Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
The former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, on Saturday said he used the word saboteur to advise the people of the South-East region, not to sabotage the efforts of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the country.
Ihedioha spoke to newsmen in Owerri, through his Chief Press Secretary, Chibuike Onyeukwu, regarding the viral video wherein he (Ihedioha) used the word saboteur against Igbos who are not supporting his party, the PDP.
But dismissing that, Ihedioha said: “I went to Ghana on the invitation of my kinsmen. I am an Mbaise man and we celebrate the “Iri Ji” (New Yam Festival) for quite some time. They requested me to come to join them and I felt it was important to do that at this time. I was speaking to my kinsmen predominantly members of my party, the PDP.
“And so, knowing where we are coming from as a people, understanding our circumstances and where the PDP administration left Nigeria and that we are the PDP in Nigeria and the promises that were made to Nigerians by the All Progressives Congress, APC, who were surging to take over power. Promises of constant light, free education, free housing, prosperity and stabilization were all mirages, deceitful and fraudulent.
“Those promises have never come to pass and so when you talk about the future of our country, you get worried as people who may for one reason or the other be deceived into believing that you wish it happens. And so, the desire for me, for a PDP administration that has an internal mechanism of good governance cannot be overemphasized. And so I spoke to our people within the PDP consciously, to express the need for them, not to sabotage our efforts in reclaiming power in 2023, so that Nigerians can see good governance.”
“Speaking on the reaction that greeted the viral video, he said, “the huge expectation is borne out of abundant love and expectations. That I said any South-Easterner (Igbo man at that or indeed a Nigerian) who does not vote for my party is a saboteur? That cannot be. That is far from the truth. It is obvious that is not me. It is not in my character. I believe in decency.
“So that cannot be. My position was very simple, I was speaking to our people, I am a Mbaise man. PDP has been faithful to us, they have allowed us to produce a Governor and I said to them, we have an opportunity and said to them, don’t sabotage our efforts to claim power and that was it. That was the context and if you read or listen through, persons who have made calls to my family members, friends and associates have not had the opportunity to watch the clip. If you do watch it, you will find out that the context is being blown out of proportion,” he said.