*BY BEN UGWU*
A high level political intrigue is ongoing in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Imo State. This is in addition to fresh alignments and realignments by major stakeholders and players in the party.
Since Senator Samuel Anyanwu announced his governorship ambition, events and political developments in the party have taken a new dimension.
Unlike in the past where all major stakeholders and members were on the same page especially during the battle to wrestle the soul of the party from the grip of non conformists and political buccaneers, the situation is no longer the same. An informed source told this newspaper that loyalty of party leaders is now alternating between Senator Anyanwu and Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha.
The contention is the guber ticket of the party which will be determined by party primaries which is months away.The entrance of other aspirants such as Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Prof Jude Njoku, Hon. Tony Nwulu, Senator Athan Achonu in the contest is further expected to polarize party stakeholders when the chips are down. Before now, there was a popular belief that the party in Imo State was in the pocket of one of the governorship contenders. All that changed when the State Party Chairman, Charles Babatunde Ezekwem said no individual owns the party.
To confirm our story of fresh alignments ongoing in the party, a leader in the party,Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu who was a strong supporter of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha in 2015 is now known to have shifted grounds as he is now backing his political son, Senator Anyanwu. The entrance of another political son of Iwuanyanwu, Chukwuma Ekomaru (SAN) has further swelled speculations that Iwuanyanwu may be behind his guber bid. It was not verified as at press time if the Ikeduru born Chief has a hand in Ekomaru’s ambition since he has openly declared his support for Senator Anyanwu.
Other political leaders in the party such as Chief Achike Udenwa, Dr(Mrs) Kema Chikwe, Chief I.D Nwoga and others may have found political solace in one camp or the other. Other key stakeholders such as House of Reps members, Imo House of Assembly members of PDP extraction, House of Assembly aspirants and other public office seekers in the party are also involved in the alignment and realignment game ongoing in the party.
The party in the State was said to have been hit by a massive cash crunch sometime before a governorship aspirant led some top officials on a visit to a top politician in Rivers State who was alleged to have come to its rescue.
However, the alignments seem to have even permeated into the local government level as well though a new mantra has evolved across all strata of the party that the party must hold a free, fair and credible Primaries devoid of manipulation and rancour in a bid to ensure the best candidates emerge.