*BY RALPH EJIMKONYE*
As the October 18 deadline for the submission of candidates of political parties to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC draws near, an Abuja Federal High Court has adjourned to October 17 for accelerated hearing on contentious issues surrounding the governorship ticket of the All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State
Senator Hope Uzodinma, one of the governorship aspirants had secured a court order to be declared the APC governorship candidate for Imo State.
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha was said to have gone to court seeking an order to stop the All Progressive Congress, APC from removing his name as the Senatorial candidate of the APC for Imo West Senatorial zone just as his son in law and former Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu was granted leave to join the matter.
Imo APC has been on fire over a fierce scramble for party tickets.Almost all the key actors in the party who belong to two warring factions have relocated to Abuja awaiting the final pronouncement of the National Working Committee, NWC and the court ruling on who is the party’s governorship ticket.
This newspaper was informed that aside pursuing the legal angle, there are intense moves and lobbying by the key players of the party to have the decision of the National Working Committee, NWC favour them.
Governor Rochas Okorocha is up against Senator Hope Uzodinma in the fight for the governorship ticket of the party.Okorocha is backing his son in law and former Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu for the plum position.
Uzodinma had claimed victory in the October 1 governorship primary which was cancelled by the National Working Committee, NWC of the party after the Governorship Primary Election Commitee led by Ahmed Gulak was accused of failing to conduct the exercise. A repeat primary conducted by General Agbakabia led committee produced Chief Uche Nwosu as the governorship candidate of the party.
The National Leadership of the party had released names of 24 governorship candidates of the party. Governorship candidates of 12 States are yet to be announced by the party thus fueling suspicions that “issues” surrounding the conduct of primaries in the affected States will be sorted out before the INEC deadline of submitting names of candidates.
Imo State is among the 12 States.
Imo APC Denies Protest At National Secretariat.
The Imo State chapter of the APC have said there is no protest against the party leadership in Abuja.
In a statement signed by Onwuasonaya FCC Jones, State Publicity Secretary of the party, he called on party members to ignore fake pictures of some placard weilding protesters in a place they present as the APC national headquaters, Abuja
“Our investigations show that these pictures are old pictures downloaded from the internet by these disgruntled, defeated and retiring politicians. It is also obvious from the pictures that the individuals who published them are desperate quacks.
“Members of the All Progressives Congress in Imo State have no reason to embark on any form of protest as there is absolutely nothing to worry about, as long as the outcome of the recently concluded Party primaries of 6th October, 2018 is concerned.
“While we do not expect the merchants of fake news and blackmailers to relent from spreading false information, we urge all reasonable Imolites and the general public to pay no heed to such bland concoctions.