The Governor of Imo State and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, has boasted that the current crisis rocking the All Progressive Congress (APC) will not affect the party’s chance of having a sweet victory in the 2019 general elections.
Governor Okorocha, who said this in a press statement he made available through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, noted that what the party is undergoing is mere politics and can never affect its fortunes.
He also described emergence of Comrade Adams Oshiomole as the new chairman of the party as timely, just as he commended those who fought against the erstwhile chairman of the party, John Oyegun’s tenure elongation.
He said “In other words, Oshiomhole’s coming was timely. He came at the appropriate time. He is on it and will get it right. All we need to do is to support him. APC has come to stay as number one party in the country, and even in Africa. All that are happening in the party now are indices of party politics and they have nothing to do with the fortunes of the part, either now or in 2019.
He insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari will be re-elected by Nigerians in 2019, while the APC would have more governors and legislators elected.
He claimed that available records showed that APC has done well in four years compared with the 16 years spent by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Adams Oshiomhole has the political will and all it takes to make APC an in- stitution that we shall all be proud of. We know his capacity and that was why we all supported him. He will drive us safely to our destination, by the grace of God.”
The governor further asserted that the emergence of Oshiomole has altered the plan of those who wanted to destroy the party for their personal interests.
Meanwhile, President Buhari’s campaign team has insisted that the recent defections of members of the APC at the National Assembly and across the states to the People Democratic Party (PDP) won’t stop the president’s re-election.
In a statement signed in Abuja, by the Director of Strategic Communications, Festus Keyamo, the team said the defections would even be more if the much-rumoured two more governors defect from the APC.
The campaign team also revealed that from the demographics it has on the historic figures and the present realities “these defections will have little or no impact on the chance of Mr. President’s re-election.
“The president won with large margins in the past in some States without the support of majority of the politicians from those states who moved recently to join the opposition party.
“Also, we are all witnessing the significant gains Mr. President is making in several places where he lost in the past, notably in the South-South and South-East.
“The following 12 States, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Yobe and Niger, with over 30 million registered voters, are where the president had consistently won with considerable large margins in past elections, especially in 2011 and 2015.
“This was achieved despite the fact that most of those States were being controlled by political par- ties other than his own.
“In 2011, when the President was in CPC, despite being States with sitting opposition governors, National Assembly members, State Assembly members and Local Government chairmen, the president posted close to 11 million votes against all odds, defeating all his rivals in the 12 states mentioned above.
“It is instructive that in these election cycles, there were presidential candidates of northern extraction (eg, Shekarau and Ribadu in 2011). Besides, Kaduna had a sitting vice president in both elections.
“As we can see, any defection within these states would have little or no consequence on President Buhari’s chances as he had always won those states, irrespective of the party in power in the states.
“For example, in the much-touted Kano, in the 2011 presidential election, President Buhari scored 1.624 million votes as CPC candidate, while in 2015, he had 1.903 million votes as APC candidate.”
Keyamo, however concluded that in the final analysis, “despite all the noise from our ‘noisy neighbours’, we may be in for a landslide victory for the President in 2019.”
Reacting to the claims by Buhari’s campaign team, the PDP said: “Ordinarily, the PDP would not have responded to these phantom calculations except to stop the Buhari Campaign from beguiling Nigerians, once again, ahead of 2019.
“It is imperative to state that the figures put forward by the Buhari’s Campaign team are all predicated on bogus assumptions that have no space for human behavioural patterns of responding to situations correspondingly with stimuli. It is also unfortunate that the Buhari campaign team dubiously limited its analysis to 2011 and 2015, when its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, ran against President Goodluck Jonathan, but chose to gloss over the outcome of the 2007 presidential election, where he was roundly defeated by the late Umar Yar’Adua. This, indeed, is a shameful contrivance plotted to belie the unpopularity of President Buhari.
“The Buhari campaign team, by this nebulous catalogue of figures, has clearly shown that it has a plot to fabricate, falsify, forge, manufacture and post fictitious figures through compromised officials of INEC officials during the 2019 presidential election. PDP urges Buhari campaign team to accept the reality of its principal’s loss to PDP’s candidate, come 2019, as could be manifestly seen from the ongoing defection from its disintegrating APC.”