The spokesman to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ikechukwu Eze, has debunked the reported claim by Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha that the ex-President offered him huge sums of money and other inducements ahead of the 2015 presidential elections.
In a statement issued Wednesday Eze dismissed the claims as lies, stressing Dr. Jonathan did not need Okorocha to garner votes in the South East, which he described as the former President’s political stronghold.
Eze who insisted Jonathan never had any conversations with Okorocha ahead of the 2015 elections, also affirmed that the former President was not in the habit of making frivolous promises.
He said: “We offer to quickly dismiss these claims as lies, because we are clear in our minds that such conversation never happened.”
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, and published in the New Telegraph newspaper of Wednesday 27 September 2017, where he was quoted to have said that former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan offered him an influential ministry and huge sums of money to dump his party ahead of the 2015 elections, which he rejected. We offer to quickly dismiss these claims as lies, because we are clear in our minds that such conversation never happened.
“We are wondering whether this truly came from the governor because we are sure that even Governor Okorocha himself did not believe that anybody would accept these claims. In the first place it sounded irrational and absurd. Besides, it was obvious to all and sundry that, the South East, being Dr. Jonathan’s political stronghold, the ex-President did not need Okorocha to win in the zone.
“However, to set the records straight, we make bold to say that former President Jonathan never made any contact with Okorocha, ahead of the 2015 elections. The claim of an offer of “an influential ministry” is also quite surprising because the former President was not in the habit of making frivolous promises, especially pertaining to Government positions and offices. All those who had either worked closely with him in any capacity, or served in Dr. Jonathan’s administration can bear testimony to the fact that idle talk is not his style.
“Since we know that the only proof the purveyors of this bribery allegation could offer is to probably claim that the transaction happened in a dream, we can only offer the Governor sincere advice, to avoid rumours and twaddle, and get down to the business of result-oriented governance. Governor Okorocha would have served his state better, if he directed his enormous drive to creating growth and development opportunities for the good people of Imo State, rather than allowing himself to be drawn into dissipating his energy on platitudes and propaganda.”