Details have emerged why Imo State Deputy Governor,Prof Placid Njoku, was dropped as Running Mate to Governor Hope Uzodimma for the November 11, 2023 governorship election.

Njoku, a Professor and of the Catholic denomination, was dropped for Mrs Chinyere Ekomaru, a lecturer at the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, AIFCE, Owerri.

She is of the Anglican communion.

Speculations were rife in the media that Njoku may have lost out in several calculations of the Governor ahead of the guber election.

While speculations were rife that he was dumped by his boss for political reasons, Governor Hope Uzodimma countered such insinuations, saying ecumenical and not political reasons, influenced his decision to choose Mrs Ekomaru over Prof Njoku for his second term bid.

Uzodimma, at the unveiling of his Running Mate, Mrs Ekomaru, in Owerri at the weekend, said the need “to be sensitive to the ecumenical nature of the environment”, was the chief reason why he dropped the Professor for the lecturer.

He however stated that he had no issues with his deputy.

He said “Let me use this opportunity to make it clear that I don’t have any problem with my deputy Governor, Prof Placid Njoku.If anything he is a very loyal and committed partner in progress.

“My confidence in him has not waned in any way. I want to assure you that he is still very relevant in our political family.

“His political career is not by any means over. The truth is that as representative of the People, we need to be sensitive to the ecumenical nature of the  environment.

Mr Njoku was reported to have taken a bow at the event, given credence to what his boss told his audience.

In Imo State, Church denominations compete for relevance and supremacy in determining who becomes the number one citizen of the State.

Catholic and Anglican remain the two dominant denominations with huge populations, though Catholic is in the majority.

Former Governor of the State, Ikedi Ohakim, had lost his quest for a second term after a brawl with the Catholic Church.

Ohakim and his deputy, Dr. Mrs Ada Okwuonu, are of the Anglican denomination.

Governor Rochas Okorocha’s relentless determination to have Uche Nwosu, his son in law, as his successor, also crumbled over a rift with the Catholic Church led then by Archbishop Anthony Obinna.

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