Details have emerged why Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State convened an unexpected emergency meeting of stakeholders of the All Progressive Congress, APC on 16th January, 2018.
The meeting took far reaching decisions with the Governor re- echoing the fact that he is the undisputed leader of the party in the state. He told his followers to disregard reports that someone else has been appointed leader, boasting that “no one will wrestle power from the rescue mission group”
This newspaper learnt that several factors could be responsible for the gathering which was witnessed by thousands of APC chieftains mainly those in the Rescue mission camp held at the magnificent International Conference Centre, ICC, Owerri.
One of the reasons for the sudden meeting, this newspaper gathered was the widely reported meeting between Senator representing Imo North, Senator Benjamin Uwajumuogu and President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja. Photos of the meeting had gone viral on the social media with pro Uwajumuogu supporters narrating different versions of what transpired at the meeting which was not even reported by the State House Press Corps.
However, photos of the meeting sparked wild speculations on the social media which may have sent panic measures in the Rescue Mission camp.
A source said the Owerri APC stakeholders meeting became imperative to clear wrong insinuations and also rekindle confidence among members of Okorocha’s political camp in the APC who may be jittery over the sudden meeting between the President and a known political foe of the Governor, Senator Uwajumuogu who is also known to be a strong ally of Okorocha’s political adversary, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume.
Okorocha has ceaselessly demonstrated his support for President Buhari’s re- election in 2019 but his exclusion from a meeting convened by Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai with some APC Governors termed to be loyal to Buhari’s re- election bid in 2019 with some APC Governors had sent tongues wagging among political observers in the state and beyond.
According to a source, therefore,the stakeholders meeting by the Governor was a confidence boosting move aimed at consolidating his grip of the APC in the State and send signals that he remains in charge of the party in the State.
The announcement by Okorocha that President Buhari is due to visit the State in March this year was another strategy aimed at reassuring the Rescue Mission disciples that all the speculations of a frosty relationship between him and the presidency was all a ruse and rumour bandied about by the swelling camp of opposition forces in Imo APC.
Meanwhile, available reports reaching this online newspaper indicate that mock primaries to select candidates as promised by the Governor at the meeting have began.
Information Commissioner, Nnamdi Obiareri was voted as the consensus candidate for Okigwe senatorial seat. Obiareri had last week received unfettered backing from Okigwe APC leaders who strongly backed his senatorial ambition.
Details on the mock primaries are however sketchy as this newspaper make concerted efforts to give an update on the exercise.