Okorocha: Manipulation of Mbaise votes nearly cost me victory in 2015


  • Okorocha: Manipulation of Mbaise votes nearly cost me victory in 2015


    Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has said the votes he got in Mbaise, the hometown of his major rival in the 2015 governorship election and former House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, were manipulated to favour the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.
    The governor said he almost lost the election due to the manipulation of the votes from the area.
    Okorocha spoke yesterday in Owerri, the state capital, when he hosted a delegation of traditional rulers from the town.
    The governor said he won the election in the area by a landslide margin, adding that the result was altered against him.
    Ihedioha reportedly won in the three local government areas under Mbaise, the only areas he got majority votes in the 2015 poll.
    Okorocha noted that the people from the area voted massively for him though their votes were not allowed to count.
    He said: “I almost lost the election because of the result they churned out from Mbaise. I equally know that Mbaise people voted for me, but something happened along the line.”
    Then governor noted that the electorate in Mbaise voted en masse for him in 2011 when he defeated the then Governor Ikedi Ohakim.
    He said: “If there is one group of people I am proud of, who are so enterprising and have made the name of this state great globally, it is Mbaise people. In other words, Imo State can hardly be talked about without the mention of Mbaise. The people are a source of pride to us and adequately play a key role in the development of the state.
    “In the last election, I almost lost because of the result they churned out from Mbaise. I equally know that Mbaise people voted for me, thoguh something happened along the line. Yet, Mbaise is the place I have built a university, a factory, schools, hospitals, roads. The people are having the highest number of beneficiaries of the free education programme.
    “I took an oath to serve the whole of Imo State; I am not sectional. To that oath, I have been faithful. I am not a sectional leader and will never be. Mbaise will get the best from this government. All the projects I have in Mbaise will be completed before I leave officce.”
    The monarchs were accompanied by a member of the House of Representatives, Nnanna Igbokwe, representing Ahiazu-Ezinihitte Federal Constituency.
    Okorocha assured his guests that “politically, I will always work with the Mbaise people”.
    He added: “Mbaise people should start resisting the idea of Abuja selecting candidates for them for political offices. Nnanna Igbokwe is a young man who has the support of his people. Some politicians talk only about party while the wise ones talk about the people in the party. You cannot have a Cathedral without a Bishop.
    “There are three groups of Imo people: they are people who love one another and believe in the progress of the state; people who love themselves and believe in the progress of themselves. Finally, the docile ones who sit on the fence and fall to any group that favours them. Nnanna Igbokwe belongs to the group who love one another and believes in the progress of the state.
    “Igbokwe, you are doing very well. You have remained consistent. We will support you. Coming with Ndi Eze shows your humility and unity of purpose. I want to thank you and request of you to join hands with those who think alike: be in that family. I will advise you to join people who share the same ideology with you.”
    Leaders of the delegation, Igbokwe and Eze Chidume Okoro told Okorocha that Mbaise indigenes were grateful to him for what he has done for them.
    They said their own people could not do for them what the governor had accomplished in their area.
    According to them, “aside from free education, which Mbaise people are key beneficiaries of, the citing of the University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Mbaise remains an exceptional favour Mbaise people would not forget in a hurry”.

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