The battle of who governs Imo in 2019 appears fierce as the day goes by with the current political development where Uche Nwosu has jumped ship to Action Alliance (AA) in a bid to win the 2019 governorship election.
This is against the earlier permutation that Hope Uzodimma, the governorship candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was almost cruising home to victory.
For some time now, Imo State has emerged as one of the states in the eyes of the storm among the Nigerian average electorate. The drama that trailed its governorship primaries and the subsequent outcome of the exercise has indeed exposed the state as among the 36 states of the federation to watch in the much awaited 2019 general polls.
Specifically, the gladiators are the APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The governorship candidate of APGA, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume is believed to have emerged through foul and undemocratic means and he seems to be having a running battle with co-contestants.
In the APGA political family, the raging gubernatorial battle knows no bounds as a two- time senator for Imo North, Chief Godwin Ifeanyi
Araraume is slugging it out with a number of aggrieved party members fondly called Ugwumba, the two time senator dramatically defected from the APC to the APGA and before the sundry governorship contenders know what was in the offing he grabbed the party’s governorship ticket to the consternation and chagrin of all.
In the PDP for example, the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha who also flew the party’s flag in 2015 is currently in a fierce legal battle with the senator for Imo East (Owerri Zone), Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu over the authentic ownership of the party’s gubernatorial ticket.
The above notwithstanding, what appears to be the pre-occupation of the Imo electorate is the unfolding drama within the ruling APC in the state.
Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the governor of the state, is at the moment on a collision course with many members of the party because of the insistence on Uche Nwosu as his anointed successor.
Nwosu is a former Commissioner for Lands Survey and Urban Development and later Chief of Staff to Governor Okorocha. He hails from Eziama-Obaire, in the Nkwerre council area and is married to Okorocha’s first daughter, Uloma. Prior to the lingering intra-party crisis, Okorocha had unreservedly made it clear to all who cared to listen that his choice for Nwosu as his successor was for the continuity of his rescue mission programmes.
Expectedly, this did not go down well with many who had relentlessly lobbied for the state’s number one position.
The party primaries and counter party primaries conducted separately by Ahmed Gulak and Brigadier General Agbabiaka only served to worsen bickering and antagonism within the party.
At the end of the drama, the party’s NWC led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole settled for Senator Hope Uzodimma as the party’s authentic governorship candidate.
A thoroughly disillusioned and demoralised Nwosu and political disciples eventually jumped ship and settled for the Action Alliance (AA) where they hope to realize their 2019 ambition.
Not a few Imo indigenes believe that the defection of Nwosu and his legions of followers have finally nailed the coffin of the APC in the state.
Analytically, those who hold this view may not be far from the reality on the ground.
To be sure, Nwosu is generally acknowledged as a philanthropist who has empowered many women and youths through his chains of youth empowerment programmes. He is largely seen and revered by many youth organisations including students’ union bodies who see him as their messiah and benefactor.
In the Action Alliance (AA), Nwosu, with the full backing of Okorocha, his mentor and Godfather, is firmly in control of the grassroots in the 637 autonomous communities in the state. The defection of Ugwumba (as Nwosu is fondly called) from the APC to the AA along with the diehard supporters of Okorocha leave the party with chaffs as the few remaining members might not muster the necessary financial muscle to compete with him in the ring.
Aside this, Nwosu is believed to enjoy a clean record of service both in the public and private sector as he is alien to any form of shady deal.
The 27 elected council chairmen in the state who all belong to his camp will immediately consolidate and strengthen grounds for him using both the government rescue mission train and the Ugwumba Movement platform.
The Nwosu governorship project is assumed to have gained stronger relevance and credibility because of his grassroots orientation and posture.
On the other hand, Uzodimma is seen as an Abuja based politician who is not abreast with the yearnings and aspirations of the masses. Not a few of his Orlu kinsmen believe that his performance at the nation’s upper legislative chamber falls below expectation. Uzodimma is dreaded as one who will run an elitist government if given the mandate to serve the state. This is unlike Uche Nwosu who many believe will sustain the free education programme of his master, if elected governor.
Already, a number of religious leaders, market women, traders and artisans have queued behind Nwosu consequent upon his numerous acts of generosity and magnanimity. With the power of incumbency and the structure of the APC still firmly in his hands, it is believed that Okorocha will use all resources at his disposal to seal the fate of Uzodimma who is believed to have been imposed on the party by Oshiomhole.
To worsen matters, the war of attrition now raging within the camp of the APC Coalition Alliance led by Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere is an added advantage to Nwosu. Aggrieved members of the coalition group are bitter with Uzodimma for choosing a one-time Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Professor Placid
Njoku, as his running mate.
Njoku, a professor of Agric is from Amaimo in the Ikeduru LGA of the state and is believed to be a newcomer to the controversial APC opposition group dubbed ‘Coalition Alliance’.
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