By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
After its Reconciliation Committee’s visit to Imo state, the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has reportedly resolved to stop offering the state governor, Rochas Okorocha, any further olive branch. Sources close to the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje led Committee disclosed that before its arrival in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the Committee explored ways of assuaging the Imo state governor’s bruised ego over his son- in-law, Uche Nwosu’s loss of the APC governorship ticket to Senator Hope Uzodinma. However, it later changed its mind when it dawned on the members that within the Imo chapter of of the party, Okorocha has become a commander without troops as virtually everybody in the party in the state, including prominent party chieftains, have abandoned him and pitched tent with Uzodinma.
The Committee was thus convinced that APC could do without the governor as far as the Imo guber election was concerned as he, (Okorocha), has totally lost the party’s structures to Uzodinma. It was on this basis that the Ganduje Committee discarded plans to make proposal for power-sharing arrangement with Okorocha’ faction.
Some of the options the party had considered in trying to appease Okorocha, The source gathered, include prevailing on Uzodinma to share power with Okorocha’s faction of the party. Under this arrangement, Nwosu was to be appointed Secretary to Imo State Government in the event of Senator Uzodinma’s victory.
The outgoing governor’s other allies were also to be appointed into juicy ministries as Commissioners. Infact, some members of the Committee even made a case for Okorocha to be allowed to nominate Senator Uzodinma’s running mate.
Any idea of concessions to the Governor’s camp was to finally evaporate when the Committee met with Imo APC supporters and stakeholders at the campaign office of the party’s governorship candidate. Among the mammoth crowd who welcome the committee members there were all serving state legislators and candidates, all National Assembly members and candidates; and governorship aspirants who contested the ticket with Senator Uzodinma.
Sources revealed that seeing the crowd and the calibre of party chieftains among them, as well as speeches of endorsement for Uzodinma, members of the committee declared Imo APC crisis- free, contrary to what Okorocha had earlier told them at the Government House where a handful of government officials were allegedly introduced as APC chieftains.
Chairman of Imo APC Council of Elders, Dr. EJK Onyebuchi who spoke on behalf of the party in the state revealed to the Committee how Senator Uzodinma became the popular choice of APC members in the state.
According to Dr. Onyebuchi, it was the Elders’ Council that drafted Uzodimma to the governorship race to stop Okorocha from imposing his son in-law on Imo people.
“At that point we were more interested in a popular figure who can stop Governor Okorocha so we drafted Senator Uzodimma because we saw in him the man with the popularity and capacity to stop Okorocha. So Uzodimma is the candidate of Imo people. He did not come out on his own and I can assure you that Imo people will vote for him massively,” he declared.
He mocked Okorocha for pledging to remain in APC while at the same time openly working against the party’s governorship candidate by supporting his Son-In-Law to be governor under another party’s platform. “This is a clear case of anti-party activity, and I think the governor should be sanctioned accordingly”, Dr. Onyebuchi said.
Meanwhile, The source has learnt that some of Okorocha’s men who do not see Nwosu becoming governor are secretly making overtures to Senator Uzodinma’s camp with the view of securing soft landing there. “In the coming days, some Commissioners, Special Advisers and scores of Board appointees will resign from the government. They are more concerned with their political future than tagging along, in the name of loyalty, with a governor that has less than six months to stay in office”, the magazine was told.