As primaries for various political parties’ approaches, five members of the Imo State House of Assembly on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC have dropped from being re- elected.
Governor Rochas Okorocha had on his return from China with President Muhammadu Buhari convened an emergency stakeholders meeting where he “adopted”some members of his political family for re- election in 2019.
The move, according to a source, was aimed at ensuring that his political camp does not dismember ahead of the primaries and the elections thereafter.
This newspaper had observed that some of the Governor’s aides were running for the same political posts.
For instance in Owerri municipal, the Majority leader of the House and current member representing Owerri Municipal State Constituency, Hon. Lugard Osuji is in the race for a second term alongside the State Commissioner of Finance, Barr. Obinna Mbata.
At the meeting, the Governor separated the two contenders from political battle when he endorsed Osuji for a second term to the House and adopted Mbata for Owerri Federal Constituency Reps seat.
However, it was not all smiles for five serving members of the State House of Assembly as their dreams for re- election was shattered by the Governor.
The five lawmakers who did not get the endorsement include Hon Chinedu Offor (Onuimo State Constituency), Hon, Emma Orie (Ohaji/Egbema State Constituency), Hon.Ikonne Onyewuchi (Owerri West State Constituency), Uche Ejiogu (Ihitte Uboma) and Hon. Chika Madumere (Nkwerre State Constituency).
Reports say it was not all smiles for the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Sir George Eche who was reportedly told to shelve his ambition to run for Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala House of Reps seat.
The Governor was said to have rather adopted Blyden Amajirionwu for the position, an adoption which may not have gone down well with Eche.
Rumours later spread on the social media that Eche in retaliation decided to go for the governorship, a position Okorocha had reserved for his Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu.
As at the time of filing this report, Mr.Eche is yet to confirm or dispel rumours that he had quit his post and secured the APC Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for the governorship.
In a statement by Governor Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemedo on Monday, the Governor disowned Eche’s alleged guber bid.
Part of the statement reads “The Secretary to the State Government Mr. George Eche was quoted to have Claimed that the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has asked him to Contest the 2019 governorship election. And for this claim, the governor has been inundated with calls over the authenticity or otherwise of this claim by Mr. Eche.
“To say the least, the claim is totally false. It is not true. The governor never told Mr. Eche to go for the 2019 governorship either directly or through a proxy. In other words, the governor is not aware of Mr. Eche’s governorship aspiration.
“And if Mr. Eche is actually Contesting the governorship, he is doing so as an Imo man or as a Nigerian exercising his constitutional right and that has nothing to do with the governor.
“Before now, what Mr. Eche had told the governor he was going to Contest is the House of Representatives for Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency, and if he has changed his mind for another position, the governor does not know.