political parties or their candidates. Our position on the Imo West senatorial issue is very clear.
“Our position is that we will not reward bad behaviour. People should have conscience. It is very interesting that people will do what is wrong and still come out to accuse the other party that is innocent.
“In other words, we have said we are not going to reward bad behaviour and we are not going to join issues.
“But the fact is, the INEC chairman does not, and can never, collude with the chairman of any political party to persecute anybody. Not at all! We took decision on that matter independently.
“In any case, this person you have just spoken about (Okorocha) has just gone to court. If you go to court, why don’t you allow the legal processes to run its full course?
“You cannot go to court and then be canvassing for one thing or another in the media. It’s unheard of. You have filed your case in court, so we will appeal to you to let the court handle the matter,” he said.
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