The battle of supremacy in the Imo State chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC, has seen one of the warring camps gaining upper hand in the fight as a clearer picture of who is the party’s flagbearer for the Okigwe zone Senatorial ticket has emerged.
Imo APC has been engulfed in the power play over who controls the affairs of the party in the State. It got to a heightened stage as the process to elect who is the candidate for the fresh Okigwe zone Senate election scheduled for October 31,2020 reached feverish pitch this month.
Involved in the struggle are the Uzodinma group under Chief Marcon Nlemigbo caretaker committee state executive and that of Dan Nwafor enjoying back up from former governor Rochas Okorocha, now a Senator Representing Orlu zone.
While the Nlemigbo group with Uzodinma clearing the way forward had gotten the support of the National Caretaker Committee, Okorocha’s Nwafor team thinks otherwise by protesting against the recognition.
The decider, Trumpeta learnt was the process to elect the ticket holder for APC for Okigwe zone ticket conducted on Sept 4th, 2020.
This newspaper gathered that while the Uzodinma/Nlemigbo group advocated for Hon Frank Ibezim as the adopted candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume was for the Okorocha/Nwafor team.
After the conduct of the exercise two weeks ago, where the factions held separate exercises to choose a candidate, it appears that Ibezim has finally gotten the nod ahead closest rival, Araraume, thereby fueling speculations that the camp of the ex governor has been subdued in the battle for the soul of Imo APC.
Trumpeta recalls that both parties had been beating war drums about who is entitled to produce the candidate before Ibezim appeared to settle the matter by gaining INEC mention as candidate.
It was learnt that Ibezim wouldn’t have emerged considering the opposition from Araraume and Okorocha who have joined ranks to wrestle power against Uzodinma. But aligning forces with the Minister of Education, Chief Emeka Nwajiuba, Uzodinma was able to pull through by stopping tackles from the other group.
Trumpeta was informed that apart from Uzodinma using the powers of his colleague Governor, Mal Bunu of Yobe State, who is the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of APC, Nwajiuba was said to have exploited his closeness to Aso Rock to pull strings in favours of Ibezim. Ibezim is also said to be close to the Minister as both share shame electoral ward in Ehime Mbano LGA of Imo State.
To give Uzodinma’s group upper hand, the Mal Bunu Caretaker Committee in a letter to INEC asked that Nlemigbo faction be recognized as authentic State Exco until otherwise. The decision gave Uzodinma’s group an edge above the others ahead the primaries.
Further information has it that Nwajiuba who is said to be close to President Muhammadu Buhari also used his contacts to permeat into Aso Rock to commence the power play that led to the acceptance of Ibezim.
Meanwhile, sources close to the Okorocha camp revealed that Senator Araraume is fighting back alongside Nwafor and may opt for court case to seek redress.