Some allies, political associates of Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, are in shock over reports of the governor’s choice of a female lawyer as his Running Mate for the November 11, 2023 guber election.
Barr Nnedinma Ekomaru, wife of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Chukwuma Ekomaru, has been chosen by the governor as his Running Mate.
Mrs Ekomaru is perceived in some quarters as an “outsider” in the political camp of the governor, known as Camp Hope.
Though there is no official statement from the State government on the nomination of Mrs Ekomaru, a top aide of the governor confirmed the selection of Mrs Ekomaru to INNONEWS, revealing that her name has been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Uzodimma had last month announced his Works Commissioner, Mr. Ralph Nwosu, as a place holder for the position of Running mate.
The nomination of Mrs Ekomaru ends the political voyage of current Deputy Governor, Prof Placid Njoku, as the latter would not be on the ballot with his boss for the November guber poll.
A top source told this newspaper that the choice of Mrs Ekomaru has jolted some political allies and friends of the governor, from Owerri and Okigwe zones, who had embarked on extensive lobby to secure the slot and received assurances.
“Some of his (Uzodimma)friends and allies had hoped that they would be chosen or selected for the post. They kept on assembling several groups pledging support to the governor’s second term bid, in order to get his attention and selection. They ran several newspaper adverts congratulating the governor for one thing or the other, just to curry his favour.
“One of them even elevated the jostle for the Running Mate position to a contest, and told anyone who cared to listen that Uzodimma will choose him as his deputy.
“But the governor disappointed such people. He kept them in the dark and made his choice quietly. And remember it is the governor’s right to choose whom he deems fit to be his deputy.
“It is unfortunate those who claim to be close to him don’t understand his style of politics. He prefers to work with those you least expect. Those who are calm and humble and can deliver” the source said.
Dr (Mrs) Ada Okwuonu was the first female deputy governor of Imo State from 2007- 2011, having served Governor Ikedi Ohakim.
Mrs Ekomaru is not a known politician, but comes from the powerful Mbaike political bloc, where the PDP governorship candidate, Senator Samuel Anyanwu hails from.