By Francis Onyeukwu/Owerri
Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo on Wednesday hosted executives of All Progressives Congress (APC) at wards, local governments and state levels and gave them 18,500 bags of rice valued at N370 million, in addition to N37 million.
Okorocha said during APC stakeholders meeting held at Imo State International Convention, Owerri that each ward should collect 50 bags of rice valued N1 million and N100, 000 cash.
He said the gesture was Christmas and New Year gifts for APC members in appreciation of their hard work and keeping faith with the party.
“We provided 18, 500 bags of rice and each ward out of 370 wards will go home with 50 bags worth N1 million and N100, 000 cash per ward.
“The rice and money should be shared among the members of APC alone, no traditional rulers or Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members should partake in the sharing’’, he said.
Okorocha, who showered praises on APC members for keeping faith with the party in spite months of suspension of financial funding of the party due to economic recession, assured the party executives that more cash would be pumped into the party’s activities.
“I recently released N20 million to each of the 27 local government areas which was shared through the (state development council) for the grading of rural roads in each ward and N400, 000 for organising cultural carnival in Owerri in Dec. 2016.
“We are planning to renovate school buildings, award contracts for the sewing of school uniforms and henceforth these projects must pass through party structures to empower our supporters’’, Okorocha said.
The governor announced that APC will soon commence membership registration across the state with a target to capture at least 1.5 million members in Imo.
Okorocha said the registration must be conducted before 370 ward executive members could come and carry 50 bags of their rice now heaped within the premises of Imo International Convention, Owerri.
The governor told members of the party willing to contest for elective positions in 2019 to start holding political meetings so as to enable them soften the grounds before open campaigns would be permitted by INEC.
“Any of you willing to contest election in 2019 should commence holding stakeholder meetings whether you are still a serving officer or not, we are members of one party and everybody is free to contest elections.
“I am using this platform to make open that I have not endorsed anybody as governor in 2019, nobody has informed me he wants to be governor except Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume who told me two days ago.
“I told him that he should not nurse such ambition, but rather think of joining me to Abuja where I feel we can do more jobs as senior hands for Imo.’’
NAN reports that many APC members across the state including the Imo State Assembly Speaker, Mr Acho Ihim, Rep. Chike Okafor (Obowo/Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma federal constituency) among others, attended the meeting.
Some of them commended Okorocha for his achievements especially in road construction, free education, and urban renewal, and called for more empowerment of APC supporters.