Governor Hope Uzodimma’s bid to unite the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State has received a boost, following the signal coming from the camp of erstwhile appointees of former Governor Rochas Okorocha that they are ready to support the governor. This indication came when the group paid a courtesy call on Uzodimma at the Government House, Owerri.
The solidarity visit came a few days after Governor Uzodimma has successfully hosted the first APC caucus meeting which brought majority stakeholders who wrestled power from Okorocha.
The loyalists of Okorocha were led to the Government House by former Commissioner for Petroleum Chief Jones Uzoka; former Secretary to the Government (SSG), Sir George Eche; former APC Chairman and Chief Hilary Ekeh. It also included former commissioners and other appointees who served under Okorocha numbering over 100.
Uzoka, who led the group, paid glowing tributes to the governor for returning APC to power and making it more relevant in Imo State. He said the former appointees have resolved to give Governor Uzodimma all the support he needs to succeed, including the effort he is making to ensure that the APC is made a strong and united in Imo and the Southeast.
He said they came to pledge their support to Uzodimma’s administration and to support the governor bid to unite the party. He acknowledged the positive performance of the governor and thanked him for working hard to bring the APC out of political oblivion.
Also speaking at the occasion, former Deputy Governor Prince Eze Madumere acknowledged that the governor is the party leader in Imo State and that APC members must bury the hatchet and support him. Madumere who had earlier led APC stakeholders to pass a vote of confidence on Governor Uzodimma’s agenda called on party stalwarts to support the governor because “he is working for the betterment of the people of Imo State”.
Party chairman Chief Marcellus Nlemigbo thanked the visitors for openly expressing their support for the governor, adding that they have thereby renewed their membership and are entitled to all the rights and privileges of being APC members. Nlemigbo also pleaded with them to be good ambassadors of the Uzodimma-led government.
Governor Uzodimma assured that the party’s congress will take place in an atmosphere devoid of rancour and bickering. He also reiterated his resolve to build a strong and united party in the state.
The governor called on the APC members to put the past behind them and focus on politics that would take care of today, yesterday and tomorrow. He also reminded the party faithful that they are one and will only make progress in a united APC where the party is seen as supreme.
He said: “I am open to building a party that will serve the people. That is why I have invited all members to come home and help me to create happiness in Imo and that is the only thing that makes power meaningful. With effective, united, strong and viral APC in Imo State, there is the tendency for APC to spread and capture power in the Southeast by being in power not only in Imo but in the other four states.”
Uzodimma regretted that the local government election did not take place because of the outbreak of coronavirus and the need for unity to be achieved within the fold before the contest.
Present at the meeting were the Deputy Governor Placid Njoku, the SSG Chief Cosmas Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Nnamdi Anyaehie and members of the expanded exco. Other loyalists of Okorocha at the event included Chief Hilary Ekeh, Chika Madumere, Gerry Okolie, Chief Val Mbamala, Dr. Angela Uwakwe, Prof. Edna Njoku, Robertson Ekwebelem, Innocent Ekeh, Soronnadi Njoku, Best Mbanaso and Dr. Henry Okafor. Others are Nkem Nwankwo, Donatus Ozoemena, Nze Stanley Onuoha, Ronnie Ajaelu, Obinna Nshirim, Chief Love Udensi, Chief Felix Uba, Dr. Pat Nna, Emmanuel Ekweremadu, Princewill Nnawuihe, Gideon Mefor, Chief Ben Anugwu, Nkenna Nzeruo, Uche Oguwuike, Sir. Bon Ohiri (Ebony), Revd. Jason and Ifeanyi Olumba.