Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
The Chairman, All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, has expressed concerns that one year and several months after it came to power, the APC government has not been able to manage its “God-given victory” very well.
He also expressed regrets over what he described as the “cold relationship” between the executive arm of government, the National Assembly and the ruling party.
The Imo State Governor said this when he visited the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, where he preached unity within the party.
Okorocha, who said his visit to the Senate was belated, added that, “Nonetheless, it is never late to make amends where possible.”
A statement by the Office of the Senate President quoted Okorocha as telling Saraki that he was visiting in his capacity as the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum.
He said, “This is the very first time I am coming to your office and I am here because I am concerned. I am here because I am a stakeholder. I am here as the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum — your friends and colleagues in the struggle.
“Mr. Senate President, leaders of this great Senate, you may recall a few years ago that we were all in the trenches, in battle, asking for change in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I recall vividly the role most of you played in that very struggle. We became a government when no one gave us a chance to be so. And shortly, Nigerians believed in us and entrusted us with the responsibility of leading this nation.
“But one year and several months after, we have not been able to manage this God-given victory very well and it is very worrisome, Mr. Senate President. That Nigerians expect so much from us but yet we seem to be in crisis within ourselves.
“Not crisis made by the opposition parties but crisis created by ourselves for ourselves and which has kept us in totally difficult position that we are not making the headway we need to make as a party.
“One wonders then what went wrong. Where did we get it wrong? And after these troubles and after the much hope we have given to Nigerians, we still cannot work together as a party, as a family. And I noticed particularly that there is so much bitterness in the system — from the party, from the legislature, from the executive, from the governors — and it seems to me like there is no more platform for us to chant those old songs, which we used to sing in the days of struggle for change.
“One wonders, was this what we were asking for or was this the change we were asking for? I think Nigerians expect so much from us and at the end of it all.”
In his response, Saraki told Okorocha that he had raised vital issues that the National Assembly caucus of the APC would look into, while assuring the governor that the Senate would work in synergy to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians that voted the APC into power.
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