By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
The influx of defectors to the Imo state chapter of the All Progressives Alliance, APGA should ordinarily be a source of strength to the party as 2019 elections draw near but reverse seems to be the case. In the last two months, scores of prominent Imo sons who had occupied important political positions in the past have been defecting to the party with the view of seeking elective offices on its platform next year. However, chieftains of the party in the state who have kept faith and shown loyalty to it during trying moments are not happy at the turn of events.
They allege that Imo APGA have been invaded by what they described as displaced political buccaneers and at the verge of being sold to the highest bidder by the party’s national leadership. This, they rue, is to the detriment of real members who had labored to keep the party alive since 2013 when the state governor, Rochas Okorocha, elected on its platform, abandoned it for the All Progressives Congress, APC. “APGA in Imo is about to be sold to people who will in turn sell our dear party to the APC. APGA national leaders have compromised, they have handed our party to outsiders but we will resist it” , a chieftain of the party told The Source .
Among prominent Imo politicians that have in the past months abandoned their parties for APGA include former governor Ikedi Ohakim, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Senator Osita Izunaso, Hon.Uche Onyeagucha, Jerry Jerry Chukkwueke among others. Ohakim, Ararume and Onyeagucha have indicated interest for the Imo state number one seat. While Ohakim defected to the party from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ararume, Izunaso, Chukwueke and Onyeagucha came in from the APC.
Recently, Ohakim boasted that about 15 billionaires were on hand to help realize the senatorial ambition of Bianca Ojukwu, widow of former leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, late General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Watchers of Imo politics suggest that same billionaires are also ready to bankroll Ohakim’s quest to rule Imo again under APGA. In the same vein, many are questioning the real motive behind Ararume’s donation of #10 million to Imo APGA, apart from for the advertised printing of more membership cards and another #12.6million said to be for sundry expenses for the party’s primary elections. Questions are being asked as to why a man who will be competing for the party’s gubernatorial ticket with other gubernatorial aspirants in a primary election should also be the one making fund available for the exercise and for the printing of membership cards.