By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
Against pundits’ postulations, Senator Hope Uzodinma who only recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives, APC has won the party’s gubernatorial ticket for Imo, effectively scuttling the State Governor, Rochas Okorocha’s plan to impose his son -in law, Uche Nwosu as the next governor of the state. In the PDP itself, its 2015 flag bearer and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha picked his party’s ticket.
In a keenly contested guber primaries, Uzodinma who represents Imo West senatorial district in the Senate beat other contestants, including Nwosu to pick the APC ticket.Imo state Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere came second.
Madumere and Uzodinma are members of the “Allied Forces”, a faction of Imo APC that battled to wrestle the party from Okorocha’s grip during its local government and state congresses in May.Another prominent member of the faction, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume recently defected to the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and is expected to be nominated by the party to fly its guber flag in next year’s election.
Very credible sources told The source that the top echelon of the APC in Abuja and power brokers in the presidency had long before the primaries settled for Senator Uzodinma as the party’s flag bearer and Okorocha’s sucessor.
Madumere from Owerri zone is expected to return as Deputy Governor under Uzodinma.The APC Imo guber flagbearer, like Okorocha, hails from Orlu zone.If Ararume eventually picks APGA ticket, the 2019 Imo guber contest will be a three- horse race of political heavyweights- Uzodinma, Ararume and Ihedioha.