In what appears confirmation of fears that all may not be well in Governor Rochas Okorocha’s Rescue Mission camp over who takes over from the Governor in 2019, the internal political wrangling within the camp came to the fore on Monday, 19th February, 2018 when indigenes and supporters of the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere engaged supporters of the Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu in a fight at Mbaitoli Local Government Area.
Prince Eze Madumere and Uche Nwosu are said to be entangled in a rat race on who takes over from Okorocha next year.
Nwosu had last week got an edge over Madumere when the Governor in a clear display of his choice said he will support Nwosu, his son in law, for the governorship contest if the latter decides to contest in 2019.
Nwosu had received the endorsement of more than 12 local government chapters of the All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State.
The attempt to get that of Mbaitoli LGA for Nwosu championed by one of the several groups loyal to the Chief of Staff hit the rocks as indigenes of the area stormed the council headquarters and disrupted the exercise which they described as an insult on the Deputy Governor and the people of Mbaitoli.
Eze Madumere is from Mbaitoli LGA.
The aggrieved indigenes called on Governor Okorocha to rather hand over the reins of governance of the State to Madumere in 2019.
Further details of the melee which went viral on the social media were sketchy as at press time but an eye witness said no lives were lost and no one was injured as erroneously reported in some quarters.
However, trouble burst out when a pro Uche Nwosu group called “I Believe” announced that they were at the Council headquaters Nwaorieubi to endorse the Chief of Staff for Imo governorship in 2019.
A source said this infuriated pro Madumere’s supporters present at the event who opposed the move and claimed that they were not aware of such an endorsement.
Altercations between members of the “I Believe” group and Madumere’s supporters at the meeting ensued and this led to a free for all as those in favour of the Deputy Governor allegedly called for reinforcements from the community which led to the invasion of the council headquaters by indigenes of the area.
To underscore the depth of the crisis over who takes over from Okorocha in the Governor’s camp, there were reports last week of an impeachment plot of the Deputy Governor alleged to have the finger prints of some very top government functionaries.
Governor Okorocha denied the allegations.
In a statement signed by Sam Onwuemedo, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, he said “The truth of the matter is that those who cooked up the impeachment story with the hope that it would help them in their ambition are also the ones marketing it”