The Imo State Governor and Chairman of APC Governors Forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has warned Igbo leaders to be more circumspect in adopting candidates ahead of the 2019 general elections.
He made this known after a cross-section of Igbo leaders led by revered constitutional lawyer and teacher, Prof Ben Nwabueze (SAN) adopted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The governor said the adoption of Atiku was based on “politics of sentiments” which had left the South East geopolitical region in the “political wilderness” in the past.
Okorocha maintained that despite the endorsement, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari would win a second term comfortably.
In a Thursday statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, the governor said, “On the adoption of a presidential candidate by Igbo leaders and their playing partisan politics, my advice is that Igbo leaders should toe the path of wisdom and should not come again adopting a candidate.
“Mine is an advice that the Igbos should be careful not to play the same type of very bad politics we played in the past which most of the times, kept us in political wilderness.
“As a people, we must be wise now and never foreclose the possibility of any presidential Candidate becoming the president tomorrow.
“For that reason, I will advise that Igbos should be wise and most organisations in Igbo land should play wise politics rather than playing politics of sentiments which hunts us in the past.
“You may recall that I stood out when nobody believed that Buhari was going to be president and made my point clear that Buhari would be President of this country and the prophecy came to be”.
“If I had not emerged as the Governor from the South-East, probably today, Igbos would have been looked at as people who are not in national politics and APC would have been branded a sectional party or religious party, but my presence helped to build the bridge. I want Igbos to build this bridge proper and make it stronger rather than weakening the bridge.”