Despite the video footage which has gone viral on the social media, former Governor of Imo State Emeka Ihedioha has said he did not refer to supporters of the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, as saboteurs.
Not denying the content of the video, the ex-governor’s media aide, Chibuike Onyeukwu, said Ihedioha was misquoted during his recent trip to Ghana.
In the video, Ihedioha said they have only one party (referring to his party; PDP) and anyone that casts his vote anywhere else is a saboteur.
But Onyeukwu in a statement on Wednesday said Ihedioha was addressing members of the Peoples Democratic Party who are engaging in anti-party activities and that he was not referring to members of the other parties, especially the Labour Party, as saboteurs for supporting Obi.
The statement said, “Few days ago, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, on the invitation of his kinsmen, was in Accra, Ghana to celebrate this year’s Iri Ji festival with the Mbaise community in that country.
“As a founding member and one of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he seized the opportunity of that visit to address PDP issues nationally but particularly in Imo State and assuage the anxiety of the members his party who have been apprehensive of the developments within the party.
“In doing so, he decried what at best is the insouciant attitude and worse, the outright sabotage of some acclaimed party leaders who are engaging in acts that are inimical to the success of the PDP, especially in the Southeast by working in cahoots with the other parties. He was only talking about members of his own political party.
“For clarity purposes, His Excellency, neither referred to members of any other political party, especially the Labour Party as saboteurs. He only spoke in the context of the PDP and the emphasis was on the need for members of his party to remain consistent and committed.”
The statement noted that it is “inconceivable” that Ihedioha would refer to anybody who is supporting Obi, “his longtime friend, with whom he shares close political affinity and has utmost respect for, as a saboteur.”
“It is unfortunate that his well-intentioned speech which addressed the specific issue of happenings within his own political party was, again, manipulated by fifth columnists to suit their mischievous scheme of bringing him on a collision with Mr. Peter Obi, whose unwavering political philosophy of ‘Taking Back Nigeria’ from the draconian stranglehold of the failed ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, he wholeheartedly shares,” the statement said.
It added that Ihedioha respects the aspirations and passion of members of other political parties, even as he remains committed to the cause of his own political party.