The re- election of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha in the 2015 governorship election was not successful without the acquiescence of some governorship aspirants who took part in the contest.
In the run up to the re run governorship polls, Imo State had a total of over 43 governorship aspirants who wanted to take over the helm of affairs at Government House, Owerri from Rochas Okorocha.
Not more than 27 governorship aspirants jostled for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which ended producing a candidate that did not get the backing of other aspirants.
Owerri zone which was agitating for the governorship seat on the premise that it was the most marginalized in the state fielded not more than 25 aspirants mainly in the PDP. Those who failed the party Primary defected to other political parties and even picked the governorship ticket of smaller political parties.
This newspaper however last week stumbled on a confirmation from a source who said most of the aspirants collected some form of reward to back the re- election bid of the Governor and the then APC governorship candidate before the re run governorship contest.
The source said “ When the governorship election was held and declared inconclusive, most of the aspirants became half hearted.
“ Some of the aspirants abandoned their aspirations after the PDP primaries and did enter into some form of agreements with the APC. They were practically sleeping at Government House at that time”.
“ Some of them converted their campaigners and their foot-soldiers to booth and ward officials for the APC candidate at that time and they were handsomely rewarded. Most of the aspirants were from Owerri zone and this is why I laugh when I see the same faces saying they are aspiring to take over from Rochas in 2019” he said.
He said it was only one of the governorship candidates from Owerri zone who refused to collect a dime or any form of reward when he was approached for the deal though he assured that he “will only back the best candidate for the State”
It would be recalled that several governorship aspirants from Owerri zone had supported Rochas Okorocha for re- election in 2015.
Aside Senator Ifeanyi Araraume from Okigwe zone who was alleged to have entered a secret agreement to deliver the Imo State governor in Okigwe zone, other governorship aspirants such as Barr. Humphrey Anumudu, Jerry Chukwueke and others opebly defected to the APC to back Okorocha’s re- election.
The PDP candidate in the 2015 governorship election, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha had at one time fingered his failure at 2015 the polls as an act of sabotage. He is believed to be eyeing the governorship contest again in 2019.