Revelation that the leadership of the All Progressive Congress, APC has concluded plans to reward members of the National Assembly seeking a return ticket to the lawmaking body with automatic tickets is creating fear in the minds of other aspirants and their supporters in Imo State.
Reports emerged early this week that APC National Working Committee, NWC is mulling automatic tickets for its federal lawmakers during the primaries billed for October 2nd 2018.
The decision to give automatic tickets became clearer during the week when the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, dropped the hint while addressing members of the party’s screening committee.
According to Oshiomole the move was to reward the lawmakers “who kept faith with the party in the face of all manner of harassment, intimidation and inducement to join opposition political parties”.
Going further to advance reasons why the Federal lawmakers deserve automatic ticket, Oshiomole said “ As we speak, I am proud that we have 57 Senators who have refused to be induced or misled or otherwise manipulated into moving to other parties or reward for juicy positions. They have decided to remain in our party even with all the intimidation they have suffered. It will be ungodly for us as a party not to reward those who believe in the party and the government of the day led by President Muhamadu Buhari. We will try as much as we can to have stability in the National Assembly”.
Trumpeta learnt that with the resumption of the National Assembly shifted to October after the primaries, the NWC of the APC has considered automatic ticket as the only means to strongly hold on to the Senator and House of Reps members of APC extraction who would do the bid of the party leadership in removing the Principal Officers, like, Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Reps Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, that dumped the party for the rival PDP.
The Oshimole led APC has been planning to impeach the two presiding officers and only the pacified lawmakers whose bargain are automatic tickets would execute the plot.
This newspaper was informed that should the automatic ticket sail through, two Senators of APC from Imo State; Senators Hope Uzodinma and Benjamin Uwajumogu as well as Reps members; Honourables Goodluck Nanah Opiah, Rapheal Nnanna Igbokwe, Chike Okafor and Austin Chukwukere would have an easy return tickets to the National Assembly.
The development, however is not going down well with other aspirants running for same positions in Imo State said to have started expressing fear that their ambitions might witnessed a natural death should the automatic ticket idea work out.
Already panic has enveloped the state chapter of APC with the aspirants and their supporters losing sleep of the inability of getting the ticket.
Mostly affected are supporters of Governor Rochas Okorocha and Prof Nnamdi Obiareri, who are gunning for APC tickets to become Senators of Orlu and Okigwe zones respectively.
Okorocha who is completing his second tenure is going for the Orlu zone ticket where the incumbent, Uzodinma is hoping to use automatic ticket to silence him.
Same applies for Okigwe zone where the incumbent, Uwajumogu is expected to overcome challenges from Obiareri. Obiareri, a former Commissioner will square against the incumbent.
In the federal constituencies, Ndubuisi Emenike and Kingsley Uju, both enjoying the support of Governor Okorocha may also succumb to Chike Okafor and Opiah for the APC Reps tickets of Okigwe South and Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Oru West respectively. The Reps members are favourites to gain from the automatic tickets.
Another Okorocha’s favorite and former Principal Secretary, Dr Paschal Obi, will also have his ambition to be the APC candidate of Ideato Federal Constituency relaxed for the incumbent, Austin Chukwukere.
For Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Mbaise Federal Constituency, those angling to stop Igbokwe may have to relax till 2023 to seek fresh ambition as the two time Federal Lawmaker will be another beneficiary of the automatic ticket for absolute loyalty to the party.