President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday stunned the electorate in Imo state when he asked members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to vote according to their conscience in the 2019 elections.
Buhari, while speaking in Owerri on the lingering crisis rocking the Imo State chapter of the party for the first time, urged members of APC to vote for any candidate of their choice irrespective of intra-party squabbles.
The President’s speech at the Dan Anyiam Stadium was however at variance with that of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who had mandated APC members to vote for the party’s candidate, Hope Uzodinma.
According to the President, “You can vote for whosoever you want, do not allow intra or inter party affairs stop you from voting for the candidate of your choice”.
Earlier in his speech, Oshiomhole had said that the APC does not need the support of the Action Alliance (AA) to deliver President Buhari in the state.
He said, “Let me make it clear that the APC is not in alliance with any party, we have the power to deliver the President. You should vote for Uzodinma as our governorship candidate, don’t be deceived by anybody”.
Governor Rochas Okorocha in his speech had caused a stir when he said that only the Chairman of his own faction, Mr. Daniel Nwafor, will be allowed to speak at the rally.
This must have led to why none of the factional chairmen, Nwafor and Marcellinus Nlemigbo, was allowed to speak at the occasion.
Also speaking after receiving the party’s flag, Uzodinma said that he would not be deterred by internal hostility, stressing that he was sure of clinching the governorship seat in the March 2 governorship election.
Buhari had earlier held a town hall meeting at Eze Imo palace where he told the monarchs that he had delivered on his campaign promises to Nigerians.
A surprise appearance at the meeting was the presence of the AA governorship candidate, Uche Nwosu.