Fomer Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, on Friday apologised to Igbo people over his comments at the 2022 New Yam festival ceremony of the Mbaise People living in Ghana.
Ihedioha in a viral video that had generated millions of comments allegedly called people who are supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, saboteurs.
Appearing on Channels TV Sunrise Daily programme which was monitored by our correspondent, Ihedioha said that his speech in Ghana was misconstrued and blown out of proportion.
Apologising to the Igbo people, Ihedioha said that the word “saboteur” he used during his speech was not referred to the supporters of the LP presidential candidate but to his kinsmen whom he said were PDP members and were sabotaging the efforts of his party to reclaim power in Imo State in 2024.
Saying that he was sorry, Ihedioha added that it was not in his character to be rude, arrogant, or to use uncultured words on people whom he doesn’t share the same political beliefs with.
He said ” I went to Ghana on the invitation of my people for the New Yam festival who are predominantly PDP members. Knowing where we are coming from as a people and knowing where PDP left our people, the promises made by APC who were surging to take over power. They promised us everything. They promised water, they promised light, they promised free education, promised free housing, they promised prosperity, they promised stabilization of the naira and currency. You know that all those things were myriads of deceitful, fraudulent promises that have not come to pass.
“So when you talk about the future of our country, you see people who are worried about being deceived into believing that you just wished it happened. So the desire for me for a PDP administration that has internal mechanisms of good governance cannot be overemphasized. So I spoke to our people consciously within the PDP to express the need for them not to sabotage our efforts in reclaiming power in 2023 so that Nigerians can see good governance.
“So give it to the Peoples Democratic Party. One thing about us is that there could be issues you expect in any human conflagration but we have ways of resolving those issues. We disagree among ourselves and we deal with them among ourselves. So incidentally the issues have been put in a different context and some persons and majority of whom love me, majority of whom believe in me, majority of whom have confidence in me, majority of whom have very huge expectations from me.
“I never called any South Easterner or indeed any Nigerian who doesn’t vote for my party a saboteur. That is not me. It is not in my character. I believe in decent even from my own immediate nuclear family.
“My position was very simple, I was speaking to our people. I am an Mbaise man and the PDP has been very faithful to us. PDP has given us support, PDP gave us the opportunity to produce governor in our state and I said to them we have an opportunity and I called that they should not sabotage our efforts to reclaim power and that was it.
“That was the context. And if listen carefully and I have found out from a number of persons have made calls and either to my person, my family, friends and associates and I have not had the privilege to watch the tape but if you do you will see the context. It is being blown out of proportion but I am responsible to people who show you love, people who show you confidence, people who believe in you and you also need to respect their feelings and so to all those millions of Nigerians, particularly from South East extraction who feel hurt by my use of language, I am sorry about it.
“I do not mean to hurt anybody and they have a right to obviously express their political opinions in any way, form or shape and of course, I have my friends who belong to other political parties and we still relate and we will continue to relate.
“It is my considered view that people should take me for whom I am. People should accept me for whom I am and know that I am not a rude person. I am not a disrespectful person and I don’t use words that are uncultured. I thank the privilege of my upbringing and that has guided me. I believe this should be able to assuage them.”
Speaking further, Ihedioha said that he was certain that PDP was going to win the 2023 presidential election.
He said that though Obi’s support base was growing in the South East region the PDP was going to win the zone.
On the crisis rocking PDP, Ihedioha said that the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has the capacity to resolve it before the next year’s general elections.
Ihedioha said that his seven months reign as the governor of Imo state was “satisfactory” to the people of the state, beaming optimism that his party would sack the All Progressives Congress-led administration in the state in the next governorship election in the state.