The drama in the All Progressive Congress, APC, over the Okigwe senate election has continued unabated, stirring jokes and laughter, among political observers over who gets the votes of the party at the polls.
Two candidates have surfaced on the campaign stage, Frank Ibezim and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, both of them shopping for votes from voters for the APC.
This is as feelers emerged that Governor Hope Uzodinma after weeks of silence, has thrown his weight of support for Frank Ibezim for the December 5, 2020 Okigwe senate election.
Ibezim was removed as candidate of the party for the polls, and was replaced with Senator Ifeanyi Araraume by Federal High Court, Owerri.
Uzodinma alongside Minister of State, Education, Emeka Nwajiuba are backing Ibezim even before the APC held it’s controversial Primary which produced two candidates.
Ibezim has been campaigning in Okigwe zone ahead of the polls, drumming support for the APC.
Indications became clear that the Governor has not wavered on his support for Ibezim, when the State Caretaker Commitee Chairman of the APC, Marcellinus Nlemigbo, openly declared support for the latter, and reiterated that he is the candidate of the APC for the Okigwe election.
This newspaper gathered that the reason behind the support for Ibezim by the Governor, originated from the calculation, that since the matter of candidacy of the party for the Okigwe senate election is still before the court, it is better to secure victory for the APC first, which may be favourable to Ibezim in the long run, if the Appeal Court decides not to uphold Araraume’s candidacy.
Ibezim had dragged Araraume to the Appeal Court, Owerri to challenge the verdict of the Federal High Court which declared the latter, as candidate of the APC for Okigwe senate election. The Appellate court has reserved judgement on the matter.
Ibezim and Araraume have been holding seperate campaign rallies ahead of the polls, a move an analyst say poses grave electoral danger for the ruling party.
APGA Imo State Chairman, John Iwuala, had called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to disqualify APC from taking party in the election for parading two candidates.