Says gov his bosom friend, trusted ally
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has denied media report that he is leading a revolt against the incumbent governor, Hope Uzodinma.
Ohakim dismissed the report as false and a figment of the imagination of the peddlers.
The former Governor in a statement he personally signed, said Uzodinma is his dependable ally, and fighting him would amount to fighting himself.
He accused promoters of the report as those behind a recent unfounded rumour that Uzodinma used him to torpedo the Labour Party governorship primaries.
“Before now, the same people had sponsored a report in the social media in which I was accused of being the medium through which Governor Hope Uzodimma – the same Uzodimma – channeled a whopping one million dollars to truncate the governorship primaries of the Labour Party in Imo State,” Ohakim said.
He further noted that Uzodinma had performed creditably, hence there is no basis to go against him.
The statement made available to Ikengaonline read in part: “Senator Uzodimma is a bosom friend of mine and a trusted politically ally. Apart from that as a statesman and former governor of our state I am obliged to support any incumbent governor or administration which is moving in the right direction – at least in the interest of the state and its people. I am personally committed to see Governor Uzodimma, whom I have known for upwards of three decades, not only succeed but also to excel as a governor.
“Revolting against Governor Uzodimma would be tantamount to revolting against myself and nobody can revolt against himself. Or am I that foolhardy to revolt against a fellow whose performance as a governor has been quite overwhelming and who is getting accolades daily from the good people of Imo State.
“The report claims that I led my group to a meeting in Anambra State where we perfected our plans. Fortunately for me, I have not been to any part of Anambra State in the last four years for any reason, whatsoever.
“That I am not bidding for a ministerial appointment under the present administration. But even if I am, am I not intelligent enough to know that ministerial appointments are not secured through leading or participating in a revolt against a sitting Governor or anybody whatsoever. Besides, ministerial positions are not bidded for neither are they contested for.
“In any case, the report under reference claims that among the people I am said to be leading in the revolt is “a popular politician from Okigwe zone…” who is also bidding for a ministerial appointment. So, how can I be bidding for a ministerial job and at the same time leading another fellow from my zone (Okigwe) to bid for the same thing? Am I that naïve?
“I decided to abort my senatorial bid the other time entirely on my own volition after taking certain things into account and for reasons that had nothing to do with Governor Uzodimma. It is, however, interesting to note that in the report under reference, an allusion was made to “those powerful forces” in my zone “still there to scuttle other ambitions he may have.”
“The point, therefore, in that if there are or were “powerful forces” that scuttled my senatorial ambition, and I know them, I couldn’t at the same time be holding the governor responsible. Therefore, the allusion to “powerful forces” against me is an inadvertent admission that it is the same powerful forces that are behind the fictitious report under reference.”
Ohakim denied ever contemplating to vie for the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“I never nursed the ambition of becoming the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. It is common knowledge that I was at the forefront of the move to stop some unscrupulous elements from truncating the January 2021 Ohanaeze election that ushered in the immediate past President-General, the late Professor George Obiozor. I personally took a court action against the dissidents. The issues are yet to be completely resolved and if anything, I see myself better working from the outside to ensure that every crack in Ohanaeze is smoothened.
“The report alluded to a “dying political career” apparently in reference to me. My dying political career? Nothing can be more fallacious. My political career, which started in 1979, is currently at its peak. My political career has taken me through being a party executive, State commissioner, chairman of Nigeria’s National gas master plan, a director of Kaduna refining and petro-chemical company ltd, a state governor, etc. At the risk of sounding immodest, I can state without any fear of contradictions that it is not possible to draw a list of one hundred successful Nigerians – in a country of more than 200 million people – and Ikedi Ohakim is not there.
“It is nothing but the figment of the imagination of the author of the report and his sponsors to say that my political career is dying. My political career cannot die. My political career is alive and is kicking. Here in Imo State, I am the only former governor who can walk the streets of Owerri and get applause.
“Let me state that this rebuttal is not aimed at getting even with the young reporter who, by all indications, is merely struggling to eke out a bare existence. I have been meant to understand that his only defense is that he made no mention of my name in his report, but his reference to a “former governor from Okigwe zone” needs no further explanation since I am the only living former governor from that part of Imo State.”
The former Governor cautioned media practitioners to refrain from peddling falsehood.
“Even though I have made my feelings known to the management of Sun Newspaper he is stringing for, my major interest is to seize this opportunity to once again join in cautioning against the penchant of our people, Ndigbo, to self destruct (Nshiko mentality). We drag each other down. We destroy ourselves whereas other sections of the country try to support each other for the good of the generality of their people.
“I am, of course, not the only victim but I have personally come to the conclusion that I will henceforth do everything in my powers to stop any attempt from any quarters to damage my reputation.”