Recently, the All Progressive Congress (APC) ruling party conducted a nation-wide ward congress which was generally accepted as free and fair except for some states like the battle ridden Rivers State. The outcome of the national ward congress of the APC purported to be already endorsed by His Excellency the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) is causing a lot of ripples in some States like Imo State where the acknowledged party strongest man His Excellency the Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha (OON) is on the verge of losing grip. It will be recalled that one of the strangest political development in the annals of Nigeria’s political history took place in Imo State in APC Party Primaries of the 2015 general elections. Succinctly put, like never before the man of the moment in the IMO APC took a long lonely stroll to take another shot at the Presidential ticket, but, simultaneously used a proxy to reserve the party Gubernatorial ticket for himself. Much to the chagrin of many keen watchers including yours sincerely, the Imo State APC faithful demonstrated the ultimate height of loyality to the extent that the governorship candidature was unanimously reserved for the political wiz-kid Rochas Okorocha through his trusted ally and must reliable proxy Uche Nwosu, who equally doubles as a first son-in-law to the Governor, Interestingly, nobody in Imo State APC raised any dust about this strange oddity. As the acceptability of such action to the Federal Constitution vis-a-viz the extant electoral laws permits one is lost in drawing inferences about the tenability. But, it did happen in the watching eyes of the law and public.
Fortunately, the man in question eventually was returned elected for the second tenure, as the governor of Imo State still in the saddle. Politically, the state governor is the leader of the political platform that launched him/her onto power. Acceptably, the party Chairman of the state APC takes precedence, over the affairs of the party, but, not without recourse to the Governor, Henceforth, the Imo State APC was nearly reduced to a private enterprise of the Governor Rochas Okorocha. And nobody dares challenge his orders of instructions. Unfortunately, the game changed when the influenza of the impending change ushered in by the APC starts attracting defectors of strong politicians just as the honey would have been around them. The crop of political big-wigs that carpet crossed into the APC from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was not only a source of liberation to the nearly-gagged Imo APC members but almost a pen, in the ass to the flag bearer His Excellency the Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, An irony plays out in that those top notch political giants on whose backs the Governor Rochas Okorocha rode to his second term in office (i.e. according to his testimonies) eventually turned out to be his greatest albatross in the Imo APC. They became a source of courage to the intimidated blind followers of Owelle Rochas Okorocha. This is the harbinger of schism in the Imo State APC. As events unfold, the conundrum of party fractionalization becomes a reality.
At the moment, Imo State Chapter of the APC has factions loyal to the big masquerades in the persons of His Excellency the Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (OON), Distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, Senator Osita Izunaso, Senator Benjamin Uwajimogu and most recent Senator Hope Uzodimma. The stage is now set for the big masquerades to prove their mettles. The just concluded APC national ward congress is the first litmus test for the musketeers to know who is who. As for the political gladiators, detractors and numerous analysts the political periscope is throwing light to the fact that it is no longer a one man show for the Imo APC. Truly, times have gone for the dictatorate of the executive Governor as the sole political sovereign of the Imo APC and a final arbiter. The Imo APC is now open and may soon become an all-comers affairs as it ought to be. In true democratic principle an individual political entity should not dominate the affairs of a political party. Although, there is party hierarchy, but, it is within the limits of the tenets of democracy that party members should have say. A situation where one man sets the pace and detates the pace is approximately totalitarian and pure democratic aberration. The resent ward congress election of APC, particularly in Imo State is a true reflection of the feelings of the Party faithful. It is an inalienable right of the people to chose objectively who they will repose confidence upon with the power of their votes. On the contrary, using the intimidation of the executive fiat to coerce the party members to vote for the anointed tantamount to imposition of candidate that ends up throwing up the wrong political character. This recent development in the Imo APC is not of only a palatable one but very congenial and timely too. It goes a long way to portend that an era of liberation from the shackles of despotic leadership is near-by. To this end, the time is now ripe for the Imo APC to remain focused and shine eyes property in order not to dip feets into the shits of the “Aboki” anymore. Also, the Imo State major opposition parties Like the PDP, AGPA, PPA, etc should look inwards and brace up for an uphill tasks of displacing the ruling party to grab political powers. This is true, because, with the recent development, it appears that the whool previously blurring, the vision of the APC members across the Imo State and beyond is being gradually pulled out. It is a wake up call to all politicians and aspirants from various political parties to rise up to the occasion by putting their houses in order. There is a lot of lessons for the Imo State people, especially the electorates (i.e. those with PVC) to understand the dynamism of life. Truism, everything is this life is ephemeral except change that remains the only constant factor. But, power is also known for not being amorphous. By implications, the actual and long expected change is in the offing. The result of the recent APC ward congresses in Imo State in indeed ominous of some surprises springing up contrary to the convictions of many people.
It is a first time indication of the direction where the political pendulum will be swinging towards at last. Perhaps the tension in Imo State over who succeeds the incumbent maverick Governor Rochas Okorocha is about being doused. Meanwhile, the various factions of APC as earlier mentioned are not resting on their oars. The outcome of the just concluded ward congress remains the first eye – opener that will definitely shape the focus of both the aspirants and voters (delegates) ahead of the LGA, State and National Congresses. However, those, that are now at the comfort zone should not think it is all over, until when it is truly over. This is the time to renew strengths, re-strategize to either sustain an imminent victory or capitulate at the after of defeat. Conversely, those that got a shock need to absorb it-as the first major challenge and source of strength and courage in readiness for the battle ahead. When the lion roars and ran away those who misconstrue it as pusillanimity will be perplexed to learn that it was just a retreat for re-enforcement when he bounces back.
It is stating the obvious that Imo APC political strongest man His Excellency the Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha now no longer mincing words about his desire to install his son-in-law as the next Governor of Imo State now in the front burners of the state government. There is a protracted and intensive campaign towards achieving this mission that many perceive as serious embarrassment to the whole gamut of political elements abound in Imo State. More so, the vision or omission of getting the Governor’s anointed successor son-in-law into the Imo State Government House has brazen elements of desperation hanging around it. The bitter pills here to swallow is that in as much as the governor reserves the right to anoint a successor which was already an open secret, the Imo people are ill at home with the styles and strategies applied that are not far from the ultimate utility of compulsion and intimidation to achieve an imposition . This is totally not acceptable to many, notwithstanding the capacity of those behind this awkward project. As the father of all in the APC particularly and Imo State generally, the Governor owes it as a duty in Imo State to ensure that anything that will disrupt peace is avoided by endeavouring to see that the whole process is without rancor and bitterness. Imo people are groaning under the tincture of pains from the high tempo urban renewal projects and- its concomitant breaking and building that dispossessed and displaced many unsuspecting innocent citizens.