A peace deal said to be proposed by leaders of the All Progressive Congress, APC is in the offing, as part of internal mechanisms by the party leadership, to resolve the lingering feud between Governor Hope Uzodimma and his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
The duo have been enmeshed in a fierce scramble for the control of the party in the State.
INNONEWS gathered that the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Commitee, CECPC led by Governor Mai Mala Buni and other national party leaders, apparently disturbed over the endless disagreement between Uzodimma and Okorocha in Imo APC, have initiated peace moves to reconcile the duo.
A highly placed party official told this newspaper, that the top hierarchy of the party “is considering putting on the table, a peace deal aimed at brokering understanding between Uzodimma and Okorocha in Imo State”
The source said “High level consultations are ongoing. Gov. Uzodimma and Senator Okorocha are valuable assets to our party, not just in Imo State, but in the South East.
“We are exploring the option of a give and take between the two leaders. And we can only be optimistic that it works out.
“As difficult this looks, it seems to be a last ditch effort on the part of the party leadership to end this feud, which has been raging for a long time.
“Some serving governors are involved in the process and we will continue to be hopeful it works out.
“Okorocha was here recently (Buhari House, national secretariat of the APC, Abuja ) with some other members of the party from Imo State and he made several complaints.
“A member the CECPC who received him, told the former governor, that it is not possible for him to be made leader of the party in Imo State when there is an APC serving governor in the State.
“He was told to work with the governor, because it is the case in all APC States we have governors. We have equally taken similar steps in other states where such conflicts exists. And we always preach inclusiveness, which is a major factor for leaders to bond in their various States to enable the party move forward
“We are using the same approach in Anambra State, where the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, is furious with the unacceptable manner the APC governorship Primary was held.
“That Primary election produced Senator Andy Uba, as governorship candidate of the party.But the process he emerged was flawed as complained by other aspirants. Some of them are planning to go to court.
“To save the party from going ablaze ahead of the governorship election in Anambra State in November, the party leadership is also exploring it’s internal mechanism to resolve the matter, by proposing that Senator Ngige nominates someone as Uba’s running mate. We are hopeful it works out too”
Details of the proposed peace deal between Uzodimma and Okorocha by the APC top leadership were not revealed to this newspaper.
But it was gathered that the Uzodimma camp may be opposed to such proposal with Okorocha, which perhaps prompted it to reach out to another former governor of the State, Ikedi Ohakim.
Last week, Marcellnus Nlemigbo, Caretaker Commitee Chairman of the APC in Imo State backed by Governor Hope Uzodimma, reached out to Ohakim, to officially join the APC.
The former governor was said to have accepted the offer in “principle”, but made few demands.
Nlemigbo at another fora, had said Okorocha is difficult to work with, because he wants to be at the top always.
He also claimed that the APC will win in Imo State without the aid of the former governor.
The move to get Ohakim is said to be predicated on plans by Uzodimma’s camp to weaken the grip of Okorocha’s ally in Okigwe zone, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume.
Okorocha, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and some members of the House of Representatives from Imo State loyal to him, had refused to participate in the extended membership registration and revalidation exercise of the party in the State.