By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
Imo state chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA has slipped into major crisis following the defection to its fold, of Senators Ifeanyi Ararume, Osita Izunaso and several other members of the “Allied Forces”, a faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC that battled for the soul of the party with Governor Rochas Okorocha before the APC’s local government and state congresses in May this year.
However, mass defection and multiple court cases are looming in Imo APGA as prominent members of the party, many of whom are foundation members who have remained committed to it since inception, have vowed to wreck APGA rather than allow the national leadership cede it to APC as its (APC) appendage, and rather than see strange people hijack it in Imo.
Party sources say movement of the “Allied forces” to APGA is in line with the party’s pact with the APC for the 2019 elections. APGA has reportedly agreed to allow APC defectors who will be aided to victory by agents of the federal government fly its flag in the governorship elections in the South east and return to the ruling party months after taking the oath of office.
APGA is also to field a Northern presidential candidate with an Igbo running mate with the sole aim of preventing PDP’s presidential candidate from harvesting votes from south east, a traditional PDP strong which also has tremendous sympathy for APGA.
Though APGA has consistently described itself as a national party with strong roots in the south east, most people in the region are fiercely and sentimentally attached to the party, mainly because of its link to the late leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Before his demise in 2011, Ojukwu was the National Leader of APGA and Chairman of its Board of Trustees, BoT. He flew the party’s flag in the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections.
Governor Okorocha’s insistence on fielding his son in law, Uche Nwosu as APC’s Imo guber candidate is regarded as by the national leadership of the party as a major recipe for PDP’s victory in the state. Therefore, convinced that APC is headed for sure defeat, the party decided to spring Ararume, Izunaso and other APC bigwigs in the state as a joker to save it from jaws of humilating defeat in the governorship election.
In keeping with the APGA-APC script, a member of the “Allied forces”, possibly Ararume or Izunaso, will emerge as the APGA guber flag bearer for the Imo guber election and will be aided to victory by the APC- led federal government.He will however, make a detour back to the APC within three months of assumption of office.