BY RALPH EJIMKONYE
The quest for an Igbo to produce the next president of Nigeria in 2023 is already generating rift among some key political actors in the South East zone.
Former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Tuesday accused Governor Hope Uzodinma of sponsoring reports in the media that he (Okorocha) is unfit to be President of Nigeria.
Recall that one Chief Osmond Nkeoma, who claimed to be National Organizing secretary of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, had said Okorocha is unfit to be President of Nigeria.
Reacting to the statement, the former governor said his predecessor was behind the report.
Uzodinma and Okorocha have been on war path since the Supreme Court pronounced Uzodinma governor of Imo State on January 15. Several issues are said to be tearing the relationship between the duo apart after they had “united” temporarily after the Supreme Court verdict.
Analysts say their differences border on the soul of Imo APC, and other “agreements” that never saw the light of the day.
Uzodinma had said that there will be no disagreement with his predecessor if he stops seeing himself as governor of the State.
The intensity of the feud, intensified last week when local government chairmen and councilors, elected during Okorocha’s reign as governor vowed to take over the headquarters of the 27 local governments in the State on November. They anchor their action on the verdict of Federal High Court, Owerri which ordered their reinstatement.
Okorocha in his latest salvo through a statement by his media adviser, Sam Onwuemedo, accused Uzodinma of puncturing “the pronouncement by eminent Igbo sons and daughters from the five South-East States, operating under the aegis of the Movement for the Actualization of the Nigeria President of Igbo extraction (Manipe)) who stormed Okorocha’s Owerri residence on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, to urge him to run for the 2023 Presidency and to inform him that they had adopted him as the Consensus Candidate for the position”
The former governor is believed to be eying the Presidency in 2023, though he is yet to officially announce his ambition.
According to him, Okorocha said his predecessor is after him and not to govern the State.
“The government is fighting everybody and every institution. And arresting, detaining and arraigning Imo Citizens at random. Imo is not known for all these. The governor should change style and be focused” the former governor alleged.