Some key leaders of the All Progressive Congress, APC in Abuja and at the zonal level are worried over the ongoing battle for the soul of the party in Imo State between Gov.Rochas Okorocha and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume.
Mainly party officers, they are disturbed over the seeming irreconcilable political differences between the duo which unresolved could lead to the loss of Imo State to the opposition in 2019.
Imo State is the only APC controlled State in the South East.
Governor Okorocha appears to be at the receiving end of the blame for the crisis rocking Imo APC for failing to do the “needful” in energizing the party in the State ahead of the 2019 polls.
Most party members in the State are displeased on how the party is being run and starved of funds despite having a sitting governor and 25 members of the House of Assembly.
Aside allegations of poor funding, lack of appointments and political patronage for party members, other stakeholders have been shut out from the party due to absence of consultations and meetings by the Governor.
This grouse appears to have gotten the attention of some influential party leaders who have expressed greater worry on the situation in Imo APC especially when it learnt that 10 of the 17 LGA chairmen have broken their allegiance to the Governor and switched their loyalty to the Senator- a development which sends clear signals that cracks exist in the party.
While Okorocha seem to be banking on his position as APC Governors Forum Chairman and influence in the presidency to undo any political gain Araraume has made in Imo APC and get his successor on the party’s governorship ticket, Araraume is alleged to have gone ahead in wooing party officers in Abuja to ensure a free and fair congress in Imo APC that will produce newly elected party officers.
A source said the intensity of the lobbying may have influenced the NWC to contemplate reading a riot act to contending forces in Imo APC to suspend action on who gets thevgovernorship ticket but rather focus on Congresses which is likely to come up in February 2017 or in the first quarter of next year and restore the confidence of party members
A top party source in Abuja who spoke on condition of anonymity told this online newspaper ” The NWC and other leaders of the party are in the know of ongoing developments in Imo APC. Imo is a special case and there is need for all those scrambling for the party’s governorship ticket to tarry a while we focus on aiding both the Governor and other key stakeholders in the APC in Imo State to re-energize the party”
“Okorocha has done well in Imo state despite the overwhelming resentment to some of his actions but we have noticed that majority of party members and leaders are disenchanted. We have an eye on the party in Imo but we are disturbed that despite the fact Imo is an APC State, members are not happy because they are not carried along”
“With the likelihood that followers of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar are set to join him in leaving the APC, there is greater focus by the party leadership to hold on firmly to its members in all the States we control”
“The party leadership is not oblivious of the situation in Imo APC. There are many political interests surrounding the APC in Imo State and these interests are clashing. Both the Governor, the senator and other stakeholders in Imo are very important to the party and the party leadership have not lost sight of the fact that Imo is the only APC state in the South East and it must be retained at all cost” the source stated.
‘”We are worried because both the Governor and the senator are very important party leaders. We have noted the grievances of other stakeholders as well and we remain confident Okorocha as leader of the party in Imo and the South East has a duty to keep the APC in Imo intact”
“We cannot afford to allow the party in Imo to go to blazes because we have identified what the issues are.When dates for the Congresses are announcec, the party shall move in to handle all issues threatening the party in Imo and other APC controlled States that is in turmoil” the source said