Mr Chinedu Offor is the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Imo State. A former broadcast journalist, Mr. Offor before his present appointment was Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media. In this interview he responds to allegations that Governor Rochas Okorocha surreptitiously sneaked the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA into the mega opposition party, All Progressive Congress, APC. Excerpts:
How do you react to claims that Governor Okorocha sneaked APGA into the APC?
That is not true. You know that there is APGA authentic and there is APGA-PDP. Anybody who is not progressive, anybody who does not want the nation to move ahead, anyone who does not want Nigeria to have an alternative, anyone who does not think of the future of the young people and Nigeria, anyone who does not want Nigeria to take a step up for its responsibilities (will say that). And these are what APGA stands for. APGA's motto is 'Be your brother's keeper' and that is exactly what happened.
The real APGA saw the necessity to move Nigeria forward, saw the necessity to join likeminded progressives to move the nation forward and provide an alternative to Nigerians and decided to join those compatriots and patriots of like minds to move the nation forward. So, whoever says that APGA was dragged into it or whatever, ask them, the question is do they like the status quo? Are they progressives? Do they like development? If they do, you will find that they are expressing their personal opinion based on the fact that they are part APGA and part PDP.
But the real APGA is in it for the good reason. There is nothing personal, people are personalising it. It is not personal. Nobody is personalising anything. It is essentially a meeting of like minds, people who believe that we can do better than we are doing now. So it is nothing personal. Governor Okorocha doesn't want to make it personal, this is beyond him. This is a movement and it is exactly what is happening in Imo State and if you come here you will see the pace of development.
Those who are speaking are talking for their personal reasons. Governor Okorocha does not say I, he always says we. So, it is not personal and people just water this thing down or the significance of what has happened by trying to personalise it. He did not.
On what mandate did Governor Okorocha attend the Lagos meeting of opposition governors?
All the other people who came, were there meetings of their parties or conventions where they were given mandates? So why is Governor Okorocha's own being personalised? Is it because he is Governor Okorocha? All those governors who came did you hear of a prior meeting or convention? They came together as like minds and like parties.
Did the governor consult with fellow stakeholders like Governor Peter Obi, Senator Chris Anyanwu before this action?
Those people will speak for themselves. The other governors who came did anyone ask them whether they consulted with anybody else? People should know that a governor cannot just wake up and start doing something. People are just being childish about this thing. How many other governors have you asked this question?
But Okorocha's involvement is the most controversial?
There is no controversy. People are making up the controversy. What is the controversy? People are making up the controversy. The real people, the APGA leaders have they spoken? People are just making a mountain out of a molehill. They are just trying to downplay what is the real significant development in Nigeria and I see the unseen hands of the PDP trying to divide this progressive movement.
That is what it is all about and probably using the APGA-PDP in the midst of APGA to put a wedge, but it is not going to work. This is a movement of the people. Governor Okorocha did not join them because he wants a position, he already has a position. We should rise above personal sentiments and think of the future of Nigeria , that is what this is all about.
Why is Governor Okorocha's own different? Why is it every time Governor Okorocha, Governor Okorocha? Why? Even the PDP has issues.
Have you been able to identify those in this APGA-PDP that are against the progressive trend?
The bible identified them long ago. By their fruits you shall know them. By their comments you shall know them.