Former Governor of Imo state, Emeka Ihedioha has apologized to the Igbos over his ‘saboteur’ comment which has generated lots of controversy.
While speaking at the 2022 New Yam festival ceremony of the Mbaise People living in Ghana, Ihedioha had said that any of his kinsmen and supporters who vote for another party other than the Peoples Democratic Party, is a saboteur.
‘Nigeria is in search for leadership; we cannot stay away; I understand the ethics, It is either we get involved or we are not involved. There are two parties; the PDP and APC. Those who don’t know should know. APC is the name of criminals, rogues among other names. If you vote any other place, you are a saboteur.
‘After Atiku Abubakar the next president will come from South East of Nigeria. That is the gospel in Accra (Ghana) if you somebody tells you any another thing; that person must win in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Kwara, Plateau Benue, Jigawa, and among other Northern states before you can be a president of Nigeria. Emotions and sentiment don’t win elections; you must be realistic to win elections. You must plan to win elections and that is where I belong.’
However appearing on a Channels Television program today September 30, Ihedioha said his speech in Ghana was misconstrued and blown out of proportion.
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He also said that he is not rude or arrogant to people who he doesn’t share the same political beliefs with.
The former Governor said;
” I went to Ghana on the invitation of my people for the New Yam festival who are predominantly PDP members. Knowing where we are coming from as a people and knowing where PDP left our people, the promises made by APC who were surging to take over power. They promised us everything. They promised water, they promised light, they promised free education, promised free housing, they promised prosperity, they promised stabilisation of the naira and currency. You know that all those things were myriads of deceitful, fraudulent promises that have not come to pass.
“So when you talk about the future of our country, you see people who are worried about being deceived into believing that you just wished it happened. So the desire for me for a PDP administration that has internal mechanisms of good governance cannot be overemphasized. So I spoke to our people consciously within the PDP to express the need for them not to sabotage our efforts in reclaiming power in 2023 so that Nigerians can see good governance.
“So give it to the Peoples Democratic Party. One thing about us is that there could be issues you expect in any human conflagration but we have ways of resolving those issues. We disagree among ourselves and we deal with them among ourselves. So incidentally the issues have been put in a different context and some persons and majority of whom love me, majority of whom believe in me, majority of whom have confidence in me, majority of whom have very huge expectations from me.
“I never called any South Easterner or indeed any Nigerian who doesn’t vote for my party a saboteur. That is not me. It is not in my character. I believe in decent even from my own immediate nuclear family.
“My position was very simple, I was speaking to our people. I am an Mbaise man and the PDP has been very faithful to us. PDP has given us support, PDP gave us the opportunity to produce governor in our state and I said to them we have an opportunity and I called that they should not sabotage our efforts to reclaim power and that was it.
“That was the context. And if listen carefully and I have found out from a number of persons have made calls and either to my person, my family, friends and associates and I have not had the privilege to watch the tape but if you do you will see the context. It is being blown out of proportion but I am responsible to people who show you love, people who show you confidence, people who believe in you and you also need to respect their feelings and so to all those millions of Nigerians, particularly from South East extraction who feel hurt by my use of language, I am sorry about it.
“I do not mean to hurt anybody and they have a right to obviously express their political opinions in any way, form or shape and of course, I have my friends who belong to other political parties and we still relate and we will continue to relate.
“It is my considered view that people should take me for whom I am. People should accept me for whom I am and know that I am not a rude person. I am not a disrespectful person and I don’t use words that are uncultured. I thank the privilege of my upbringing and that has guided me. I believe this should be able to assuage them.”