The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday swore in the immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, as the senator representing Imo West district in the National Assembly.
Okorocha was not inaugurated on Tuesday because he had yet to collect his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The former governor told journalists after plenary on Thursday that South East leaders should start reaching out to other parts of the country now if they wanted to produce Nigeria’s President in 2023.
He said it was only when other leaders of the various geopolitical zones in the country were convinced that the Igbo deserved to be president that the dream could come true.
Okorocha said, “Power is not given; power is taken. The South East leaders cannot just fold their arms and expect power to be given to them just because they want power.
“Power does not go with sentiment. Democracy is about the people and South East alone cannot make themselves president.
So you cannot be talking about Igbo presidency, it doesn’t exist. We may be talking about Nigeria’s President of Igbo extraction but that depends on what other geopolitical zones think about the issue.”
He however, said his idea of the leadership of the country was for the most qualified person from any part of the country to occupy the position.
Okorocha said, “For me, what is important is let power be given to somebody who has something upstairs, who can put food on the table of the common man irrespective of religion or where you come from.”
The former governor said part of his mission in the red chamber was to bridge the political gap between the Igbo and other parts of the country.
He said, “There is need for the Igbo to mend fences. We are neither here nor there now politically. We are not in the ruling party; neither are we making impact in the opposition.
“So, there is a need for us to get married to the rest of the nation politically.”
On late issuance of his certificate of return, Okorocha challenged those behind his travails to be bold enough to show up.
He also said there was no reason for INEC to appeal the High Court verdict which forced the electoral umpire to release his certificate of return.
He said, “It will be very surprising to see that INEC will appeal this matter because there is no basis for it.
“Duress means using mild or excessive force to compel someone to do something he or she does not want to do.
“How would you have done that in a hall where you have the police, agents of state services and party agents?
“How will it be possible for me to be walking around with a gun or machete asking them to write result on my behalf?
“That didn’t happen. I think there is more to duress than duress itself.”