Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state, has accused Ayo Fayose, his Ekiti state counterpart, of attempting to overheat the polity, appealing to Nigerians to disregard Fayose’s controversial statement.
On Wednesday, Fayose addressed a press conference where he alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari had been on a life support machine for 20 days.
Fayose called on Buhari to resign, saying the president was no longer fit to lead the country.
But speaking with state house correspondents on Thursday, Okorocha, who is chairman of the All Progressive Peoples (APC) governors’ forum, said Fayose was deliberately heating up the polity.
He said rather than rally round the president at a critical period in the nation’s history, Fayose was spewing a message of hate.
“We must see this time as a trying period for Nigeria and by the grace of God we shall overcome,” he said.
“So, this is the time to preach love; this is the time to love one another; this is the time to embrace one another, this is the time to preach peace especially in more of the things that unite us as a people and talk not at all the things that will divide us.
“I want to advise that Fayose’s statement about Mr President’s health should not be regarded. It is baseless… there is no substance in that information. He is just heating up the polity.
“In our culture, we do not play politics with people’s lives. Anybody can be sick, anybody can be in the hospital and so making such unfounded statement that Mr President is on life support is to the best of my knowledge a statement of hate. Nigerians should not regard it.
“What we should do right now is to pray for Mr President, wish him well, anybody can be sick. Even as he is sick out there many people have been sick in Nigeria, so we should not politicise this and play politics with people’s lives and try to create hate and confusion in the system.
“I think that has become Fasoye’s style of talk and Nigerians must never take those kinds of talk serious because is capable of creating confusion in the system.”
Okorocha added that Buhari’s absence has not created any vacuum as Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has been constitutionally carrying out the functions of the president.
“Moreover, the country is stable. The acting president is doing a beautiful job. He is meeting up the daily duties of Mr President and so there is no vacuum and so there is no cause for alarm,” he said.
“We must at this point give every support to Mr President and we are hoping that very soon Mr President will come back and join us.
“I do not know if he is speaking from the point of view of being the chairman of the PDP governors forum or he is speaking as a person or as a governor. I do not understand but whatever it is, people must disregard this statement.”