Top leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Imo State are still entangled in the search for a party Chairman who will lead the party for the next four years.
Several meetings are expected to take place as talks among party leaders, stakeholders, delegates continue before d day. One of the meetings according to a source, will take place at the home of former Governor Achike Udenwa.
The meetings are coming on the heels of the arrival of former Governor Emeka Ihedioha to the State, seven months after he was removed as governor by the Supreme Court and replaced with Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
The Congress will hold on Saturday, at the Kanu Nwankwo sports complex, Owerri.
Despite media reports suggesting that the former Minister of Commerce and Industries, Charles Ugwuh, has been endorsed as Chairman, sources said it is not yet uhuru for him, as party leaders are still weighing and swinging their choices.
The party leadership and chieftains are torn between Engr. Charles Ugwu, Emeka Nwokeike (Iroko), Chuks Ajaelu who have put up spirited efforts to claim the Chairmanship position of the leading opposition party in Imo State.
Ugwu’s aspiration is propelled by the old redemption camp loyal to former Governor Achike Udenwa and other notable forces in the party.
His aspiration generated some controversy among the younger elements in the party who argued that the PDP needs a younger fellow to drive the opposition party in the face of a ruthless ruling APC in Imo State
However, Ihedioha, who has assumed the role of undisputed leader of the party, is said to have retained “considerable understanding” with the pro Udenwa group who have remained loyal to him right from when he vied for office of the Governor in 2015 and 2019. How he navigates the interest of the group in the Chairmanship contest is yet to deciphered.
However, this newspaper gathered that most of Ihedioha’s men are rooting for Emeka Nwokeike, whom they have drummed support for a long time ago before Engr. Ugwu joined the contest. Some of his aides had openly canvassed support for Nwokeike.
Multiple sources told INNONEWS that those backing Ugwu consider his unwavering loyalty to the party and his “deep pockets” which is capable of funding the party as unique points of the former Minister.
The Chuks Ajaelu factor remains strong in the party as most of his backers are top notch PDP Leaders within and outside the State. He has also received considerable support from some party leaders who seem to admire his relentless doggedness and passion for the party.
It is however expected that the scenario on who emerges Chairman, will become clear after the funeral of Late Chief I.D Nwoga, pioneer Chairman of the party, who passed away recently.
It was also learnt that the possibility of harmonization or consensus list of incoming party executives with inputs from elected public office holders at the federal and state levels, and other stakeholders may spring up before congress day.
In all, it is said that Ihedioha holds the ace and remains the deciding factor, with some considerable influence also wielded by Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi, who is the highest political office holder in Imo PDP.
Ihedioha and Onyewuchi do have intentions to vie for the Governorship and Owerri zone Senatorial seat respectively in 2023, though speculations are also rife that former Secretary to the State Government, Hon Uche Onyeagocha may also join the race for Owerri senate seat when the chips are down.