2015 Elections: Opposition Plots To Stop Okorocha, Uwajumogu
As the 2015 general elections in the state gathers momentum, different political parties and aspirants have adopted political mechanisms to their electioneering campaigns, all in the bid to actualize their ambitions and represent the state at all levels of government.
In this regards, political parties, as well as their different aspirants and sponsors, according to investigations, have adopted measures aimed at outwitting their perceived strong opponents in the contest which promises to be an avenue for the aspirants to test their mettle and popularity.
Different elective positions, as well as zones which has witnessed such high level of political intrigues, scheming and horse-trading, is the Okigwe senatorial zone of the state.
The zone according to political pundits remains a very strategic area in the determination of who occupies the Douglas House (Imo Government House), every four years. This is however, not connected with the galaxy of strong politicians which the zone parade. These political colossus no doubt, sometimes, determine who gets what in the power ‘allocation’ of the zone and the state.
A roll-call of such politicians who are members of the Oppositions parties who had dominated the political climate of the zone before the emergence of the Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu as the Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly, as well as the high ranking political office holder in the state from the zone to alter the encirclement of political power in the hands of the few individuals, includes, the immediate past Governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, a two-time Senator of the federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume, a two-time former deputy Governor of the state, Chief Ebere Udeagu, as well as, many present and past political appointees, both in the federal and state governments.
Going by the high profiled political gladiators from the zone, the up-coming contest for the representation of the zone at the upper chambers of the National Assembly in 2015, seems to have pitched them against each other on who should represent the zone, while others have teamed up with other political parties to fight against their perceived strongest contender.
It is however, being speculated that several meetings have been convened by some stakeholders in the zone to facilitate the take-over of the government house to truncate the chances of the incumbent, whom they believed is currently taking advantage of their chance to complete their two terms in the government of the state.
Investigations also have it that the meeting which was called by some of the opposition leaders to stop the Governor’s re-election bid was boycotted by Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, as well as the APC Apex leaders in Okigwe zone.
Following his perceived blunt refusal to key into the plan to upset the Governor’s re-election bid, the opposition leaders now resolved to lobby some members of the APC, especially, some government appointees from the zone to initiate a zoning permutation to destabilize the party in the zone and scuttle the senatorial ambition of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, to get back at him.
Further reasons why the aggrieved members of the opposition decided to push for a common fight against Uwajumogu were his seeming high flying political profile which would be very difficult to curtail by politicians in the zone. Others are the strong political structures ably erected by the Speaker which cuts across the length and breadth of the area, having attracted dividends of democracy to the area and the empowerment of so many individuals, an action which is not dependent on his primary constituency.
Parts of the grand plot were to mobilize an Owerri based local newspaper to begin its propaganda against him, citing zoning arrangement which relevant stakeholders in the zone have unanimously debunked and also addressed by the elders who barred their minds, while describing the zoning trumpeters as opportunists who do not have the interest of the party and the zone at heart, Chief Onyewuchi, a frontline party leader in the zone explains: “In the year 1978, before the first ever senatorial election in Okigwe zone, the leaders which included, Prof. Echeruo, Former Governor Sam Mbakewe, Nze Philip Nwosu, Chief Benson Maduako, Chief Anamekwe and other stakeholders held a meeting at Mr. ‘O.k 2000’s’ residence in Okigwe local government where Chief EJK Onyewuchi made the proposal that the first senate slot should go to Okigwe local government council, a proposal which an Okigwe man stood up and zoned to Ehime Mbano, after which a conclusion was reached that the seat should rotate to all the remaining local government areas in the zone, except in a situation whereby a particular local government is considered to have performed optimally, that area would be given another chance to further represent the zone”.
He further, emphasized that three local governments in the area, namely; Ehime Mbano, Isiala Mbano and Obowo have had their shots at the senate, while Ihitte-Uboma, Onuimo and Okigwe local governments are yet to represent the zone in the senate. He therefore pointed out that for equity and fair-play, any credible candidate from the three remaining local government areas should be allowed to represent the zone this time.
Another elders statesman and a frontline leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Okigwe zone, Hon. Vice Agu, who also described proponents of the said zoning based on clannish arrangement as ignorant of the provisions of the country’s electoral arrangement, as the known arrangements have been based on either, Communities, Wards, LGAs, Federal constituencies and zones, maintaining that zoning favors Ihitte-Uboma local government area in essence, even as going by the federal constituency arrangements which had senator Chukwuemeka Echeruo, from Okigwe South, who had a shot at the senate and handed over to senator Agunanna from Okigwe North federal constituency, while senator Ifeanyi Araraume from the same Okigwe North completed the North’s two-terms at the senate and further started another term, thus making it three consecutive terms for the Okigwe North federal constituency, before handing over to senator Sylvester Anyanwu from the Southern constituency, after which the incumbent senator Matthew Nwagwu took over.
Hon. Agu, however maintained that based on the following analysis, Okigwe South federal constituency, needed to start and formally complete their remaining one term to bring it at par with their Northern counterpart which had three maximum terms of representation at the senate consecutively.
He advised those he called zoning merchants, to remember that party primaries was not the last resort in the electoral contest, as other candidates who emerges at the primaries of various political parties would slug it out with other aspirants from other political parties in the general elections, hence, the need to produce a strong and sellable candidate that can deliver the party in forth coming elections.
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