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2023: Okorocha Punches Uzodinma, Says The Governor Can’t In His Normal Sense Say Igbo’s Don’t Need Presidency

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Former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has faulted a statement recently made by the incumbent governor of the state, Hope Uzodinma, that the Igbos are not interested in the 2023 presidency.

Governor Uzodinma had made the statement while reacting to claims that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had zoned its presidential ticket to the South-East.

“We are not looking for an Igbo President. We are looking for a President of Nigeria,” the Imo governor had told Channels TV during a recent interview.

“We as a party believe what we are practicing here is partisan democracy and every politician must be loyal to his party. At the end of the day it is the decision of the party that you belong to that will matter,” he had said.

But speaking during a question and answer session at a media chat held to mark his 59th birthday in Abuja, Okorocha said although “tribe will not put food on the table of the common man,” Igbos could be more diplomatic in their approach of demanding for power.

When the Imo West senator was asked to react to the statement credited to Uzodinma, who happens to be his political rival, the lawmaker said he doubted that the governor made the remark in his “normal sense”.

Okorocha responded, “Which governor? I don’t think you heard him right. Because in his normal sense he can’t say that unless something is wrong. That Igbos don’t need the presidency?”

The senator, however, asked Igbos to see the 2023 presidency as a “game” that should be won by them.

“I personally don’t believe that presidential power should be like bread to be shared. Let him that has something upstairs govern irrespective of where he comes from because tribe will not put food on the table of the common man.

“But what is important is that I see it as more of a game that Igbos should present in a lighter mode. The Yorobas have governed Nigeria, the Hausas have governed, the South-South have governed Nigeria at the executive level and we have seen how Nigeria is…let’s try an Igbo man and see how Nigeria will be. That kind of statement will be more arguable,” he said.

Asked if he would be running for president for the fourth time in 2023, he said: “…What Nigerians don’t understand about me is that the presidency is not a do or die affair for me. I don’t have ambition to be president, I have vision to be president and it is this vision that is driving me crazy, because I see a possibility of creating a new Nigeria.

“Because if you talk about ambition, I don’t have the political connectivity now to be president. I don’t even know how my party, the APC, is feeling.”

Asked to make a categorical statement on whether or not he’d run for president in 2023, Okorocha said: “I have told you that I ran for election three times. Hasn’t that answered your question? Now even if I want to declare it, it would not be here. It would be a national big thing. So, wait.”

Okorocha also responded to a question on if he thinks President Buhari has sufficiently represented the interests and the yearnings of the people of the South East.

“In what area? If you said he has not represented [Igbos], in what areas?” Okorocha queried, adding that, “The only complain that I think every Igbo man should talk about is that they need a level playing round in Nigeria.

“You know, people don’t understand who the Igbos are. Most of the Igbos that are clamouring for whatever they are clamoruing are not the real Igbos.

“A real Igbo man doesn’t need any help from you. A real Igbo man can find his path. All he wants is for you to give him a level playing ground and he can excel.”

Okorocha stressed that, “Igbos don’t like a hands-on, it is just nowadays that I am seeing an Igbo man say “please help me with money”. Igbos are too proud, they don’t beg. Their only problem is that they are also very loud and Nigerians misunderstand it.

“But in terms of welfare treatment, Igbos are talking about marginalization, it is true. But that is not what Igbos should be talking about. If others are talking about marginalization, Igbos should be talking about something else, like “give us a level playing ground, give us opportunity”.

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