Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has shared his views on Biafran separatism and the Radio Biafra broadcasts that are gaining popularity in the south east.
The governor was interviewed by Omoyele Sowore, Sahara TV's executive producer, on Saturday, June 27. It also included a discussion on the economic conditions in Nigeria in the post-Jonathan period, and the political division within the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Okorocha said that the radio “does not have the backing of the South East, any leader of the South East, or any Igbo man.”
“You cannot say who actually is behind this or where is this radio station. The radio station is not in Imo state. The [Biafra] war is gone and gone,” he added.
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The governor said "outsiders" were responsible for the recent online and on air campaigns calling for separatism.
“I cannot say all here, but know that it is not the backing of the South East trying to create tension and relevance, just like they have gotten the attention now,” Okorocha said.
The governor's critical speech continued with comparing the Biafran struggle to a mirage: "the more you look, the less you see."
Okorocha agreed with President Buhari's claim that the last government left Nigeria with a "virtually empty treasury". He also noted that the Jonathan administration managed the federal funds poorly.
“If Buhari used the word ‘near empty treasury,’ I think he is being kind with the word. I think what we have is a complete lack [of money in the country].
“I am sure that you are not aware that the federal government takes 54% of (the budget) and a state government takes 24% of that money. How much comes to the state government?!"
Governor Okorocha has also cleared the air on why he was travelling around with his private jet, even though there were rumors that he sold it.
“That should not affect my private life. I hate poverty, I hate injustice. So seeing me in a private jet should not be a big deal.”
The governor was also critical of Buhari’s ability to mediate the 'civil war' between the APC politicians in the NASS.
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“If you watch President Buhari, he is not really bringing himself or imposing anything. His neutrality is the cause of what you see today. The president has said that the National Assembly should take whoever they want as leaders, and at a particular point the party felt that in the principles of zoning and equity should now begin here [at the NASS] so that everyone feels part of the nation.”
Okorocha asserted that the APC is still strong, despite the recent disagreements. He likened the events of figures like Bukola Saraki emerging to prominence within the Senate to the usual freedom they enjoy. The governor reminded about ex-Speaker Tambuwal’s defection to the APC in the middle of the NASS session.
“My party is not in disarray at all, what you are witnessing is real democracy. It’s devoid of position, so when people allow some level of free will to exercise their freedom than most people misunderstand it to be quarrels, I do not think our party is in disarray,” he concluded.