Prior to the 2019 presidential election, secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha , said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would support the South-East to produce the next president in 2023 if the region votes for Muhammadu Buhari .
Similiarly, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo , at a political rally in Owerri, said President Buhari would hand over to a Southeasterner upon completion of his second term in office in 2023.
But, addressing journalists at the National Assembly after his swearing in on Thursday, June 13, 2019, Okorocha says what’s most important is electing a president who can put food on the table of the common man.
He advised the Igbos to wrestle power, which according to him, is not given.
“Power is not given, power is taken,” Okorocha began . “The South East cannot just fold their arms and expect power to be given to them just because you want power.
“Power does not go with sentiment some of the times, it’s on issues on ground. Democracy is about the people and South East alone cannot make themselves president.
“So you cannot be talking about Igbo presidency, it doesn’t exist. We may be talking about Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction but that depends on what other geo-political zones think about the issue.
“For me, what is important is let power be given to somebody who has something upstairs who can put food on the table of common man irrespective of religion or where you come from,” he added.
Okorocha urged the Igbos to mend political fences with other parts of the country.
“There is need for the Igbos to mend fences. We are neither here or there now politically. We are not in the ruling party, neither are we making impact in the opposition. So, there is need for us to get married to the rest of the nation politically,” he said.
INEC vs Okorocha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had refused to present Okorocha with his certificate of return after his election as the Senator representing Imo-West Senatorial district.
The INEC returning officer had alleged that he declared the result under duress.
Okorocha filed a motion compelling INEC to release his certificate.
The electoral commission presented Okorocha with his certificate on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, following a court verdict.
INEC, however, says it would appeal the court order.
“It will be very surprising to see that INEC will appeal this matter because there is no basis for it.
“Duress means using mild or excessive force to compel someone to do something he or she does not want to do. How would you have done that in a returning hall where you have police, SSS and party agents?
“And in my own person walking with gun or machete asking them to write result on my behalf. That didn’t happen. I think there is more to duress than duress itself,” Okorocha said.