Okorocha backtracks, says APC govs yet to decide on Buhari’s re-election

Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state, says governors in the All Progressives Congress (APC) are yet to decide whether or not to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.

He said this on Friday while addressing journalists after the governors met with Buhari at his residence in Daura, Katsina state.

Okorocha dismissed reports that their mission to Daura was aimed at convincing the president to seek re-election in 2019.

He said the governors visited Buhari to condole with him over the death of two members of his extended family.

He added that they also used the opportunity to commend the president for appointing Bola Tinubu, APC national leader, to lead reconciliation efforts within the party.

“We are yet to discuss that (2019 elections). That would be in the next meeting where we will discuss whether we want to support him to run (for re-election) or not,” the governor said.

“But for now we came to condole with him over the death of his two relatives and to commend him for action taken on Tinubu as a reconciliator.”

The governor’s comment contradicts his earlier claim in January that governors in the APC have endorsed the president’s second tenure.

Okorocha, who is the chairman of the APC governors’ forum, had said the governors endorsed the president for re-election because “four years is not enough to show what the president can offer”.

“First among the very important issues that we discussed, was the issue of Mr President’s second term bid and it has the endorsement of all the governors of APC,” he had said.

“There is need for him to complete his second term as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and he should go ahead to declare.”

In 2017, Okorocha said 34 out of the 36 governors have endorsed the president for a second tenure, but later said the president will not get an automatic ticket from the party.

Buhari is yet to publicly declare his interest in seeking re-election but there are indications that he would run.