Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has been speculated to be eying the Vice Presidential ticket of the All Progressive Congress, APC in 2019.
Newspaper reports in Owerri claimed that the Governor had his sights on the presidential ticket of the party in 2019 but soft pedaled when the presidency reportedly focused its searchlight on him.
The searchlight was said to have forced the governor to make a u- turn and he made it clear that he will only run for the presidency after President Muhammadu Buhari runs for a second term in 2019 and completes his tenure in 2023.
Life after leaving Imo State Government House, Owerri at the expiration of his eight years in office next year may be the propelling factor that may force the Imo Governor to opt for the Vice Presidential ticket of the APC.
How he will get the party leadership and President Buhari to consent to such ambition is left to be deciphered considering the strength of the Buhari/ Bola Tinubu alliance which produced Yemi Osibanjo as Vice President in 2015.There is nothing at the moment to show any crack in that alliance considering the vote of confidence Buhari passed on Osibanjo for managing the affairs of the nation well when he (Buhari) was in London on medical vacation.
Okorocha had run for the APC presidential ticket in 2015 which he lost to Muhammadu Buhari. He has been hosting high profile events in the state which attracted top Nigerians to Owerri. The latest was the Iri ji Imo( New Yam festival) which attracted high profile Nigerians including the Oni of Ife, Oba Ogunlesi.
During the launching of her daughter’s Elfreeda foundation, stakeholders in the Nigerian polity were present including Osibanjo’s wife, Dolapo. And in furtherance of his latest political antics ostensibly to send signals on his commitment to the indivisibility of Nigeria, Okorocha said recently that he was born in the North though from the South East and empowered by the South West.He has been very vocal against the activities of the agitators of Biafra led by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Last week, he hosted five APC governors who came from the Northern region of the country to Owerri to confer with him on the tension stoked in Igboland by pro Biafra agitators. He was also among the few State Governors that have strongly backed the Buhari presidency since it came on board in 2015.
It was Okorocha who announced to the world after State some governors visited President Buhari in London, that the President was hale and hearty.
The Imo State governor also heads the APC Governors Forum which puts him in fine stead among his colleagues to lobby the VP ticket within the party.
The Imo Governor has never had a dull moment in his political career since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999. That year, he vied for Imo State governorship on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP losing in the party’s Primary Election. In 2003, he crossed over to All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP where he contested and lost the party’s presidential ticket to Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2009, he again vied for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential primary which he lost to Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. In the last 16 years, he has flirted with several political parties namely the PDP, APGA, and the Action Alliance which he solely formed and owned. He later joined the APC after leading a faction of APGA to the merger of some political parties that gave birth to the APC in 2014.