There is a plot to substitute INEC electoral wards with autonomous communities for the conduct of local government elections in Imo State, this newspaper can reveal.
Governor Rochas Okorocha had announced early this week that his administration will conduct the LGA election after seven years in office in what has been described as a political ploy to shore up his administration’s support base at the grassroots ahead of the 2019 Imo State governorship election.
The move to substitute INEC wards with autonomous communities for the conduct of the LGA elections is to increase the number of councilors who will become automatic delegates at the APC governorship Primaries. If the proposal scale through at the Imo State House of Assembly, the state will have over 600 Councillors than the 307 from the INEC Wards.
A local tabloid in Owerri had reported last week that members of Imo State House of Assembly have been co opted into the plot and urged to consider an amendment to relevant laws pertaining to it.
Governor Okorocha had on arrival at the Sam Mbakwe Airport called on lawmakers to tie the relevant laws prior to the conduct of the election.
This newspaper also gathered that aside for the purposes of the LGA election, the ongoing battle for supremacy in the All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State is a huge factor responsible for the move.
Sources told this newspaper that judging from the split in the party in the State, the Okorocha government is said to be doing all it can to gain more delegates to its side in order to pave way for the emergence of all public office seekers in his “Agburu Anyi” camp at the primaries.
A source told this newspaper “The move is also predicated on the failure of the Governor to remove the ward, local government and State Executives of the party which the National Executive Council of the APC had extended its tenure. Councillors like other appointed or elected public office holder qualifies as a delegate during the primaries”
No lawmaker agreed to speak to this newspaper on the issue as at the time of filing this report.