BY FRED UKA

In the upcoming Imo State governorship election scheduled to take place on November 11, 2023, the stakes are high, with the current Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma seeking to secure the remaining four years of his constitutionally allowed eight-year tenure.

He faces strong opposition from candidates from other political parties, most notably Senator Samuel Anyanwu Samdaddy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Chief Athan Achonu of the Labour Party.  

However, Uzodimma not only contends with opposition from other parties but also faces challenges within his own All Progressives Congress (APC).

One prominent figure who has become an open rival is former Governor Rochas Okorocha.

The animosity between Okorocha and Governor Uzodimma stems from the latter’s efforts to recover state properties allegedly looted by Okorocha and his associates during his tenure.

Despite attempts by the APC national leadership to reconcile them, Okorocha has not endorsed openly Uzodimma’s reelection bid.

Sources said the former governor joined top APC leaders in Abuja, to attend the Governor’s campaign flag off in Owerri, last week, to please the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, and party’s National Chairman, Umar Ganduje.

Okorocha was not decked in the white attire with red cap to match adorned by all party chieftains who attended the flag off event.

Another former senator, Ifeanyi Araraume, who is an APC member, is rumored to support the PDP candidate, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, though he denies these allegations.

Araraume may hold Uzodimma responsible for his past political defeats, including the Okigwe Senate rerun and his unsuccessful bid for the NNPC top job.   Both Okorocha and Araraume appear to be non aligned to Uzodimma, possibly due to their perceived grievances against the current governor.  

While there are various political players with grudges against Uzodimma within his own party, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will hinder his reelection or prove ineffective. The Imo State gubernatorial election is likely to be a closely watched and hotly contested event.

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