The popular belief in political quarters that the office of the Deputy Governor is a “spare tyre” can be said to be a child’s play if what is happening to the Prince Eze Madumere at the moment is considered.
Prince Madumere is the number two citizen of Imo State. Since the activities heralding the 2019 election began with the State APC congresses, the Deputy Governor of the State have seized from circulation in terms of government functions, thereby making the office redundant. Apart from failing to show up in official government assignment he is no longer involved in day-to- day running of governance.
A cold war has ensued between the Deputy Governor, Madumere and his principal of several years, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, since it became obvious that the governor of the state is interested in backing his son inlaw, Uche Nwosu, who is the Chief of Staff as successor in the next general election.
The frosty relationship did not only lead to Madumere dropping his regular muffler trademark but also jettisoning the popular Rescue Mission political family for another group called Coalition, otherwise named Allied Forces. The Coalition which the Deputy Governor has become a major force alongside past commissioners of Okorocha government has been thorn in the flesh of the Rescue Mission.
Further to the differences, reports of attempt by the governor to remove Madumere via impeachment by the members of the House of Assembly dominated discussion in the state.
However, last week arrangement to reconcile governor and Deputy before the sour relationship nose dive into deep animosity. The reconciliation was said to be the propelled by family members of the Okorochas and Madumeres who knew how both politicians started over 20 years ago and battled together before getting to this stage.
Available reports has it that the plot to have Okorocha and Madumere enjoy good relationship again has failed due to irreconcilable differences.
Our correspondent monitoring the issue notes that even as the governor alleges that politicians like Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and other coalition forces deceived his Deputy as well as other commissioners, the alleged maltreatment Okorocha meted to Madumere was said to be responsible for the breakdown of the peace talks.
According to a source privy to the settlement moves, Madumere is reported to be aggrieved the way Okorocha, believed to be his political godfather treated him because of Nwosu’s ambition.
The source who pleaded for anonymity revealed that “the reconciliation can’t work again. It can’t work because of what the governor did to the Deputy in the past. There is high level lack of trust now. And it began far back in 2014/15 when Okorocha left to Abuja to run for Presidency against Buhari. Instead of allowing Madumere to hold the ticket in trust for him, Uche Nwosu was considered ahead. That singular act showed that despite what they have had together in the past, secret deals and comradeship like father and son, the governor still has reservation about trusting Madumere again. That’s why the peace talk can’t hold”
Reporters were told that how the office of the Deputy Governor was relegated, kept in the dark in terms of certain crucial government functions and assignments created openings for the peace talk not to hold.
“It was obvious nothing will come out of the peace talk because of the attitude of the governor to the Deputy in the past. You can testify that in the past, office of the Deputy Governor controlled ministries but none was assigned to Madumere now. When VIPs come visiting. Nwosu is projected ahead the Deputy. And sensitive government issues are shifted to the office of the Chief of Staff than Deputy. Have you heard that reins of power was transferred to Madumere whenever Okorocha is not around. No, it has Nwosu who takes charges if the governor is not around. Under those conditions, can a peace talk hold?” the source further queried.
The newspaper was told that the issue if peace talk came up to calm the nerves of the Deputy Governor from leaking to the opposing forces operations of government of Okorocha and not a face-mending device. The source who is an insider asked if truly it was a peace talk why is the office of the Deputy Governor starred? Why has government information outlets barred from disseminating news from Madumere and other strategic denials targeted at reducing his office? Okorocha while addressing a group of youth who came on solidarity visit at the Government House chapel, Owerri accused the Imo APC stakeholders led by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume of allegedly deceiving Madumere and other past commissioners who served his government.