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BY: GREG IWU
There is a subtle but intense power struggle for the soul of the All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State by emerging and existing power blocs in the party. Leaders of these blocs are pulling the strings to be a step ahead of the other, this newspaper learnt.
The APC suffered a crushing defeat in the 2019 governorship election inflicted on it by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and were unable to even win a single House of Assembly seat in Imo State.
The soul of the party is now scrambled for, by three different factions and power blocs.
The appointment of Emeka Nwajiuba as Minister of State, Education has further increased the rat race for the soul of the party.
Some groups suspected to have links to the Minister have been holding nocturnal meetings in Owerri said to be geared towards having a foothold in the party ahead of 2023.
Nwajiuba is an ally of President Muhammadu Buhari. He is one of those key allies of Mr President who were rewarded through ministerial appointments.
As it stands, all the power blocs are operating in different dimensions jostling for control and relevance.They are upbeat in taking control of the party structure when the need arises.
The Senator Hope Uzodinma camp is also not letting go, hanging on the recognition of Marcellinous Nlemigbo as Chairman of the party by the National Working Committee, NWC, as it’s edge over other contenders for the party leadership.
Senator Uzodinma recently rewarded his loyalists with juicy appointments at the federal level, a move analysts said is aimed at keeping his core loyalists happy after suffering defeat at the governorship elections.
Sources said his grip on the party in the State will be determined by the outcome of the Appeal Court where he is challenging the verdict of the Tribunal which affirmed Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP as duly elected Governor of the State.
Another existing power bloc which is also on ground and striving to retain its stake is the Okorocha/Uche Nwosu camp. They run a parallel party leadership headed by Mr.Nwafor.
Okorocha had gone to the Senate on the platform of the APC, while Nwosu had aspired for Imo governorship with the Action Alliance, AA.
Okorocha was suspended by the NWC prior to his election to the Senate.
His suspension has not been lifted, but four of his political loyalists, Hon.Chike Okafor, Hon Ugonna Ozuruigbo, Hon.Kingsley Uju, Mr.Paschal Dozie, are all in the House of Representatives. They and some others form the bulwark of his power bloc.
Okorocha’s loyalists had used his recent birthday celebration in Abuja to keep hope alive on the party.
While the power blocs in the party continue to struggle for relevance and control, political events and unfolding developments now and in the future will determine which of the contending blocs get the upper hand.