APC accepts responsibility for economic downturn, says Okorocha

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According to reports, the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha, on Monday, said the All Progressives Congress had taken responsibility for Nigeria’s economic downturn.

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Okorocha said although some of the problems predated the present administration, the party must take responsibility without shifting blame.

Okorocha spoke with State House correspondents shortly after leading the APC governors to a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The governor said: “This was not a problem brought by APC government.

“It is a problem that has existed long before APC came to government and we are only trying to clear the mess of the past.

“But we must take responsibility and we must never shift the responsibility to anybody.

“As APC, we are responsible for everything happening in Nigeria.

“We are responsible for the good, the bad, the ugly, but we are promising Nigerians that we shall fix it.”

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While admitting that Nigerians were passing through difficult times, Okorocha said there was no surgery that was not painful.

He said Nigerians were experiencing pains because the country was going through what he called “a very serious economic surgery”.

The governor asked Nigerians to be more patient with the present administration.

He said: “We share the pains of Nigerians, every human being must feel it.

“We also feel what they are going through, but we are asking for a little patience.

“Let us do things the right way and do it once and for all.

“I am sure that by next year, you will begin to see changes.

“The price of rice will drop, prices of dollars will begin to stabilise and we will see a lot of changes.

“But at this painful moment, nobody likes it.

“It is like a woman in the labour room.

“When she is in the labour room, there is no joy, but she has to pass through that moment and that moment, she does not wear her high heel shoes, no make up, no champagne, no party.”

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On the meeting with Buhari, Okorocha stated: “We came particularly to encourage him and congratulate him on the release of the 21 Chibok girls and we say whatever was done to bring back these girls, let the action be repeated so that the rest of the girls can be freed.

“This will help because this is a very big achievement in the history of this government.

“Again, we came to report to Mr. President that his agriculture policy is producing result.

“This time round, we have bumper harvest in most parts of the country in rice production and other things.

“So, that policy should be sustained.

“On the funding policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the anchor borrowers should be encouraged because it is yielding results.

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“In the next couple of years, Nigeria would be self-sufficient in agriculture and will not need to import food products into this country.

“We also encouraged him on the fight against corruption.

“That he should continue.

“We know that in the pursuit of good programmes, certain lapses will be noticed and there is nothing wrong in pursuing a good cause.

“We also looked at the issue of the Ondo election and said we are happy that we have delivered the first state under his administration, which is Edo, but in Ondo, the governors have decided to show support for that election so that APC will take over the government of Ondo State.”

Okorocha agreed that the crisis in the APC was capable of affecting the party, but expressed the hope that the controversy would be resolved before the elections.

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