By Henry Ekpe
In the first place, the incumbent Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma was not present when the All Progressives Congress, APC, was formed.
The man who contributed to the birth of APC from Imo State, was now Senator Rochas Okorocha, a former Governor of Imo State.
However, like the Catholic Church, no one person owns a political party, as members can defect from one party to the other, return, defect and even defect again. It has remained a Nigerian factor, which the new Electoral Act will soon curb.
It was under this circumstance that Senator Uzodinma, who was a Board of Trustee (BoT) member of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, under whose platform he represented Orlu Zone in the Senate, left the PDP and moved to APC.
It would be recalled that Uzodinma did not dump the PDP by volition, but caused by the ripple that nearly tore PDP apart.
His leaving PDP was necessitated by the fact that his friend and Ally, Senator Bunu Sherrif was defeated by the His Excellency, Ahmed Makarafi Camp in Court, and had no alternative but to look for another political tent elsewhere, because the Court verdict which affirmed Markarafi as PDP National Chairman favoured the Emeka Ihedioha Group in Imo State PDP.
Following this development, Uzodinma who felt he may not have total control of Imo PDP with Ihedioha in the same Boat, moved on.
He landed in APC, where he had Okorocha to contend with. In the end Okorocha was schemed out of Imo APC control because of his plot to assume the Godfather of Imo politics, by foisting his son inlaw, Uche Nwosu as his successor.
Because of this “Lord of Manor” attitude, Okorocha lost the APC Governorship ticket he wanted for Nwosu to Uzodinma because of massive sabotage and gang up.
After the 2019 Imo Governorship election, APC could not win one House of Assembly seat, and Uzodinma was announced 4th by INEC, but the Supreme Court declared him Governor in Jan 14, 2020.
Since then, Uzodinma managed to work with the Executive of APC led by Chief Marcon Nlemigbo, whom he did not know how he came into office.
However, the opportunity to replace the “Strange Executive” presented itself when their tenure officially expired.
So, today, the present Imo APC Executive is in the pocket of the Governor. He could be accused of handpicking all the members of the party structure, from the Wards to the State level.
In charge of APC now in the State is his political son and prodigee, Macdonald Ebere, (Phd). Among the Executive is Chief Greg Madu, the vice chairman, a blood relation of the Governor, who had gained party administration experience under PDP, when he was Orlu Zonal chairman of PDP.
Time was when former Governor Okorocha’s hands were seen one way or the other in Imo APC.
But not anymore. Recent events have shown that Uzodinma has succeeded in removing Okorocha completely in the affairs of Imo APC, as Okorocha’s name is only heard in Abuja, where it is said he is running for Presidency.
In Imo State, Uzodinma is now the “Sole Proprietor” of Imo APC. There is no sound coming from any quarter as a counter voice in his decisions for the party.
Infact, even the voice of the party or its Executive is not heard, except that of the Governor, who remote-controls everything in the party whether he is in Owerri or Abuja.
We learnt that the State Chairman of the party cannot make any pronouncement without first consulting the Governor. And you know how long it takes to see the present Imo Governor.
This, many say is the reason Imo APC is quiet and holds meetings only when the Governor is around and gives go-ahead.
This has affected the fortunes of the party adversely, as no meetings of the party could be sighted anywhere in the locals, except occasional “Stakeholders Meetings” held in Government House, Owerri where members opportune to be invited dress to the tilt like in a wedding ceremony, after which heavy “Transport” money are distributed, until the next event that may take months to come.
Until a few days ago, the news was that only the Governor will decide who runs for what in Imo APC. This belief caused total dullness in Imo APC State office. Most times it was deserted, under lock and key.
However, they Governor has come out to deny that at no time was he given the power to anoint Aspirants of the party.
Since this latest story broke out, there has been frantic scrambling for Forms in Imo APC office, yet with those “risking” the attempt scared, incase the news was not authentic.
Therefore, only the brave politicians in Imo APC have dared the Lion to purchase forms for various electoral positions.
Even as the “embargo” has been lifted, yet most Imo APC politicians are still apprehensive on what to do.
Among those announced to have picked Imo APC forms, one is yet to hear the names of top politicians of Imo extraction who are working for the Governor.
Infact, apart from Goodluck Opiah, who picked form for Orlu Senatorial ticket and Canice Moore, for Nwachukwu Orlu/ Oru East/ Orlu Federal Constituency, there is no other Aspirant from among those who work or worked with Uzodinma. We learnt Opiah and Canice Moore got the Governor’s nod before going for forms.
All his Commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants SSA, etc have all gone underground. Is it that they don’t have funds to obtain forms or money to execute their campaigns? Or are they scared of what their principal will say?
Many had expected a boisterous Imo APC this election season, as the party in power. Instead where things are happening is in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, where Aspirants are falling over each other to buy forms.
It is only in Imo PDP you hear about Delegate lists, Litigations, Leadership clashes and of tumultuous crowd besieging the party office, causing traffic gridlocks, which are all indices of democracy in play and a political party in Action.
But Imo APC sleeps, occasionally rising up to comply to “Garrison Instructions” and goes back to a lull and slumber again.
With this scenario, where many known Imo politicians in APC are not contesting elections this year but excelled while in PDP, have they been compulsorily retired? Or are they waiting for godot?
You can accuse Okorocha of anything, but not that he did not “create” politicians in Imo. He “made” Kingsley Uju, Chike Okafor, Ugonna Ozuruigbo OBZ, Paschal Obi and others. He pushed them to their present political heights.
Therefore, what is Gov Uzodinma up to with his proverbial followers like Enyinna Onuegbu, Dr Iyke Njoku, Chinasa Nwaneri, Ralph Nwosu, Kingsley Ufere and others? Will he not elevate them as Okorocha did his men?
With this type of “regimented politics” by Imo APC, the usual fun, razzmatazz and robustness witnessed in the State during election period may be lacking, since Imo APC has failed to complement the buzzing actions of the political space by Imo PDP.
During this era, most Youths and others gain temporary employments occasioned by the large population of Aspirants looking for helps from such persons. Unfortunately, it is only in Imo PDP we are found such now, which is not enough to go round the yawning gaps in the State.
Having one person as the “Clearing House” has denied APC politicians in Imo the usual scheming and horse tradings in the game that spice the political space.
Well, let Imo people make do with the party that has opened its doors for real politicking PDP.
In PDP, no individual can be head and tail at the same time. That is why there is always this disagreement to agree in the party, which is the essence of Democracy: Government of the People, by the people, and for the people.
But those not schooled in the system see it as quarrel and problem. No, Imo PDP is on one page, while Imo APC implosion is waiting to happen.
It is good to allow party men vent out their feelings, than when it is late.