2019: APC not jittery over Atiku – Gov forum
The Chairman, Progressives Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, on Wednesday, said the ruling All Progressives Congress was not jittery over the emergence of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
He said with the primaries over, the APC would soon embark on reconciliation to appease those who were aggrieved as a result of the nationwide exercise.
Okorocha, who is the Imo State Governor, said these in an interview with State House correspondents after leading some governors elected on the platform of the party to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Other governors at the meeting also attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, were Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Kashim Shettima (Borno); and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos).
When asked if the party was jittery over Atiku’s emergence, Okorocha said, “We can’t be jittery. History is there to speak, history is very important.
“As I said, we are not going to get involved in this verbal war with anybody; we will be talking about issues.
“If you say ‘look, you are not good’, we will tell you what we can do and what we cannot do and what others cannot do.
“So APC is not going to engage in that kind of talk show, but we will discuss on what our party can do for the people.”
Okorocha said the governors were at the Presidential Villa on behalf of their colleagues to congratulate the President on his emergence as the presidential candidate of the APC in the 2019 elections.
He said the governors believed it was a victory well-deserved, adding that it further reaffirmed party members’ confidence in the President.
He said the party was ready for the next election.
He added, “Our election this time will not engage in castigations, we will be talking on issues.
“We have also looked at issues concerning our primaries. In every democracy, expect some kind of disagreements and we have kindly requested that something should be done to bring all warring factions together so we can have a united party to face the challenges ahead and we are happy that, that will soon take place.
“Most of the problems have been resolved except for one or two states where we have issues. Where it becomes more difficult, we asked for Mr President’s intervention in the matter.”
When asked to be specific on the demands of the governors, Okorocha replied, “Reconciliation! What is important to us is that we must not go into this battle a divided family and we want to make sure that all governors are intact; all National Assembly members are intact while going into this battle. We will never speak differently; we will speak as united leaders of the party. “
The SGF, in a separate interview, described the governors’ visit as a welcome development.
He said, “We are a government that has creditably performed and this morning I had the privilege of laying before the council a compendium of the policies and programmes and projects initiated and implemented by this government in two and a half years.
“A total of 1,042-page document, not stories, facts of what we have been able to achieve and I think we have set the tone that this campaign will be driven by issues; this campaign must be predicated upon what you are able to bring to the table for the people of Nigeria.” Punch