Imo: As Uzodinma, Okorocha Feud Lingers


 By Henry Ekpe

Since 2019, the stories coming out from Imo State have looked worrisome. The actual fact is that Imo State as an Institution has become the Cow which has set political heavy weights against each other. The Battle is over who takes over Imo State.

The gubernatorial war which started prior to the 2019 Governorship election has not ended, leaving the State like a fiefdom, under the wrestle of many Kings.

For those who live in Imo State, it is not news that Governor Hope Uzodinma, Senators Rochas Okorocha and Ifeanyi Araraume have remained the issue in Imo polity.

You cannot also count  out Hon Emeka Ihedioha. The only difference is that while Ihedioha had ever remained on his own in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP the trio of Uzodinma, Okorocha and Araraume have been at each other’s jugular within one political party, the All Progressive Congress, APC.

I intentionally left out Chief Uche Nwosu, because he was simply roped in by his father inlaw, who wanted him to succeed him.

Therefore, a look into Imo State will expose the fact that what has been  happening these past years is as a result of power tussle in Imo APC, which has left the State in precarious situation.

Today, what started in 2019 has continued, but with Uzodinma now the Governor, and Okorocha the Senator. Just changing of positions but the same scenario.

In the remaining days of Okorocha’s Government as Governor, he saw hail in the hands of APC stalwarts like, Araraume and Hope Uzodinma.

At a point Imo people began to wonder if they did wrong by allowing APC to rule the State.

It was an unfortunate situation that all the major problems encountered by Okorocha then came from his own party APC. The same for Uzodinma today.

Imo people had to endure the remaining days of the APC Government in the State waiting for the election period.

Then, Okorocha had a rosy relationship with Senator Ifeanyi Araraume that his first son, Ifeanyi Jnr was made a Commissioner by the Okorocha Government.

However, the moment Okorocha mentioned that whoever was going to succeed him as Governor will not be more than Fifty years, Araraume naturally began to review his political romance with Okorocha.

Infact, many had hoped that Okorocha may allow Araraume to succeed him. But it turned out that Okorocha only made use of Araraume to win his re-run election against Ihedioha and PDP in 2015, stabilize his Government, before dumping Araraume.

Later both men completely parted company as Araraume emerged APGA Governorship torch bearer in 2019 election.

With Araraume gone, it remained Hope Uzodinma, who stayed put in APC, and wrestled Okorocha for the APC Governorship ticket, which Uzodinma claimed he snatched through “Ben Johnson” way.

It was the greatest political shock Okorocha ever had as he never believed he would lose the APC ticket which he wanted for his son inlaw Nwosu. And this, after he had brought and funded APC into Imo State.

Let us not forget the war Okorocha waged against his party’s candidate, Uzodinma, after the defunct Action Alliance AA was dusted and handed to Uche Nwosu to prosecute the 2019 Guber battle.

The Governorship Imo election was the most tensed and heavy in the annals of Imo politics.

Imagine, where top politicians who hitherto operated under one umbrella (PDP) now found themselves squaring against each other.

Okorocha (Uche Nwosu) AA, Araraume All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Ihedioha (PDP) and Uzodinma (APC). It was tumultuous!

At the end of the election, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, declared PDP winner, with Emeka Ihedioha as Governor.

Suddenly, the crevice within Araraume, Uzodinma and Okorocha was mended over night, as the men joined forces and fought Ihedioha to a stand still.

The climax of the Imo State Governorship battle came on Jan 14, 2020, when the Supreme Court sacked Ihedioha and declared Uzodinma Governor.

The Okorocha, Araraume, Uzodinma romance blossomed, as they all stood behind Uzodinma as he has inaugurated as Imo State Governor on Jan 15, 2020 at Heroes Square.

With Araraume, Uzodinma, Okorocha and Uche Nwosu now in one camp, Ihedioha became left alone, but watched from the side.

The first outing to test the relationship among the trio of Araraume, Okorocha and Uzodinma came with the Okigwe Senatorial bye-election after Senator Benji Uwajumogu had died.

To the shock of all Imo people and mostly APC members, Governor Uzodinma pitched tent with one Frank Ibezim, said to be working in the office of Minister for Education (State) Hon Emeka Nwajiuba.

To  his bemusement , Okorocha had to team up with Araraume, now his friend, after they had fallen out in 2019 before the Governorship primaries.

After the  Okigwe Senate election, which APC had no particular candidate between Ibezim and Araraume, INEC declared APC winner, than PDP that filed one single candidate.

Later in Court, Ibezim was declared the authentic winner, and has since resumed in the Red chamber of Nigerian Senate.

 It Ibezim who was quoted recently in a Newspaper to have said that Araraume lost the NNPC job because he does not respect the Governor Uzodinma.

Before a digressed, the war raging among Okorocha, Araraume and Uzodinma has not yet abated. Today, after the brief friendship that lasted within the period Uzodinma was sworn-in, the men have all headed back to the War Trenches.

But Ihedioha, the man who was ganged up against,  is now a beautiful bribe, as overtures are being made at him from even Okorocha and his son inlaw, who battled him when he was Governor. Ihedioha is now watching the war in the comfort of his Living Room.

What is happening now in Imo shows that in politics what matters is interest, and not person. Infact many had wondered, including from APC circle, why Ihedioha is seen with Uche Nwosu and Okorocha these days.

The same people saying this forgot that the same Uche Nwosu and Okorocha were at Uzodinma’s swearing-in. Even Araraume was there also. So, what is good for Uzodinma is not good for Emeke Ihedioha?

Rather than abate, the Uzodinma, Okorocha  feud is developing roots.

Uzodinma, or his Aides had allegedly accused Okorocha for the Insecurity in the State. Many therefore had thought that the Governor will have the guts to name names at the “Naming Ceremony” but later withdrew.

But as Uzodinma bombs Okorocha in their war of Words, Okorocha unleashes thunder from his own end.

Two days ago, Okorocha “Waxed” a song from the Eziama Obaire “Gestapo Debacle” where his son inlaw Uche Nwosu was bundled out of church service and hauled to Abuja, for a crime which up till date has not been made public by the police.

Even as Government has denied having a hand in the incident, Okorocha and Uche Nwosu still point fingers towards Imo Government House.

Indeed, the Uzodinma, Okorocha battle seems endless.

This fight which started before 2019 has refused to go away. And it has consumed a lot of casualties. One of them is Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, whose plum job as NNPC Board Chairman was denied him at the last minute.

When will this fight end, so that Imo State can breath fresh air? Could this situation be reason Uzodinma has reduced the level of Governance in the State? The masses Imo have been rendered confused as the Government with no solution at sight. What offence did Imo people commit?