There is a cold war in the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Imo State, over Okigwe senate seat.
The intensity of the cold war is expected to increase with the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to hold the Okigwe senate bye election on October 31st, 2020.
The election is to fill the vacuum left by Senator Benjamin Uwajumuogu, who died while representing the zone in the senate.
Within the APC in Imo State, there are more than five aspirants jostling for the ticket of the party, but two of them, have been touted to be so strong in the race. Observers say Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Senator Athan Achonu, are major contenders for the party’s nomination.
Governor Hope Uzodinma’s silence on who is his choice candidate has really put more pressure on the contestants within the party, who, no doubt have been seeking for his endorsement.
In a race serious and intense as a senatorial contest, no State Governor will choose to remain aloof on who emerges his party’s candidate and eventual winner of the contest.
Reliable sources had told this newspaper last month that the Governor may have kept his choice candidate, a dark horse close to his chest, as party primaries draws close.
Another report in the media had speculated that Governor Uzodinma is keen to have ‘one of his own’ as senator for Okigwe zone, since the two senators from the State, Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi (PDP, Owerri Zone), and Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC, Orlu zone), “are not for him”
However, the Governor’s ‘unpredictable’ body language over who flies the senatorial flag of the APC for Okigwe zone, has set the stage for a fresh cold war in the party as the camp of Senator Araraume and other contenders have begun pulling strings, to emerge the APC Okigwe zone senatorial ticket, ahead of the polls.
Senator Arararume and Senator Rochas Okorocha, a former Governor of the State, are said to be in cahoots, in an alliance which seems not favourable to the State Governor.
A top party source who spoke to this newspaper said since INEC announced date for party primaries and when bye elections will hold, the colouration of the contest within the APC in the state has changed sharply.
“The APC Okigwe senate primaries will determine who is really in charge of the APC in the State. With the exit of Adams Oshiomole as National Chairman of the party, no one, not even the Governor, posses 100% control of the APC in Imo State. This is a rat race. The smartest will win the party ticket. The game is on’ the source stated