BY CHIEDU UZODINMA#
Critical stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Imo State will leave the party after the Supreme Court decide on the fireworks between the Ali Modu Sherrif group and the Ahmed Makarfi faction.
Either way the judgment goes, there will be defections in the party in the state, this newspaper can reveal. If the judgment goes in favour of the Ahmed Makarfi group, supporters of the Sherrif group may join the All Progressive Congress, APC in droves. The pro Makarfi group have severally accused Sherrif and co of working for the APC to destabilize the PDP.
Having failed to sort out their differences, there are clear indications that both factions cannot co-exist since the Makarfi faction seem to be uncomfortable with the Sherrif group thus may leave as well for another party if it does not get a favourable judgment.
With the firmly held belief among Nigerian politicians that there is no reconciliation in politics, it is almost impossible for the two factions in the PDP to sincerely and genuinely reconcile after the legal fireworks at the Supreme Court.
Based on this mindset, this newspaper’s investigation show that if the Makarfi group carries the day, the Sherrif group in Imo state may go to the APC based on the visible relationship both allegedly seem to have.
Few months ago, five members of the House of Representatives led by Hon Nnanna Igbokwe and Hon Goodluck Opiah from Imo state were reported to have planned to cross over to the governing party but shelved the plan “for another day”. The Reps members are supporters of the Sherrif backed State executives.
Already, PDP senator representing Imo West, Senator Hope Uzodinma is a strong backer of the Sherrif group. His elder brother, Ferdinand Uzodinma was appointed Oru East local government chairman by APC led Imo state government. The Senator had led a delegation of party faithful to pay a solidarity visit to Sherrif in Abuja.
Imo state Governor and Chairman APC Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha had spoken in favour of Sherrif after the Court of Appeal recognized the former Borno State Governor as the authentic national chairman of the party. This generated ripples and further swelled suspicions that indeed the APC has a deal with the Sherrif version of the PDP.
Also a prominent member of the party had been widely reported to be hobnobbing with the APC in the state. The Leader who holds a key position in the Board of Trustees of the party has been sighted at various functions organized by the APC administration in the state.
A pro Makarfi supporter in the party had expressed worry to our reporter over the manner the wife of the party leader goes around the state with the First Lady and wife of Governor Okorocha and attend state functions together.
“We wonder why our leader who was on our side will suddenly be a regular visitor to Government House controlled by the APC” he said on condition of anonymity.
Such suspicion has also been cast on the path of Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who represents Owerri zone in the senate and who chairs a strategic committee like the Ethics and Privileges in the Senate. Anyawu is a political godson of the PDP BOT member and has close relationship with APC Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The senator’s aide has severally denied the move as he last year hosted PDP faithful where he gave out cash and other items to PDP members. The senator’s aide had posted on Facebook last year pictures of an empowerment programme hr held for some women in the party.
The same scenario is also applicable to the Makarfi group in the state where some stakeholders in the faction may also dump the PDP if the Sherrif faction is recognized by the Supreme Court.
Top on the list of possible decampees in the event Sherrif carries the day include former Deputy Speaker, Federal House of Reps, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who is said to be making a second comeback to the Imo governorship contest.Other key stakeholders who constitute the backbone of the Makarfi group who may also leave include former Governor Achike Udenwa, former Ambassador and National Woman Leader, Dr(Mrs) Kema Chikwe, some members of the House of Representatives, PDP House of Assembly members and other major players in the party in the state.
“ The mainstream PDP will collapse if Sheriff wins at the Supreme Court because those that matter in the party and have remained the strength of the PDP in Imo State will empty into another political party” said a party leader who spoke on condition of anonymity.
This newspaper observed that the ongoing crisis in the PDP at the national level has trickled down to Imo State and has inflicted so much wound on members of the party.
Whichever way the pendulum of justice goes, there will be defections in the party particularly in Imo State where more than 50% of key political players in the state are found in the opposition party.
“ We have seen that the PDP in Imo State has been badly bruised. Certainly, there will be political casualties on the side of the two factions by the time the legal fireworks end at the Supreme Court” said a party chieftain who does not want his name on print.