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The January 14, 2020, Supreme Court victory of Imo State may have come and gone with unrelenting protests from the PDP against the victory handed to the APC candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, but one distasteful taste it has left in the body politics of the State is the bickering among elite politicians of Owerri zone, concerning the apex leadership post of the Local Government Areas.
Since Governor Hope Uzodinma came on board, old wounds in the political rivalry, supremacy battles, and ego trips among gladiators in Owerri have resurfaced and is eating deep into the fabrics of the APC in the state.
There are no Local Government Areas in the nine councils that make up the Owerri zone that is left without subtle battles engaged by the playmakers for who to be recognised as the apex leader since Hope Uzodinma became governor in January.
In the heart of the town, Owerri Municipal, two persons are very prominent; Macdonald Kelechi Ebere and Lugard Osuji. Ebere, a former Transition committee chairmen of the council and APC House of Assembly candidate is maximising his affinity with the governor to become the apex leader against the former Majority Leader of Imo Assembly, Osuji who went to Action Alliance to run for the Assembly seat but has made a comeback. The fight for the party’s structure in the LGA is drawn between the two Owerri Nchi Ise politicians.
In the neighboring Owerri North, a former Secretary to the Imo State Government to the state and governorship aspirant of the APC, Chief Jude Ejiogu is said to be involved in a supremacy battle with old war horse in the game, Chief Lemmy Akakem. And, while Ejiogu is from Emekuku, Akakem is of Orji. Only recently the former SSG had a meeting of the LGA party faithful who entrusted the apex leadership on him but others not in line with the endorsement think Akakem who is one of the strong disciples of Uzodinma having joined APC from PDP alongside the governor should be the anointed one.
In Owerri West, a Board of Trustee, BOT, member of the party, Hon Jasper Azuatalam is said to be developing grey hairs over the presence of Chief Gibson Achonwa popularly known as Oyiga in the political space of the party in APC.
Former speaker of Imo Assembly, Rt Hon Godfrey Dikeocha who appears to have abandoned PDP after he was axed by the party is in for another challenge with a die-hard supporter of Uzodinma in Aboh Mbaise, Dr. Iyke Njoku. Despite the Ihedioha wave that swept across Mbaise land in the 2019 election, Dr. Njoku kept fate with Uzodinma’s arm of APC while Dikeocha came in after a face-off with his former party. But the profile of the former speaker may be a big plus for him against Uzodinma’s man for Aboh Mbaise APC apex leadership.
Perennial fighters for the soul of Ezinihitte APC may resume their hostilities with the coming of Uzodinma. The fight is between the former party chairman, Hilary Eke, and one-time commissioner and assembly candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Nwachukwu.
The remaining Mbaise LGA, Ahiazu has former Reps member, Hon Rapheal Nnana Igbokwe, and Chief Chidi Ibe as the two contending power blocs. Though, Igbokwe partnered the Okorocha people he later came back to back to support Uzodinma and has been spotted recently in the camp of the governor. His contender Ibe was a Director-General of the Uche Nwosu campaign organisational who worked for the Action Alliance during the governorship. By the time he fully returns to APC, he will slug it out with Igbokwe for the control of Ahiazu LGA APC.
Former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere may not rely on his status only to hold firmly as the apex leader of Mbaitoli APC when Barr Kingsley Ononoju is receiving support from the people to mount the throne for the party in the LGA. Divisions have been noticed in the party over the issue of apex leadership with Madumere and Ononuju as the main actors.
Two LGAs who have more men involved in the supremacy war are Ikeduru and Ngor Okpala. It is going to be battle of the titans in Ikeduru as a newcomer to the political scene and state deputy governor, Prof Placid Njoku will face hurdles posed by other political heavyweights seeking the post led by Chief Uzoma Obiyo. Others wangling to have the apex leadership are Chief Charles Amadi (Chalvon) and former speaker, Rt Hon Kelechi Nwagwu. Various meetings are going on in the homes of the aforementioned persons as apex leaders of Ikeduru LGA since Uzodinma emerged.
Finally in Ngor Okpala Dr. TOE Ekechi, will be utilsing his prime position in the Federal Government as a member of the North East Devt Commission, NEDC, to control APC in Ngor Okpala. But it won’t be a free ride for the former commissioner since strong ally of Uzodinma and former council chairman, Barr Enyinnaya Onuegbu is available to wrestle for the apex leader position. Aside from Onuegbu, there is Okenze Obinna, who may have returned after the Action Alliance razzmatazz, to challenge for the throne.
THE EASTERN UPDATES