The governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Thursday lamented the “unholy act” exhibited by political leaders in the South East zone during the National Assembly elections, saying it has now robbed the zone of the opportunity to produce either Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives in June.
All Senatorial and House of Representatives candidate of the All Progressives Congress lost their elections in the elections held March 28.
The 15 senatorial districts in the five states, namely Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo were picked by the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party.
With the victory of Muhammadu Buhari from the North and his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, from the South West, the Senate President or Speaker of the House slots would have ordinarily gone to the South East but for the outcome of the elections.
Speaking in Owerri, the Imo State capital at a rally organised by the South East APC to celebrate Mr. Buhari’s victory, Mr. Okorocha said the zone should have elected a ranking senator or member of the House of the Representatives on the platform of the party to occupy either of the positions if PDP leaders from the zone had not engineered the rigging of the National Assembly election held the same day with that of the presidency.
He specifically noted that a serving senator and former governor of Anambra State, Chris Ngige or a former senator, Osita Izunaso, both of whom contested the election, would have been elected Senate President if they were not rigged out at the election.
He said, “The South East is entitled to either the Senate President or the Speaker of the Federal House. But as I speak to you now because of the unholy act of last Saturday they (Igbo leaders) have not been able to give us any ranking member of the Senate or ranking member of the Federal House.
“You cannot be a Senate President, you cannot be a Speaker unless you are somebody who has been there before. It is our plan that Osita Izunaso should go to the Senate, Ngige should go to Senate.
“Gentlemen, the truth is that one of them should have been Senate President of Nigeria. But our people, in their myopic thinking, in the smallness of their brain could not see the light and today this act of theirs has denied Ndigbo the Senate President, this act has denied Ndigbo the Speaker of the Federal House. I weep, I weep that this kind of thing can be allowed to happen here.”
Mr. Okorocha, who is a member of the APC, said political leaders in the North do not play the kind of politics being exhibited by South East leaders.
“This kind of thing could not happen in Kano, it could not happen in Sokoto,” he said.
“But here in Igbo land they use soldiers to kill their people. It is our political leaders who sponsored this unholy act and we shall hold them responsible for every blood dropped during this election.
“We know them and they know we know them. They can be having their children abroad and be killing the poor people here. We will resist it and we will say no. “
The governor alleged that the Igbo leaders that perpetrated the rigging plans wanted to allocate 1.3 million votes to Mr. Jonathan in Imo State “but for our resistance they could not do it”.
He stressed, “It is not true that anyone defeated Buhari in Imo State. He won this election in this state. The nonsense is over. We have the details of all that happened in INEC headquarters. It will be embarrassing if we show all that happened to the world.”
Speaking earlier, Mr. Ngige recounted how he was rigged out of the election in which he lost to a serving member of the House of Representatives, Uche Ekwunife, of the PDP.
He explained that one of his agents was kidnapped during the election and that the collation officers were not spared the ordeal.
He said although he lost the senatorial election, the emergence of Mr. Buhari as president-elect was a joy to him.
According to the former governor, “The only thing I want to assure you people is that you have lost nothing. General Buhari has won the election. APC will form the next national government. We are going to recover all these seats, all the allocation they gave to us. All the allocations they gave to us, they allocated to me 20 votes from Anambra Central and Buhari 17, 960 votes, for the whole of Anambra. Is it possible?
Mr. Izunaso, who is the national organising secretary of the APC, vowed to reclaim the mandate given to him by the people of Orlu Senatorial District but stolen by election riggers.
“We are not unmindful of that fact that what we produced in the South East was not a reflection of the votes of the people,” he said.
“I assure you that it is not going to take long before all those things will be corrected. Anambra results were rigged. For a man like Ngige to come third on the ladder, is this the correct result?
“In Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, results were rigged, Imo results were rigged. But I can assure you that is the end. As for my people in Orlu Senatorial Zone who voted for me the victory that you gave me on Saturday must remain our victory.
“I am not going to let any criminal to go away with the mandate you gave to me freely. Out of 12 LGAs in Orlu Zone I won in 12 LGAs and there were no elections in three zones.”