Following the elongation of the tenure of all party officers from the ward, local government, zonal and national levels to June 2019, discordant tunes have emanated from the camps of the two key political blocs that make up the All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State.

Two camps in the party, that of Governor Rochas Okorocha and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume have claimed “victory” on the extension of  the tenure of party officers in the State.


Indeed, there is no doubt that almost all the party officers from the ward to the State levels in Imo APC emanated from the the camp of Governor Rochas Okorocha. But things were said to have gone awry when party executives and stakeholders complained of neglect, lack of patronage and little or no care for their welfare.

Hon Uche Onyeagocha, a one time APC chieftain had alleged that Governor Okorocha abandoned the APC in Imo State as rents of party offices were not paid in some local governments.  He also said the state party headquarters  in Owerri was not befitting of a ruling party, decrying a situation where the State party chairman, Hilary Eke moved around in a bus. He also said some landlords were evicting the party from their properties because of non payment of rents. Out of political frustration, Onyeagocha, a former House of Reps member left the APC and decamped to APGA.

This situation was said to have persisted in the party until Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and other stakeholders including  some governorship aspirants moved swiftly into the party to rescue the sad and unfortunate situation. Araraume was said to have placed some cash strapped party officers mainly those from Okigwe zone on salary and later took up the welfare of some local government chairmen in the party across the State. This was said to have led to a switch of allegiance of 16 local government party chairmen who backed the governorship aspiration of the senator.

Apparently fazed with the level of incursion of other aspirants in the party, Governor Okorocha openly alleged that some politicians within the fold of the party had taken an oath in exchange of their loyalty to the senator. Araraume promptly denied the allegations.

Some other party exco members at various levels of the party were said to have looked for succor in the hands of other key stakeholders in the party such as the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere and a former Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Sir Jude Ejiogu. The duo are nursing governorship ambitions.

Unconfirmed reports said even state officers in the party tailored their loyalty to some governorship aspirants in the party which in return provided succour to them in the face of neglect.

Analysts say this may be the reason the Imo State APC Chairman, Hillary Eke reportedly voted against his boss, Governor Okorocha when he moved the motion for the removal of all party officers from the ward to national levels at the party’s NEC meeting in Abuja.

However, despite the seeming complains of neglect by party exco members at the ward and Local government levels, it has remained a puzzle how Okorocha’s Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu was able to secure the endorsement of 13 local government chapters of the party for his governorship ambition. Attempts to replicate such endorsement in Mbaitoli local government Area, the home of the State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere who is vying for the contest was strongly rebuffed by Madumere’s men who led to a deadly fight between supporters of the Deputy Governor and the Chief of Staff at Nwaorieubi.

The endorsements by some APC LGA chapter for Nwosu was interpreted by Okorocha’s men to mean that the Governor who recently voiced his support for the governorship ambition of his Chief of Staff  still have some considerable grip on the party.

But in what appears an indication of a divided house, the pronouncement by Hilary Eke, Imo State APC Chairman that the ongoing endorsement for Uche Nwosu by some LGA chapters of the party does not mean that the APC in Imo State has endorsed anyone for governorship,saying that tendorsements were nothing close to party primaries.

Also, the pronouncement by President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC NEC meeting in Abuja that there will be no shortcuts in the party clearly amount to the fact thag the APC will follow its laid rules and regulations as contained in its constitution.

Buhari said “We should strictly follow the constitution of the Party in undertaking these party elections. We should ensure internal democracy and avoid short cuts and illegal maneuvers which have characterized the opposition party with the consequences that they are now divided.

“The APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any candidacy is not reached. Regardless of the outcomes of the primary processes, it is imperative that we all work together to ensure the victory of our party,” he noted.

The President’s stance seem to eliminate whatever shortcuts in the party such as endorsements and mock primaries to elect party flagbearers which Okorocha had suggested for Imo APC before the NEC meeting in Abuja.

However, the elongation of tenure of party officers in the party in Imo State has compelled the Okorocha and Araraume camps to claim control of the party.

While Araraume’s camp went into jubilation and congratulated the national chairman of the party, John Odigie Oyegun and other party executives at all levels and shared bags of rice to party members in Imo State to celebrate their tenure extension, the Okorocha camp in a show of rage came out smoking with the Governor vowing that Senator Araraume cannot be governor of Imo State.  He later congratulated John Oyegun and other party executives on the extension of their tenure till June 2019.

The raging issue in the party in Imo State is who is in control of the party structure in Imo State after NEC’s meeting of the party in Abuja on Monday. Some political analysts puncture claims by Okorocha’s media handlers who said party officers and members are loyal to him on the grounds that their present positions were secured for them by the Governor. They claimed that their tenure elongation had the support of the Governor.

But a school of thought reasoned that if this is so why did Okorocha move a motion for the sack of party officers at all levels at the National Executive Council,NEC meeting of the All Progressive Congress, APC in Abuja

“Do you call for the sack of your loyalists and those you say are supporting you. You can only do so if you are no longer sure of their loyalty. It was public knowledge that their tenure was up. But he failed to read the mood of  party leaders who wanted an extension of the tenure of party executives” said Chief Sam Nwoke, a political analyst who spoke to this newspaper.


The Party primaries seem to be the bone of contention in Imo APC. This is why so much fuss has been generated on the outcome of tenure elongation if party officers in the State

Sources said the battle for the removal or retention of party executives in the State has to do with the primaries expected to hold in August, 2018.

Uncomfirmed reports said party executives will constitute part of the delegates that will take part in the primaries and because they would exert huge influence on who picks any of the elective tickets, aspirants chase after them early enough to curry their favour and support.

It was gathered that party chairmen, woman leaders and about two officers of the party executives at all levels will take part in any elective primaries. This is however subject to whatever guidelines to be stipulated by the National Working Committee at  for the conduct of the primaries in August 2018.

Since the outcome of the National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja, the question has been who now posses the soul of Imo APC since the tenure of party officers was elongated. And who dictates the pace henceforth.

The Governor has continued to echo how the tenure elongation of party officers favours his plans but with allegiances of several party officers tailored towards other aspirants in the party particularly those eying the APC governorship ticket, it is certainly too close to call.

Mr. Ignatius Okwu,  a chieftain of the APC in the State said the present crop of party members  in the party are sharply divided thus it is difficult to ascertain who really controls the party structure in the State.

“The party is just recuperating from neglect. We were abandoned for a long time and this is why it is difficult to say all of us are loyal to the Governor. There is an Igbo adage that say okuko anaghi echefu onye foro ya odu na udu mmiri (A hen does not forget the one who removed his feather during the raining season).

“That is the scenario in the APC in Imo State and we should wait and see how events unfold”he stated


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