Imo: A Coalition That May Not Last

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By Henry Ekpe

Politics is unpredictable. Though it is called a game, but in most cases the element of the unpredictability dictates its outcome.
In the case of Imo State now, what may have been the prediction of Soothsayers in 2019 have collapsed in the face of what obtains in the State today.
In the beginning, following the desperation of the then sitting Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, it had seemed he would dictate who succeeds him in office, and also openly threw all his weights behind his son inlaw, Chief Uche Nwosu as his successor.
Okorocha had made up his mind that only he who knows him well, and has a blood affiliation with him would succeed him. But he should not be blamed for that decision.
Okorocha who came into office as a Dove, Philanthropist and man of the people, ended being “Man Alone” by turning into a Dictator that Imo never had, and may not have again.
And he exhibited these strange behaviours because he himself changed the moment he gained political power and accumulated a lot of wealth and therefore needed a hand-picked fellow who will take over from him to cover his back and shield him from the unknown.
And Okorocha nearly succeeded if not for the present Governor of Imo State Senator Hope Uzodinma who fought him to a standstill for the Governorship ticket of the All Progressive Congress, APC which Senator Hope Uzodinma later snatched from him, and therefore stopped Okorocha from presenting Nwosu as APC Governorship candidate.
But because of the way and manner Okorocha rode rough chord on Imo populace under APC, the masses of the State abandoned Okorocha and APC and pitched tent with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which presented Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha as its candidate. Well that is a story for another day.
Since we are talking of the present, the Governor of Imo State now is Senator Hope Uzodinma, and have been grappling with the issue of general acceptance by the masses, which has remained a major problem for his administration, following the manner he emerged about two months ago.
Therefore, to move the State forward he needs to bring everybody together on one page. How he does that is left for him.
It was in the course of this challenge that Uzodinma opened his doors open for all kinds of strange Bed fellows to join his fold.
And because of the economic harsh situation in town, nearly everybody is falling on the feet of the Governor to show their loyalty though propelled majorly by survival strategy and not affection.
This scenario has given result to a “Rainbow Coalition” manning the present day administration in the State.
But looking at Uzodinma’s recent appointments, it seems the Governor only “Used and Dumped” those who thought they could reap where they did not sow.
On the onset, it was believed that Uzodinma was working in cahoot with former Governor Rochas Okorocha, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Chief Uche Nwosu.
By the time Supreme Court declared Uzodinma governor of Imo State, loyalists to Okorocha/Nwosu were jubilating and celebrating more than the Uzodinma followers. They even turned to  Uzodinma’s Vuvuzelas on Facebook and Wasap, and threatened everybody with their usual bravado and Bubuyaya.
Many political pundits had wondered when Okorocha and Uzodinma began the latest political Love. But it has since been discovered that Okorocha simply joined the Uzodinma frenzy as he felt Uzodinma was the best option for him between Ihedioha and Uzodinma. Ihedioha nearly nailed Okorocha.
It was even rumoured that Uzodinma had promised to return the Okorocha elected Council Chairmen, as part of a bargain hatched in the process of plotting to depose Ihedioha from office.
Again, there was the Senator Ifeanyi Araraume factor. The Senator became a Twin to Uzodinma throughout the Supreme Court logjam, as the Senator became a common sight beside Uzodinma at every fora.
Even to convince Uzodinma further of his loyalty, Araraume has to quit his former party, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and joined forces with Uzodinma and Okorocha in APC.
However, from all indications, this latest romance among these political gladiators is not working out as envisaged.
In the last count, seven major political cells are jostling for the Governor Hope Uzodinma Government to create a Coalition that baffles even the most optimists.
There is the Camp Hope, APC, APC Coalition, AA, APGA faction the nPDP and PDP Loafers. Can these strange Bedfellows sleep together ever after?
Camp Hope is the core followers of the Governor, who are mainly of PDP stock who followed him out of the party during the Sherrif/Markafi imbroglio.
This group remain the beautiful bride among others working for the Governor. And the Governor has proved that openly as nearly all his appointees come from this Block.
We have the APC coalition. This was the Group that revolted against Okorocha planting his son inlaw, Uche Nwosu as his successor. It berthed in Umuoye, Imerienwe, Ngor Okpala in the premises of Dogged Fighter, Dr TOE Ekechi.
This Group fought up to Abuja and at a point allowed Uzodinma to speak for it, but regretted it at a point as the now Governor went in and spoke for himself. This outcome severed their relationship with Uzodinma as a Group.
In this Rainbow Coalition is the main APC members, who were neither for Hope nor for Okorocha, but remained in the party for other factors and reasons known to them.
This was the remnant of Imo APC, which has Chief Marcon Nlemigbo as their chairman.
However, since no candidate runs an election without a party platform, Uzodinma  had to adopt this Group, because  there  was another splinter Group of APC ran by Okorocha through Daniel Nwafor as the State Chairman.
This  same Coalition consists of the Action Alliance (AA) Elements, who are working for both Okorocha and his son inlaw, Uche Nwosu.
The AA produced most of the LGA Council Chairmen, who lately were trooping to the Supreme Court  Abuja believing that Uzodinma will restore them back to office. Uche Nwosu is the Leader of this Group.
We have the “APGA Team” led by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, whose major reason for romancing with Uzodinma is for the Governor to help facilitate his return to the Senate Seat of Okigwe Zone.
Apart from that, it would sound strange for Uzodinma to help this APGA Group.
During the various Imo Governorship litigation battles, Okorocha prefared working with Araraume than Uzodinma.
Infact, when the matter seems to be heading for a rerun, it was an open secret that Okorocha entered into agreement with Araraume, saying in the event the court struck out Nwosu’s case they will join forces with Araraume, and Senator should do same should the pendulum swing against him.
Another Group is the nPDP, a faction of PDP loyal to Senator Sam Daddy Anyanwu, who pulled out after Anyanwu lost the PDP Governorship primaries to Ihedioha. This Group parade the likes of Dr Fabian Ihekweme, who has emerged a Commissioner nominee now.
Also prowling around the Imo corridor of power is the former PDP members who jumped Ship to join the Uzodinma fray.
This Group has no arrow Leader for now. They include the former State Chairman of PDP, Charles Ezekwem, some members of PDP House of Assembly members who defected to APC and their motley crowd.
These people look disarray as they have not been fully welcome into the Governor Hope Uzodinma Government, and far away from the core Camp Hope Elements.
However, from his appointments Uzodinma has shown his hands and therefore not pretending where his “Loyalty” lies.
He is still finding it difficult embracing some of these mentioned political cells, as the Governor is too afraid of what could happen following how he emerged in office, and therefore not gambling with new “Arrivals”.
Already, drums of war are sounding afar as all these “Used and Dumped” Groups bay for blood. They are disappointed with both Okorocha and Uzodinma.
But we learnt that in the first place, Uzodinma never sat down to discuss with any Group about a Coalition in Government, as all those who came  over were on “voluntary support” after they had realized that Uzodinma was emerging the Governor.
With this situation, the said coalition in Imo under the Leadership of Governor Uzodinma may not last. Already, it is said that even if Uzodinma welcomes these legions of Groups, his CampHope followers, who said they were seen and treated as “Hopeless” when things were tough are said not to be ready to accommodate the “Normadi politicians” who have invaded Uzodinma’s political farm to harvest where they did not plant.