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    I stand by endorsement of my son-in-law -Okorocha

    …Says council polls to hold in June

    George Onyejiuwa, Owerri

    Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has reiterated his stance on the endorsement of the Chief of Staff to the Government House and his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu.

    Governor Okorocha declared his stand following a statement credited to him denying his endorsement of Nwosu.

    A statement  by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, said the governor’s endorsement of Nwosu was an open thing and if there was any counter development, it should also be an open venture and not “corner-corner” thing.

    “We have read in the media, especially on the social media, a statement falsely credited to Governor Okorocha, that he has not endorsed Chief Uche Nwosu but, rather, considering three people, including Nwosu, Prince Eze Madumere and Chike Okafor.

    “That is not true. If there was any atom of truth in that claim, it wouldn’t have been a side-talk.

    “The governor endorsed Chief Nwosu and gave more than 20 reasons for doing so, in addition to the man’s endorsement by students, women, youth groups and 24 out of the 27 local governments in the state.

    “In the past 24 hours, Imo people, in particular, have been calling over the false statement credited to the governor on the endorsement issue.

    “We have been telling those who called to disregard that statement and continue to work and pray for Nwosu.

    “Like we said in one of our media outings to that effect, the opposition in Imo is desperate and extremely worried because they are yet to see any aspirant who can beat Nwosu, either in the primary or in the main election. They are stranded.

    “Also, endorsements have been going on across the states, but, in Imo, Nwosu’s endorsement is the one being celebrated and talked about.

    In no distant time, we are going to respond to those talking about nepotism to prove to them that such issue is neither here nor there.

    “The issue of endorsement has been part of the nation’s politics.

    “There is nothing strange about it. It does not replace party primary or the INEC organised election.

    “Nwosu will win the APC governorship primary and the election proper because human beings are involved in the two activities and not blackmail.

    “Imo people are desirous of who would sustain Governor Okorocha’s monumental achievements or even do more than him. And the person is Nwosu. God bless Nigeria. God bless Imo State. God bless APC.”

    Meanwhile, Governor Okorocha has disclosed that council polls would be conducted in June to usher in elected chairmen and councillors in the 27 council areas of the state.

    He urged the House of Assembly to expedite action on local government laws to pave way for council elections in June. 

    Okorocha, who stated this yesterday at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, on his arrival from oversea tour, said the state would conduct council polls in June to usher in elected chairmen and councillors.

    “We will conduct council elections this June and I want the Assembly to speed up the local government laws, so the council polls will take place this June.”

    The governor said he would strengthen the party in the South East as well as inject more life into President Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign structures in the zone.

    He said the endorsements given to President Buhari for 2019 and that of Nwosu for the governorship in the state stand.

    He challenged those opposed to the endorsements to present their own candidates if they think they have better options.

    “Let those criticising these endorsements present their own aspirants or candidates if they feel those they have are better than those we have endorsed, so the people can compare them and make their choice. You don’t criticise something when you do not have a better option.”

    Okorocha assured that the APC primary in Imo will be transparent.

    “It is going to be open. The world will be made to watch it. There will be no short-cut. Anybody who wins the primary becomes the candidate of the party. The whole noise about Nwosu is because he is the best of all those talking about the governorship in the state at the moment.”

    Okorocha reiterated that Rescue Mission government in the state is on course.

    “I have no apologies endorsing President Buhari for the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and no apologies accepting the endorsements of all the local governments in Imo State for Nwosu.

    “My joy will be to see a capable hand, a leader who will continue from where I stopped. It is obvious that people have misrepresented facts in this part of the world. If democracy is to remain in Imo State and Nigeria, there is nothing unconstitutional that we have done in the course of our endorsement.

    “The constitution is clear, and it is a guiding principle upon which all democratic activities rotate. Our endorsement is not unconstitutional as the constitution has stipulated what a candidate must possess.

    “Our candidate possesses those qualities; so, there is nothing unconstitutional in what we are doing in rescue mission of Imo State.

    “If I had chosen somebody else, maybe, they would have been happy because they believe they will defeat the person, but, there is something about Nwosu that is scaring them, that if Nwosu stands, they may lose out.

    “Let me advise all the political parties and all oppositions, internal and external, to please present us as a matter of urgency, their own candidate, who is better than our own candidate, so that Imo people will choose who is a better candidate.”

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