Okorocha Meets Buhari Over APC Contentious Ward Congress
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday hosted the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha; and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Abdulaziz Yari, in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State.
Buhari had on Friday travelled to Daura to enable him to take part in the ward congress of the ruling All Progressives Congress that took place nationwide on Saturday.
The exercise, which was meant to elect new executives of the party at ward levels, was said to have been held amidst protests and violence across the country.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, had posted photographs of the President and the Imo State governor on his Facebook page.
Adesina however did not disclose the agenda of the meeting.
“President Buhari receives in audience Governor Rochas Okorochas of Imo State in Daura, Katsina State on 6th May, 2018,” the presidential spokesman simply wrote.
But Okorocha confirmed to reporters that he intimated Buhari on the outcome of the ward congress which was said to have been marred with crisis and confusion in his state as some unidentified thugs attacked the state party secretariat located at the Imo State University junction in Owerri.
Okorocha said, “We expect internal democracy and internal democracy is the way to go. Those kinds of funny politics that were played must stop. A situation where people went to carry ballot boxes, steal results looks so primitive. I intimated Mr. President and we will make sure that such things stop.”
On what Buhari’s response was, the Imo governor said, “He spoke like the President and he will take the necessary steps to correct this in our party, the APC, not just in Imo State but across the whole nation, to make sure that there is respect for internal democracy in Imo State.”
Yari on his part said the exercise went well in the North-East geopolitical zone.
“You know in a democracy, you cannot expect everything to work 100 per cent. But in our zone from the information available to us, everything went well in Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kano, where people expected that there may be a problem, the exercise was successful.
“But anybody that has complaint, there is a committee set up by the national executive of the party. They should take their complaints there so that they will be attended to,” he said.
Apart from the fracas that marred the exercise in Imo State, there were also allegations of hijacking of electoral materials.
At the height of the crisis, the APC officials, posted to the state to conduct the exercise, were said to have fled to the police command headquarters in Owerri for refuge.
That was as party chieftains, including senators Benjamin Uwajumogu, Hope Uzodimma, Osita Izunaso, and Ifeanyi Araraume, protested the development at the police command headquarters.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Chris Ezike, was said to have held a closed-door meeting with the APC leaders for five hours.
It was reported that separate congresses took place in most of the local government areas in the state.