The Imo Sstate governor, Rochas Okorocha, has explained why he recently nominated former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, as national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, South-East zone.
This is even as his choice of Nnamani has sharply divided members of the party along various interests.
The governor was speaking yesterday during the meeting of the South-East zonal leaders of the APC held at the Nike Lake Hotel in Enugu.
He said his decision to nominate Nnamani to lead the party in the zone during a recent meeting in Owerri, the Imo state capital, was simply to ensure that the South-East APC has an arrow-head leader who is a capable and well respected figure across the country.
He challenged the leaders and members of the party in the South-East to “sit down” and plan properly so that the APC will win the governorship election coming up soon in Anambra state.
Governor Okorocha however, urged South -East governors who wish to join the party, to declare their interest now before it was too late for them to do so.
According to him, “The APC is a party with lots of promise. The South-West and South-South have better political fortunes today in APC.
“The South-South, for instance, hold the position of national chairman. The South-East has only Minister of Labour and Employment [Dr Chris Nigige], Minister of Science and Technology [Dr Ogbonnaya Onu] and the Minister of Foreign Affairs [Geofrey Onyeama].
“When l met with President Muhammadu Buhari over this matter, he said when he started out his presidential quest, he had picked Chuba Okadigbo (in 2003) and Edwin Umezoke (in 2007) as a way of reaching out to the South-East but it didn’t work. In APC South-East, we have to organize ourselves. The leaders should not be concerned with who sits on the high table. We should come together to move the APC in the South-East forward.
“In fact, being a governor has deprived me of leadership opportunity in APC. Because of the need to have capable leaders in the party, that was why l advised that Ogbonnaya Onu and Chris Ngige should not be made ministers so that they can be the leaders of the party in the zone. I started this political journey with Jim Nwabodo in my house in Owerri long before now. “And when the issue of leadership came, l said we have to look for a capable person among us to lead this party in the south-east. I felt we needed somebody at this time, a central voice who will be speaking for us. That was why l had to nominate Chief Ken Nnamani, a former Senate President and who is credible to lead the party in the zone.”