BY RALPH EJIMKONYE
The Okigwe senate election has exposed the depth of the division rocking the All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State.
Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, who was pronounced candidate of the party for the election by the Federal High Court, Owerri, is going into the polls, without the backing Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, and the State Caretaker Committee of the party.
Uzodinma had preferred Frank Ibezim as candidate of the party for the election.
However, Senator Araraume is banking on the support of former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who directed his Rescue Mission political group, to aid the success of the Senator’s senatorial bid.
The group has been holding several strategic meetings, strategizing victory for the Isiebu born senator, who is up against two other major contenders in the contest, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Emmanuel Okewulonu and All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA candidate, Chibuike Onyirimba.
The Senator also has the support of a faction of the party in the State led by Daniel Nwafor.
Araraume also won new converts, including Mr. Charles Ezekwem, who had dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, pledged his allegiance to Uzodinma, and has now shifted grounds by backing Senator Araraume for the Okigwe senate election.
Analysts contend that the election, has already exposed the depth of the division in the ruling APC in Imo State, while those loyal to the camp of the governor have kept their distance from the Senator and his aspiration.
It was gathered that the Governor’s camp is yet to announce which candidate it may support for the election since it is very clear that they will support Araraume.
Newspaper reports had speculated last week that APGA candidate, Chibuike Onyirimba may be adopted by the Governor’s faction.
APGA Imo State Chairman, John Iwuala, had told INNONEWS that “there is nothing wrong if the APGA candidate is backed by the Governor’s camp.
“Onyirimba is a good product. He is the best among all the candidates vying for Okigwe senate election.
“There is nothing wrong if they decide to support him. APGA is the party of the masses and we do have the best candidate among the candidates of other political parties taking part in the election” Iwuala said.
The APC Caretaker and Extra Ordinary Convention Planning Committee, is however yet to show open solidarity to the Senator as the Okigwe Senate election draws near.
The party in a statement in Abuja last Sunday did not announce the set up of a campaign Council for Senator Araraume.
It however appointed Borno State Governor, Senator Kashim Shettima as Chairman, APC Campaign Council Cross River North Senatorial District for the December 5 polls.