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The unending feud within the political fold of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State that pre-dates 2019 general elections has persisted without an end in sight. The feud initially degenerated to three factions, but it has thinned down to two but strong contending factions.
Just before the 2019 general elections, APC had three factions. There was the Daniel Nwafor faction, allegedly engineered by then governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha. The second one, chaired by Marcelinus Nlemigbo, fought for the ascendancy of Senator Hope Uzodimma as Imo State governor, while the third had no chairman, but championed for the then deputy governor of the state, Prince Eze Madumere, to emerge governor.
Just recently, as they jostle for the replacement for Imo North Senatorial District’s seat heats up, Uzodimma, convened a caucus meeting to prune the number of APC aspirants from about 11 to a possible consensus candidate. But Okorocha was absent at the meeting. Senator Ifeanyi Ararume (from Imo North, also angling for a return ticket, was absent). It is expected that a candidate would emerge by September 3, as the election holds in October 31.
The deceased occupant of the seat and late Benjamin Uwajumogu had slumped at his home in Abuja and died in December last year.
The caucus, chaired by Uzodimma, raised a nine-man committee, chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmas Iwu, to screen the aspirants and settle for a consensus candidate. But the aspirants rejected the decision. As last Tuesday, no fewer than four aspirants, who are on are on Uzodinma’s side, have picked the expression of interest forms.
Those screened, The Guardian learned, are Chikwem Onuoha, Frank Ibeziem, Mathew Omegara, Rt. Hon. Acho Ihim, Chief Athan Achonu, Chief Eze Okoro, Prof. Chinedum Nwaebo, and Chief Mark Uchendu. But unconfirmed reports say Ihim, a former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, is favoured by the governor. Another report has it that Ibezim, said to be close to the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, is also believed to be in the good books of the powers that be.
At the weekend, a statement from the Nwafor-led faction and signed by the Publicity Secretary, Jones Onwuasonya, advised aspirants to pick their forms at the national headquarters, Abuja.
The statement read: “Aspirants are advised to go to the national headquarters of the party at 40, Blantyre Street, off Ademola Adetokunbo Street, Wuse II, Abuja, precisely at the Directorate of Organization, to obtain their forms, as that is the only designated place for the purchase of expression of interest and nomination forms.
“This notice serves as official disclaimer on any individual or group of individuals who may claim to be selling forms on behalf of the party in Imo State.”
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