*BY BEN UGWU*
After suffering a devastating blow at the ward and local government Congresses of the All Progressive Congress in Imo State to the “Allied Forces”, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has strongly aligned with a major contender for the National Chairmanship seat of the governing party, former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomole.
Oshiomole had been tipped by President Muhammadu Buhari as his favourite to replace the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie Oyegun.
It was gathered that Okorocha may have quickly aligned with former Labour Leader to sway the support of 24 APC Governors which he leads as Chairman. The alignment with Oshiomole by the Imo State Governor may also be linked with his loss of the party structure in Imo State to his political adversaries who during the congresses routed the Imo Governor and his political camp.
Desperate attempts by Okorocha to get the attention of the John Oyegun led National Working Committee to reverse the outcome of the congresses in Imo APC had been futile as the Appeals Committee for the various congresses had expressed satisfaction with its outcome.
Sources revealed to this newspaper that the Imo Governor’s support for Oshiomole is also anchored on other reasons which include exploring the possibility of “re-ordering” the manner Congresses were held in Imo APC.
The setting up of a parallel State Executive of the APC in the State by Okorocha last Tuesday is said to be part of his plans to further factionalize the party in the State which invariably will serve as a basis for Oshiomole if he emerges National Chairman to intervene and revisit issues affecting the party in Imo State.
“ It is a two way arrangement. The set up of another parallel Executives for the party in Imo State is a move to create the impression that there is trouble in Imo APC. When a new leadership emerge at the June 23 Convention and if Oshiomole wins, Imo APC will be termed a problem State and this could form the basis to review issues affecting the party in Imo State. It may lead to fresh congresses as well” a source said.
This Newspaper could not verify if a new party leadership is allowed to tinker with the outcome Congresses already accepted and approved by all legal channels of the party.
The Appeal Committees for Imo APC Congresses for the ward and Local Government levels had okayed the outcome of both congresses.
The State Congress witnessed some hitches though the “Allied Forces” insisted that the exercise was properly conducted and new executives duly elected.
Okorocha had sought and obtained an Order of the Federal High Court that stopped the State Congress. The “Allied Forces” insisted that there was no Court order and therefore proceeded with the exercise.
Okorocha and Oshiomole on Thursday visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja. He had earlier rushed to see the President at his Daura country home three weeks ago where he lamented on the conduct of the ward congresses in Imo State.