By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
The Source has learnt that the main gladiators in the March 2nd, 2019 gubernatorial election in Imo state are leaving all options open as to final alliance or alignment till after the presidential election on February 16, 2019.The winner of the presidential election, according to multiple sources who spoke to the magazine in Owerri, the state capital, will determine which of the main contenders eventually enjoys unassailable edge in the Imo guber contest.
In the meantime, the magazine was told that some elements of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s faction of APC in the state who are not cool with the governor’s preferred successor, Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance, AA; some APGA chieftains who feel short-changed by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume’s emergence as the party’s gubernatorial candidate; and Senator Sam Daddy Anyawu’s PDP faction known as new PDP, have already aligned with Senator Uzodinma.
The calculation is that in the event of PDP presidential candidate,Atiku Abubakar’s victory, Senator Uzodinma, if he wins, will defect back to the party, rule for a term and yield office to Senator Anyanwu from Owerri senatorial zone, thus pacifying the zone after losing power to Orlu zone(that is, if Uzodinma who is from Orlu zone just like the outgoing governor, Okorocha, wins the election).
However, if President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC wins the presidential election, a slight change in the arrangement will take place. This magazine was informed that, in the event of Buhari’s victory, Senator Anyanwu, rather than Uzodinma, will do the defecting. That is to say, Senator Anyanwu who allegedly has been romancing the APC after losing the PDP governorship ticket to the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, will now openly declared for the party (APC).
Similarly, there are feelers that an Ihedioha-Okorocha-Araraume- Ikedi Ohakim(Accord Party’s governorship candidate) alliance will happen in the event of Buhari’s victory. Okorocha is said to be bruised and his ego badly deflated by the APC and the billionaire businessman turn politician has allegedly vowed to get back at the party.
The proverbial last straw that broke the Carmel’s back was President Buhari’s declaration in Owerri Tuesday during a campaign rally, that the APC and his presidential campaign are not in alliance with any party and urged party faithful to vote only APC candidates, including himself and Senator Uzodinma.
Okorocha who is APC’s senatorial candidate for Orlu zone, has been campaigning for AA candidates in the state, including his son-in-law and also for President Buhari on the ground that the party has adopted the president as its presidential candidate. Uche Nwosu left the APC, allegedly at Okorocha’s prompting after losing the party’s governorship ticket to Uzodinma.
The out-going Imo state governor is also reportedly pained that the national leadership of the party did not condemn the state chapter loyal to Senator Uzodinma, when it announced his suspension and subsequent expulsion for anti-party activities. Okorocha, it was gathered, believes that Uzodinma led- state chapter of the party is in cohort with the APC national leadership led by former Edo governor, Adams Oshomhole and that the former Edo governor is perfecting plans to ratify his expulsion.
To this end, the governor is said to be ready to sacrifice his son-in-law’s governorship ambition and his own senatorial ambition to ensure that the APC is defeated in the Imo governorship election.
The impending alliance with the PDP candidate, sources inform, will allegedly see Okorocha, Araraume and Ohakim secretly work for Ihedioha while equally engaging in a feeble campaign for their election. Apart from Okorocha’s bile against the APC, the three men are said to have agreed that in the present circumstance, natural justice demands that Owerri zone, personified by Ihedioha, be supported to produce the next governor, Orlu and Okigwe having been in the saddle in the last 20 years.
Meanwhile, Senator Uzodinma’s loyalists have dismissed the alleged alliance against their principal, describing it as dead on arrival. “They will gather and fail because onwa( Uzodinma) is ordained to rule Imo state, he is the next governor and there is nothing Okorocha and his gang of losers can do about it.”, said Patrick Obinnakwere, one of the loyalists who described himself as “Hope Ambassador”, told this magazine at Orlu.