A former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha has apologized to people who might have been offended over the use of the word saboteur while addressing a gathering of his kinsmen in Accra Ghana.

Ihedioha said it is not in his character to be rude, even as he reiterates his respect for people’s choices and opinions, adding that his address was misconstrued and blown out of proportion. 

The former governor was speaking in reaction to a viral video which alleged that he described the supporters of Mr. Peter Obi, Presidential candidate of the Labour Party and the Igbos of the Southeast as saboteurs. 

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He maintained that the word “saboteur” he used during his speech was not referring to the supporters of the presidential candidate or the Igbo but to his kinsmen who are predominantly members of the PDP, while harping on the need for the party to reclaim power in the coming election

“I went to Ghana on the invitation of my kinsmen. I am an Mbaise man and we celebrate the “Iri Ji” (New Yam Festival) and for quite some time, they have requested me to come join them and I felt it was important to do that at this time.

“I was speaking to my kinsmen predominantly members of my party, the PDP. And so, knowing where we are coming from as a people, understanding our circumstances and where the PDP administration left Nigeria and that we are the PDP in Nigeria and the promises that were made to Nigerians by the All Progressives Congress, APC, who were surging to take over power. Promises of constant light, free education, free housing, prosperiy and stabilization were all mirage, deceitful and fraudulent. 

“Those promises have never come to pass and so when you talk about the future of our country, you get worried as people who may for one reason or the other be deceived into believing that you wish it happens. And so, the desire for me, for a PDP administration that has internal mechanism of good governance cannot be over emphasized. And so I spoke to our people within the PDP consciously, to express the need for them, not to sabotage our efforts in reclaiming power in 2023, so that Nigerians can see good governance”.

He added, “The huge expectation is borne out of abundant love and expectations. That I said any South-Easterner (Igbo man at that or indeed Nigerian) who does not vote for my party is a saboteur? That cannot be. That is far from the truth. It is obvious that is not me. It is not in my character. I believe in decency. So that cannot be.

“My position was very simple, I was speaking to our people, I am an Mbaise man. PDP has been faithful to us, they have given us the opportunity to produce a Governor and I said to them, we have an oppotunity and i said to them, don’t sabotage our efforts to claim power and that was it. That was the context and if you read or listen through, persons who have made calls to my family members, friends and associates have not had the opportunity to watch the clip. If you do watch it, you will find out that the context is being blown out of proportion.”

Mindful of the feelings and emotions of his numerous supporters, followers and fans, he said, “however, I am responsible to people. When people show you love, confidence and indeed believe in you, you need to respect their feelings. So to the millions of Nigerians, particularly the Southeast extraction who feel hurt by my use of language, I am deeply sorry.  I do not mean to hurt anybody. You all have the right to express your political opinion in anyway”.

While speaking on the Obedient Movement, especially in the Southeast and its impact on the PDP ahead of the election, Ihedioha, said, “Mr. Peter Obi is a politician that has earned his place. He is a man I respect and have good relationship with. I know he has a growing support base. But we are going to a general election that is scheduled for February 2023 and you need a lot of time to penetrate. Now for us in the PDP, when you look at the leadership of our party in the Southeast, we were with Mr. Peter Obi before he left. You will notice that our numbers have not reduced by any means and we are going to approach the campaigns and elections.  All I urge everyone is, let us be very cautious, the real danger is any opportunity to the APC. And so we should not inflict damage on ourselves while we put our eyes on the ball. 

Speaking on the chances on the PDP in the 2023 general elections, Ihedioha said, “Give it to PDP, the thing about PDP is that yes, there are issues as expected in any human conglomerate but we have ways of dealing with them. We disagree within ourselves and we deal with them. 

He expressed confidence at the capacity of the leadership of the party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to resolve whatever every disagreement before general elections.

Ihedioha recalled the seven months of his Rebuild Imo administration, describing it as satisfactory.


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