Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo has decried the tribal, religious and zoning of office sentiments in the practice of democracy in the country.
Okorocha made this known in Owerri on Tuesday while briefing journalists on Democracy Day.
The governor said that such myopic sentiments were capable of derailing the democratic process in Nigeria.
According to him, this has also destroyed the unity of Nigeria with citizens seeing the country as fragments of different nations.
He said: “Democracy in Nigeria is driven by sentiments: unfortunately, sentiments such as tribe, religion and zoning of offices have overwhelmed our democratic process.
“This will not let us grow as a nation.”
Reacting to the recent happenings in the state All Progressives Congress, Okorocha said that the ‘theatrics’ was an attempt to heat up the polity by some politicians.
He urged people to go about their political activities without fear as long as they followed provisions of the law.
He said: “Some people have tried to heat up the polity but I have remained calm even in the face of highest provocation.
“What happened recently with our congress was simply a conspiracy by people I brought up, which ordinarily would not have been relevant politically if it had not been for me.
“I am not perfect but we should all hide the imperfections of our leaders so that we can all progress.
“They have the right to go about their political activities without fear as long as they are doing what is right.
“My government has never been known for molesting, arresting or victimising people needlessly; the beauty of power is to know how to exercise restraint.”
The governor also said that the APC had not lost control pointing out that there was need to put its house in order.
He added that his administration had lived up to the expectations of the people, exceeding the achievements of all the past governors of the state.
Okorocha said: “I gave Imo my time, strength and youth and I am happy to say that I have lived up to the expectations of the people.
“Because of my belief in the state, I have relocated almost all of my investments to the state and my wife and family too, which is more than I can say for the past governors of Imo.
“My administration is focused and we have a vision for everything we do.”
Okorocha also advised Imo people to choose wisely in the next elections and elect leaders who could move the state forward.
He added: “My prayer is that you do not allow the state to go back to the way it was before me by choosing the wrong people to lead.”