Some governorship aspirants in Imo State are facing cash crunch, this newspaper can reveal.
It was observed that the slow pace of political activities in the camps of some of the aspirants is a result of cash crunch as some of them are even finding it difficult to pay their domestic staff their monthly take home and embark on serious political activities.
It was also gathered that some of the aspirants do not have campaign offices or outlets to reach them as they simply announced their governorship ambition in the media and went underground thereafter churning out periodic press releases and self praise articles churned mainly done by their press officers.
A support staff of one of the governorship aspirants who spoke on condition of anonymity told this newspaper that he has not received his monthly pay after his principal declared his ambition to contest.
However, of the 34 governorship aspirants that have declared their intention to become Imo State Governor in about four political parties, not more than 10 of them can be said to be “well loaded” and are really oiling their ambitions in a manner to demonstrate their seriousness in the contest.
An assessment run by this newspaper indicate that Senator Ifeanyi Araraume (APC), Chief Uche Nwosu (APC), Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP), Hon Tony Nwulu (PDP), Barr Aloysious Osuji(Maja Party), Hon Okey Ezeh( APGA), Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha (PDP),Chief Okey Ezeh (APGA) have shown remarkable commitment to their governorship ambitions.
These aspirants, it was gathered have offices run by staffers, have put in place political structures that are effective and operational with basic logistics in almost all the 27 local governments of the State to ensure a smooth outing ahead of the governorship primaries of their various political parties.
In the PDP, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha runs “Team Ihedioha” which is a group of supporters in all the 27 local governments of Imo State. Their activities are co-ordinated by his core political loyalists from his campaign headquarters at New Owerri which was set up in 2015 when he vied for Imo governorship. Branded vehicles bearing his image have been also sighted in the streets of Owerri.
Hon. Tony Nwulu runs the Mezie Imo Movement found in almost the 27 local governments of the State with functional staff and logistics located at its headquarters at Wethedral Road, Owerri. He also runs online advertisements which signpost his understanding of the power of online media to market his aspiration even beyond Imo State. He had erected an imposing billboard close to the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport that was pulled down by suspected agents of Imo State government. But in all, he has well over 30 billboards scattered in various locations in Imo State.
Among all the governorship aspirants, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume posses the oldest political structure which is more than 12 years old and is well funded. His Destiny Campaign organization located along Owerri- Onitsha road has roared back to life since last year he re joined the Imo governorship contest on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC. He also runs advertorials in the media to energize his aspiration and has maintained a political network that has permeated the hinterlands in Imo State.
Chief of Staff, Government House, Owerri, Chief Uche Nwosu who is also in the race has his Ugwumba Movement in all the 27 local governments run by staff and logistics with headquaters at New Owerri opposite All Seasons hotel. The Ugwumba Movement looks well funded with branded buses and vehicles bearing the imposing image of Governor Rochas Okorocha son in law. He has almost visited all the local governments in the State.
New entrant in the governorship contest, Senator Samuel Anyanwu is said to be setting up political structures beyond Owerri zone which he represents at the senate. This newspaper observed that he has competent staffers that are up and doing with a functional office. The senator has intensified his Skill Empowerment programmes with various items which is a deft political strategy to get to the grassroots.
Barr Aloysious Osuji is the sole governorship aspirant of the Mass Action Joint Alliance, MAJA. He also runs a colourful and effective campaign machinary having set up the party’s Secretariat along Okigwe road, Owerri. The United Kingdom based lawyer has political footsoldiers in the 27 local governments, runs advertorials in both the local taboids and online newspaper outfits in addition to funding the activities of the party.
Barr Okey Ezeh, the APGA governorship aspirant also has an operational and effective political machinary drumming his ambition across the State. In December last year, he donated 27 vehicles and motorcycles to APGA local government chairmen and other party officers which underscores his readiness to go full hog in the contest.