The member representing Orlu State Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon Pascal Okolie recently, while hinting some delegates on his intention to go back to the house in 2023, explained why he dumped the PDP on which platform he was elected and joined the APC.
The lawmaker told his audience in Owerri shortly after he submitted his expression of interest and nomination forms last week that he dumped the party when former Governor, Emeka Ihedioha was ousted by the January 14, 2020 Supreme Court judgement that enthroned Governor Hope Uzodinma to enable him benefit from the largesse the latter promised legislators who were willing to dump their parties for the APC and to also have the opportunity of making input in the appointment of key officers in the Orlu local government council.
Hon Okolie said his decision to dump PDP was motivated by his desire to ensure that he and the LGA are not left behind in the scheme of things.
He also disclosed his intention to re-contest despite the age-long zoning arrangement between Orsu and Isu clans of Orlu LGA which he benefitted from as it facilitated his membership of the 9th Imo state house of assembly.
Hon Okolie was also earlier quoted as saying that having understood the politics of Orlu, he would not bother himself spending money on campaign and mobilization but would rather wait for the “D day” and pay delegates.
The source who resented the statement said, “it is this deceitful mindset that is responsible for his refusal to reach out and interface with delegates and other stakeholders of the party”.
It would be recalled that shortly after the January 14, 2020 Supreme Court judgment that ousted former Governor Emeka Ihedioha from office, Hon Pascal Okolie dumped the PDP and joined the APC.
His return to the PDP is said to have elicited mixed reactions among stakeholders and other principle members of the party who see him as a mole who should neither be trusted nor taken into confidence, considering the fact that most of his aides who he facilitated their appointments are still working at the Orlu local government council headquarters despite the fact that he has left the APC.
“This is because the leadership and stakeholders of APC in the state with who he has a very chummy relationship do not see him as a threat, hence they have neither declared his seat vacant nor sacked his aides working at the local government council, unlike Hon Obinna Okwara of Nkwerre state constituency whose seat was declared vacant and his aides working at the Nkwerre local government council headquarters sacked with ignominy shortly after he defected to the PDP in like manner.
Continuing, the source sad, “rather than wielding the big stick on Hon Okolie for defecting to the PDP, he is pampered. He still gets all his entitlements as if he is still an APC lawmaker. This tells a lot about the bond, synergy and unity of purpose”.
It would also be recalled that shortly after APC assumed office, the governor allegedly gave lawmakers from other political parties who defected to the APC, N50m and two plots of land each as compensation.
The Governor’s action according to political pundits was to ensure that APC had majority in the house to avoid being impeached and to also give him absolute control of the legislative arm.
“The question on the lips of many is, how come after taking the money and the plots of land, Hon Pascal Okolie still defected to the PDP, because it is not clear if he returned the said N50m and the two plots of land. This they say is why he can’t criticize or boldly say his opinion about the obvious lapses and loopholes in the governance of the state. That also explains why the PDP should not only be careful but tread with caution as regards who gets the ticket for Orlu state constituency in 2023. It is not ruled out that what made him defect in 2020 will still not make him defect again.”
However Hon Okolie while addressing the delegates he reportedly interfaced with said, regretted dumping the PDP for the APC, pointing out that he had on several occasions apologized to the leadership of the party with the belief that he had been forgiven.