Those who have lost out in the tussle for the soul of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Imo State, aptly described as internally displaced politicians in the ruling party, may be bidding their time before they cross over to the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
INNONEWS gathered that before the next political season kicks off in 2023/2024, those who have lost relevance in the APC will seek political refuge elsewhere.
As events unfold in the party, it is becoming clear by the day, that Governor Hope Uzodimma is having the upper hand in the chess game with former Governor of the State and Senator Representing Imo West Senatorial District, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
Okorocha and his political foot-soldiers did not take part in the membership revalidation of the APC, thus fueling speculations that the ex governor and thousands of his political foot-soldiers may leave the party sooner or later.
However,while Okorocha wants the party in the grip of Dan Nwafor, one of his political lackeys, the national leadership of the party is working in cahoots with Marcel Nlemigbo led caretaker committee of the party backed by Governor Hope Uzodimma.
Matter At Supreme Court
The political ding dong rocking the APC in Imo State has reached the Supreme Court, with the apex court, adjourning the matter to October 2022. This implies that the status quo remains, as fireworks continue in the party until the Supreme Court gives verdict on the matter.
Nwafor is banking in the judgement of the Appeal Court, Abuja which made him the authentic Chairman of the APC in the State. With the long adjournment by the Supreme Court, Nlemigbo will continue to function as Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party in the State, thus the Uzodimma camp will continue to remain on the drivers seat.
Will Okorocha Dump APC?
Based on political permutations, there are fears that the former Governor may possibly join the PDP- a claim disputed by some analysts who contend that he will not do so.
Governor Hope Uzodimma had accused Okorocha of working with the PDP. In aftermath of ugly incidents which trailed the unsealing of Royal Palm Estate by the former Governor which led to his arrest by the Police, Uzodimma accused his predecessor of finding new allies in the PDP.
“It is on record that Senator Okorocha recently said he is working in cahoots with the opposition to achieve his political ambition, and he has not hidden his romance with key PDP figures in Imo State to undermine the All Progressive Congress government of Governor Uzodimma” Uzodimma’s Chief Press Secretary, Marcel Oguwuike wrote in a statement.
An analyst, Greg Anyasodor disagrees saying “It will be political suicide on Okorocha’s part if he joins the PDP. Okorocha will remain in APC, possibly to drive his much trumpeted presidential ambition, but his foot-soldiers may join the PDP for political survival and relevance in 2023 in Imo State”
The Wike Connection
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is noted for his fiery outbursts and his recent romance with Okorocha, is said to be geared towards 2023.
The former Imo State Governor had been in Port Harcourt, Rivers State twice within a month to visit Wike, to commission a road project and lately to commiserate with him on the demise of the latter’s uncle. Wike has been fingered to be perfecting Okorocha’s likely move to the PDP.
The Senator had severally complained that the national leadership of the party have shunned its founding members and rather given the “front seat” to those who came into the party with congratulatory messages. This indicates his disapproval on the new twist of events in the APC, thus swelling speculations that he may seek political refuge elsewhere
Okorocha/Ihedioha Alliance In PDP Workable?
A source who spoke to this newspaper on the emerging political development in the State said “the nagging issue, is how he (Okorocha) will blend politically with leader of the PDP in the State, Emeka Ihedioha, ahead of the 2023 elections?
Okorocha had claimed that Ihedioha had approached him for reconciliation. He never gave further details of their discussion.Ihedioha has not denied Okorocha’s claims either.
Some PDP chieftains in the State have raised eyebrows on this emerging development. They wonder if Okorocha’s entry into the party will do harm or good to the PDP in the State. They also expressed concern how an Ihedioha/Okorocha combination will be accepted by the people of Imo State, who had witnessed hot and open altercations between the duo in the recent past.
“This will be an association of strange bedfellows. What do we tell Imolites who had witnessed the fierce and bitter war between Okorocha and Ihedioha before and after the 2019 governorship election?
“How will the PDP in the State market Ihedioha/Okorocha to the public in the event the latter joins us. This will give the ruling APC, the leverage to shoot us on the fore head in 2023” a party Chieftain told INNONEWS on condition of anonymity.
Another source who is privy to the underground moves in the party said “there is no permanent interest, no permanent foe in politics. What is key is consistency and a cause to follow.
“The former Governor is free to associate with anyone politically and if he wants to join the PDP, he is free.It will be an added value to the party. His coming to the PDP will rather boost the party.
Ogu Bundu Nwadike, spokesman of the PDP in Imo State told INNONEWS that the party in the state is not aware of any move by Senator Okorocha to leave the APC for the PDP.
“There is no official engagement of such move. Though the PDP is open for anyone to join, there is no such move to the best of our knowledge by the former Governor to join the PDP” he said.