There are strong indications that all is not well with ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State and the perceived peace existing now is like a peace obtainable in the grave-yard which may soon detonate into ripples of political crises within the party, if unchecked.
Investigations revealed that the bone of contention is the political ambition of some of the party chieftains and bigwigs ahead of 2019. This has led to tactical polarization of the party into four prominent factions. For the uninformed, this factionalisation for now may be a political illusion, but for political pundits, these divisions are obvious and would soon explode. The tendency is that if not properly handled, it may snowball into serious internal wrangling, bickering, impunity, imposition and litigations due to the personalities involved.
The battle field of the four ‘political generals’ pivots around who controls the soul of the party ahead of 2019 and the factions are anchored by Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the State Executive Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, the Deputy Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, the Distinguished Senator that represented Okigwe Senatorial zone in the Senate between 1999-2007 and an unquenchable power broker and Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, Chief of Staff to Imo State Government.
Barrister C.C. Olumba, chieftain of APC in the state said “It is certain that the ambitions of Governor Okorocha, Madumere, Nwosu and Senator Ararume will soon tear the party apart as each continues to hold nocturnal meeting with some of the party chieftains and faithful. I have attended some of these meetings, the agenda is the same – support for 2019. I foresee party crises based on conflicts of interest, but we have to watch and see, 2019 is still far, we are still in 2017 and we have not even reached 2018. May be before then, nature will take its own course and the interests will be amicably handled,” he predicted.
For Governor Rochas Okorocha, he is hell-bent on producing a successor and running for the Senate in 2019, though his eyes and soul are in the Presidency, but his presidential ambition is now strategically been subsumed by the perceived second-term ambition of President Muhammahu Buhari. However, if by providence PMB declines to run for second term, definitely, Governor Okorocha will throw his weight into the presidential race. He will not be a joker because his ambition to be the president of Nigeria is unquenchable.
Governor Okorocha in several fora has said that he should be considered as a political failure if he did not install a candidate of his choice as a successor. He also said that he does not want to make the political mistakes of his predecessor who he said out of political naivety were unable to anoint and groom successor, thus he said that they created political ghosts that is haunting them after governing the state.
To justify that he means business, Governor Okorocha has already pocketed the State, Local Governments and wards leadership of the party. In fact, the State party Chairman, Dr. Hillary Ekeh from Ezinihitte Mbaise is almost residing in the Government House and he wines and dines with the governor in most state functions.
Governor Okorocha of recent has truly empowered his party members in the State across board, all his welfare programmes are anchored and tailored towards his party members with special emphasis to rural dwellers. The governor has been calling them for series of meetings without allowing them to decode his political body language.
His mission is to cage the state party structure and dangles it when it matters most. In his last meeting with the party leaders a week ago, he promised to enrich most of them this year. The governor’s anointing political suspense has equally created confusion and bickering among members of his kitchen cabinet who have an undiluted ambition to run for a political post in 2019. Every one of them is careful not invite the wraths of Oga.
They think he is still swinging his political pendulum with microscopic tendencies. One other issue that is causing hiccups among Okorocha’s political sons and daughters is the governor’s penchant in zoning arrangements and due processes. However, an insider who pleaded anonymity also confirmed that Governor Okorocha is seriously grooming his men Friday that he would surprising unleash at the appropriate time to achieve his political goal.
Then for Prince Eze Madumere, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, and hails from Achi Mbieri In Mbaitoli Council Area, he has worked with Governor Okorocha for over 20 years. He feels he knows the Governor more than any of his lieutenants. Within the Rescue Mission Administration he is seen as the Jesus Christ of the Mission because of his implicit belief in Okorocha and the persecutions he suffered in 2011, as he was the war chest of Okorocha’s gubernatorial ambition then, certainly, the Governor appreciates his enormous contributions and rapidly promoted him from Chief of Staff to Deputy Governor.
Is Madumere politically ambitious? Yes, he is obviously, he has unquenchable desire to be the first citizen of Imo State and he is neither pretending nor joking about it. One thing going for him is that he is a humble and focused young man. Just like other ambitious politician, he has equally been hosting nocturnal meetings with party faithful and stakeholders both at the Deputy Governor’s lodge, Owerri and his paradise on earth ancestral home at Awo/Achi Mbieri.
He has not made his ambition known publicly but his body language speaks volume of his ambition. He is extremely careful not to hurt his Oga as he patiently awaits the “political oracle/messiah’s” endorsement. But on ground he is tactically preparing and several odds favours him. Madumere is a highly diplomatic and tactical politician. Certainly he is in control of some of the party’s Structure both in the state and at federal level.
His passion for Governor Okorocha is unprecedented even as he believes in secrecy. People underrate him a lot as somebody who cannot even hurt a fly but he could be draconian when undermined. One thing is sure, he is in suspense as he is yet to know Governor Okororcha’s mind set concerning his future political navigation despite the Governor’s public statement that “this is my son in whom am well pleased. Nothing on earth will separate me and D Gov. we have come a long way”.
Ugwu Mba Uche Nwosu is the youthful son in-law to the Governor. He married Okorocha’s family beloved first daughter. Nwosu is one of the disciplines of Rochamanics as the governor often describes his institutionalized personality. This philanthropic young son of Eziama –Obiere in Nkwerre Local Government area came into lime light in 2011 as the Deputy Chief of Staff Government House. Recall that in 2015 he was one of APC gubernatorial aspirants and eventually won the governorship primary which pundits said the State Government stage-managed to Governor Okorocha’s advantage; a position he tactically and willy-nilly relinquished to Okorocha barely 48 hours he (Okorocha) failed to win APC presidential ticket in Abuja.