Gov Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and some prominent stakeholders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the South-East geopolitical zone, were absent at a meeting of leaders of the party in Enugu yesterday.
The gathering was to fine-tune their winning strategies ahead of the forthcoming general election. Others absent at the meeting included a former Senate President and coordinator of President Muhammadu Buhari campaign council in the South, Sen. Ken Nnamani; a former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo; former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu; Ministers of Labour and Employment, Foreign Affairs and that of Trade and Investment, Dr. Chris Ngige, Geoffrey Onyeama and Okechukwu Enelamah respectively.
But the convener of the meeting and coordinator of the APC presidential campaign council in the South East Zone, Barr (Mrs) Sharon Ikeazor, said the meeting was well attended and that governance cannot be grounded to a halt because of politics.
She said that although the Imo State governor was absent, he had representatives who would report back to him the outcome of the meeting. Ikeazor, who is also the Executive Secretary Pension Transmission Administration (PTAD), stated that the purposes of the meeting was to harmonize their strategies towards ensuring that the party wins landslide in the zone in the coming general elections.
“We are less than 40 days to the Presidential election. It has to be a targeted approach. That is why I have called the meeting for today; it’s a strategy meeting, so that we strategize and harmonize our strategies in the five eastern states for us to be able to deliver Mr. President and make a significant change from past elections we have always done.
“That is why everybody, you saw the large turn out today; everyone from each state of the five eastern states, candidates, party members, national working committee, zonal leaders, our elders in the party down to the national assembly candidates, state chairmen and all that were all here today, so that we speak with one voice, strategize and get our messages out in one voice,” she said.
As to the absence of Governor Okorocha and other leaders, she said, “Because of politics workings of government cannot grind to a halt; he (Okorocha) has his representatives here, who will take what we decided at the meeting back to him. You notice that not all ministers are here as well, governance cannot grind to a halt because of politics.” Speaking to journalists, the governorship candidate of the party in Enugu State, Sen Ayogu Eze, said that the leaders and members of the party would queue behind Mrs. Ikeazor to take over the zone in the general election.
“You can see that all of us are united behind her because she is a woman who has paid her dues and we believe strongly that she has all it takes to deliver on behalf of the party in the zone. I think it’s a new party from what you can see, the energy is different, the zeal is different, the determination is different and our people are going to shock the nation by the volume of vote that will come out from the South East.