The political camp of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha is sharply divided over the speculated governorship ambitions of his close allies, the Secretary to Government of Imo State, SGI, George Eche and Chief of Staff, Government House, Owerri, Chief Uche Nwosu.
Nwosu had been gaining the upper hand in the political chess game to be the choice successor of his principal having set up political structures aimed at oiling his speculated governorship ambition. The Ugwumba Movement, a political structure linked to the young Chief of Staff has been doing a lot to penetrate his ambition to the grassroot in the State. His overwhelming political posture coupled with a co-ordinated media hype made him to be termed a governor in waiting considering the manner he runs government activities at Government House, Owerri.
He has been wielding so much influence in government circles attracting the loyalty of government officials and party loyalists including members of the Imo State House of Assembly for his ambition. The Chief of Staff was having a smooth sail until recently George Eche, the Secretary to the Government of Imo State came on the centre stage as one of those who has his sights on the seat of his boss in 2019.
Eche, according to our findings, has the backing of a powerful relation of the Governor who is allegedly propping up him for the plum job. This newspaper could not verify these claims as at press time though it has been so strong in the public domain. This was said to be the reason Eche was listed as Okorocha likey successor last week by some online and newspaper houses in Imo State.
This sent signals within the Governor’s camp that the SGI is in contention for 2019 guber prompting the undecided political followers of the governor to keep a close watch on the latest political undercurrents in Okorocha’s political family ostensibly watching who among Eche and Nwosu will eventually get the Governor’s nod.
A credible source had squealed to this newspaper this week that while Okorocha has kept who succeeds him to his chest, he has marshaled out plans to appoint 10 resource persons in each of the 305 wards to boost the chances of his successor when the tussle for the Imo APC governorship ticket gets messier. This is said to be a desperate move to cage the rampaging political moves of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume who seems to be having the upper hand in having the APC in the State in his pocket.
However, because of Okorocha’ s silence on the issue of succession, his political foot-soldiers within and outside government circles have been busy with so much political meetings since Eche joined the fray to succeed him.
Last week, the APC State leadership led by the State Chairman, Hilary Eke led some party officials from Owerri zone to visit the SGI in his office- a move interpreted in some circles to be a positive disposition of the party to his speculated ambition. It was learnt that several groups will follow suit with such visits in order to send signals to the public that the SGI who is favoured by the Owerri zone sentiment to produce the next governor of Imo State deserves to be given the approval to head into the governorship contest in 2019.
A source said this has put pressure on Uche Nwosu who was reported to be under pressure to announce his ambition but had resisted the plan on the grounds that the whistle for the succession game has not been blown open by the man who calls the shots in Government House,Owerri.