Jonathan Denies Offering Gov. Okorocha Money, Inducements to Dump APC

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied he ever lured Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, with huge sums of money and other inducements to join the Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the 2015 presidential elections.
Jonathan’s media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, in a statement on Wednesday dismissed the claims by Okorocha as lies, stressing that Jonathan did not need the Imo Governor to garner votes in the South East, which he described as the former President’s political stronghold.
Okorocha had lamented that he has not got a fair deal from President Muhammadu Buhari’s government despite his sacrifices and contributions to Buhari’s victory in 2015 presidential election.
He claimed that the former President offered him huge sums of money, a second term ticket and an influential ministry in a bid to lure him from the All Progressives Congress, before the 2015 general elections.
Speaking when the people of Njaba Local Government Area of the state paid him a solidarity visit on his 55th birthday celebration, Okorocha said he was convinced at the time that the APC would resoundingly defeat the PDP because Nigerians were tired of the bad governance PDP represented, adding it was reason he rejected Jonathan’s offer.
He said, “Look at Rivers State where they rigged Rotimi Amaechi out by allocating over 1.2 million votes to the PDP, yet he got lots of juicy positions like the Ministry of Transport, NIMASA and all that.
“But, in all these, have you seen me complain? No, because I know that one day, my time will come and President Buhari will remember me,” Okorocha said.
Eze, however, insisted that Jonathan never had any conversations with Okorocha ahead of the 2015 elections.
He also affirmed that the former President was not in the habit of making frivolous promises.
He said: “We offer to quickly dismiss these claims as lies, because we are clear in our minds that such conversation never happened.”
Eze said: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, and published in the New Telegraph newspaper of Wednesday 27 September 2017, where he was quoted to have said that former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan offered him an influential ministry and huge sums of money to dump his party ahead of the 2015 elections, which he rejected. We offer to quickly dismiss these claims as lies, because we are clear in our minds that such conversation never happened.
“We are wondering whether this truly came from the Governor because we are sure that even Governor Okorocha himself did not believe that anybody would accept these claims.
“In the first place it sounded irrational and absurd. Besides, it was obvious to all and sundry that, the South East, being Dr. Jonathan’s political stronghold, the ex-President did not need Okorocha to win in the zone.
“However, to set the records straight, we make bold to say that former President Jonathan never made any contact with Okorocha, ahead of the 2015 elections. The claim of an offer of ‘an influential ministry’ is also quite surprising because the former President was not in the habit of making frivolous promises, especially pertaining to government positions and offices. All those who had either worked closely with him in any capacity, or served in Dr. Jonathan’s administration can bear testimony to the fact that idle talk is not his style.
“Since we know that the only proof the purveyors of this bribery allegation could offer is to probably claim that the transaction happened in a dream, we can only offer the Governor sincere advice, to avoid rumours and twaddle, and get down to the business of result-oriented governance.
“Governor Okorocha would have served his state better, if he directed his enormous drive to creating growth and development opportunities for the good people of Imo State, rather than allowing himself to be drawn into dissipating his energy on platitudes and propaganda,” he added.

Author: News Editor

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