The wide division in the Imo State chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC which led to the birth of ” Abuja faction” of the party has raised concern how united the Abuja based major politicians in the party are.
Though bonded with a common interest and united by the zeal to stop Governor Rochas Okorocha from producing a successor in 2019, many contend if the unity of the Abuja faction of Imo APC may crumble even before the 2019 polls.
Political analysts contend that most of the politicians who congregate under the canopy of the Abuja group of Imo APC are driven by personal ambitions which may snowball into billows of smoke that will promote discord and division amongst them. The crisis in Imo PDP in 2006 readily comes to mind as all the Abuja based politicians in the party succeeded to capture the PDP structure in the state but were overpowered by personal ambitions that contributed to deny the group the opportunity to elect a governorship party flag-bearer.
However, this newspaper was informed that efforts were spearheaded last week by a top member of the Abuja faction to hold these calibre of politicians together to have a meeting point and direct their onslaught properly. This appears to be a temporary step as there are fears that by the time 2019 draws near, and the scramble for the APC governorship ticket begins, it will be a case of “to your tenth oh Isreal”.
Among top politicians categorized as ” Abuja Faction” of Imo APC include Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Hon Uche Onyeagocha, a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Uzoma Obiyo and Hon Emeka Nwajiuba.
The political leaning of the APC National Secretary, Hon Osita Izunaso is unknown at the moment. Though he is based in Abuja, it is unclear if he is neutral or belongs to the Abuja group. Those close to him say his position in the APC National Working Committee may not give him the leverage to switch 100% loyalty to the Abuja camp but rather ” wait for the right time before switching allegiance”
Senator Benjamin Uwajumuogu, the only elected APC senator from the South East in the Senate, cannot also be said to belong to the Abuja camp though local newspapers in Owerri speculated that he may dump Okorocha to support the governorship ambition of his kinsman, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume. Uwajumuogu, according to sources, is alleged not be fully disposed to Okorocha’s plans for 2019 on the basis that he never got sufficient green-light from the number one citizen of the state when he battled the PDP to win the Okigwe senatorial re run. He may be favourably disposed to an Araraume candidature.
Pundits however contend that the thorny issue or line of division that may rear its ugly head among this powerful group of Imo APC chieftains will emerge when the battle for the governorship ticket of the APC arise. The reasons are not far fetched. All the stakeholders in this camp do have governorship ambitions and the factor of which zone should get the Imo APC ticket and by extension the Imo governorship seat will become sticking and quarrelsome points.
Araraume is from Okigwe zone and he is known to be very determined in becoming the governor of the state after Rochas Okorocha leaves in 2019. This issue, according to reports in the local media, has become a matter of disagreement between the duo lately. Araraume may get allies from his senator kinsman, Uwajumuogu and possibly Izunaso who has been rumoured to have political sympathy for him. But they may have Hon Emeka Nwajiuba to contend with who is also from the zone and has widespread contacts within the presidency and the APC.
The Owerri zone bloc among the faction have the fiery Hon Uche Onyeagocha who apparently kick started the war in Imo APC when he revealed that Governor Okorocha has plans to install his Chief of Staff and son- in law, Uche Nwosu as governor of Imo State in 2019. Onyeagocha and Obiyo, a billionaire communications guru, come from Owerri zone. The former lawmaker said he fell out with Okorocha because he appears insensitive to the agitation anchored on fairness and justice by Owerri zone to elect the next governor of the state.
Much as there is no noticeable crack in the wall among these political gladiators for now, any of such division will certainly be Okorocha’s gain since he is so formidable on the home front with a large army of political foot-soldiers that can move against any seeming opposition to his succession plans. Or simply put, the party may end up having a dark horse that be a uniting factor and eventually brace the tape of victory. Only time will tell.