Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has said that the Igbo alone cannot produce a president of Igbo extraction, adding that the Igbo would need the rest of Nigerians to be able to have a president of Igbo origin.
Okorocha spoke while fielding questions from newsmen on Sunday at the Government House, Owerri.
The governor also regretted that the Igbo failed to honour their leaders unlike what obtained in the other parts of the country.
He said, “The Igbo do not know how to honour their own. They rather like to run down any of their rising leaders. The pull-him-down syndrome is high in Igbo land. And it is very unfortunate. Anytime I come out to run for the Presidency of this country, I will not suffer pull-him-down from the North or from the South-West or South South, it is only in Igbo land that I will suffer it.
“And they engage in this pull-him-down practice without knowing the overall implications on the Igbo. So, it will be out of place for an Igbo Presidential aspirant at any given period to think that the Igbo will make him President because the Igbo do not value their own. They don’t value what they have, but value outsiders. It is in their character. It is in their nature.
“Read the newspapers and go to the social media, all the insults and attacks you get are all from the Igbo. They go to any length to run you down without caring about your good intentions and all the efforts being made to see that things work out fine for the people of the area. It is a problem. It didn’t start today. Go down the memory lane, you discover that the pull-him-down syndrome in Igbo land didn’t start today.”
On the DSS action at the National Assembly, the governor frowned on the face-off between the executive and the legislature saying, “It is unfortunate. People took the humility and sincerity of purpose of President Muhammadu Buhari for granted. Usually, no President or governor would sit down and watch a speaker that he has not supported to emerge.
“But this is the first time in the history of Nigeria politics with regard to the National Assembly that the President said that whoever you like, you can make your leader, I don’t care. That’s the consequences of such action, which is humility taken too far. In democracy, even in America, a President must directly or indirectly have a say or try to lobby for whom can partner with him from the legislative arm of government.”
Meanwhile, to facilitate the collection of 48,000 Permanent Voters’ Cards, Okorocha on Sunday declared Wednesday, August 15, and Thursday August 16, 2018 public holidays in the state.
“The declaration of the two-day public holidays is to enable all Imo people qualified to have the PVC, but do not have them to go and collect theirs for elections in Nigeria,” Okorocha said.
To ensure that the essence for which the public holidays was declared is achieved, Okorocha also said that all markets, all shops and other related remain closed till 4pm on the public holidays.
“Stringent arrangements have been made by the government with security agents to ensure compliance and the government may at the end of the day, give award to the political ward or local government that would register and collect the highest number of PVCs.
“The public holidays declaration is apt, bearing in mind the INEC’s announcement of closure of collection and registration of PVCs on Friday, August 17, 2018,” he noted.
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