The Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha on Saturday explained that his decision to throw his weight behind having his Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu, as successor in 2019 was informed by age and the need for a governor who can move Imo state beyond his achievements.
He pointed out that of all who have indicated interest in his seat, only Nwosu, who happens to be his son-in-law, qualifies for the job given that aside being below 50 years of age, he has the capacity to immediately drive the state to its desired destination.
The governor, who spoke to newsmen through his Special Adviser on Electoral Matters, Chief Steve Asimobi, and the Special Adviser on Imo State Liason Office in Abuja, Dr. Edward Onyemaechi Ihejirika, said his administration would not condone attempts by some people opposed to his choice to cow him to submission.
Recall that some persons gathering under the aegis of the Imo APC Restoration Coalition, had reported Okorocha to President Muhammadu Buhari and the party’s national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, warning that with the way Okorocha was handling his succession plan, the APC may be headed for a shameful and colossal failure in Imo state next year.
Okorocha on Saturday dismissed claims in some quarters that there was an existing zoning arrangement that governorship of the state be rotated among the three geo-politcal zones of the state.
While describing Nwosu as the best choice for the state in 2019, he called on the people of Imo state to support him so he can take the state to the next level.
Asimobi explained that the decision to have Nwosu as next governor of the state was not that of the governor but the decision of all stakeholders among which included traditional rulers, traders, political leaders from across the council areas of the state and different groups in the state.
He said, “the governor has given quality reasons why he will not hand over power to anybody who is above 50 years of age.
“The Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu can place his hands on the handle, he can drive the state and he is humble. He’s not vindictive, he’s young and have age on his side so he can inspect projects without getting arthritis.
“The governor has given quality reasons why he would support Uche Nwosu as governor. But contrary to what you may have heard, the governor has not endorsed him even as he is qualified to endorse whoever he wants to endorse.
“Nobody wants his legacy to disappear, so endorsement is a natural process in any democratic system. During last election, the Catholic Church took a decision that they wanted to endorse, traders will endorse, traditional rulers will endorse, communities will endorse. And so the governor is also qualified to endorse whoever he wants to endorse but he has not said so.
“He has not foisted any candidate on the masses because the party will still go through primary. That is the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the party’s guideline as well as the Electoral Act.”