No fewer than seven politicians have indicated interest to vie for the governorship ticket of the Imo State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Those who have picked the nomination/expression of interest forms were Governor Rochas Okorocha’s immediate past Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu; the impeached Deputy Governor of the state, Eze Madumere; a serving senator, Hope Uzodinma; and the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, George Eche.
Others are a former appointee to Okorocha, Chima Anozie; the governor’s brother in-law, Chuks Ololo; a retired Air Commodore, Peter Gbujie, and a former Secretary to the State Government, Jude Ejiogu.
Nwosu and Uzodinma hail from Orlu zone, the same zone with the outgoing governor, while others are from Owerri zone.
Nwosu told SUNDAY PUNCH that those peddling the rumour that the governor had asked him to shelve his governorship ambition were not ready for the primary.
He said he was confident of clinching the party’s governorship ticket for the 2019 election.
He said “People are scared that Uche Nwosu is the preferred choice. The state governor, Rochas Okorocha, has made his intention known that I am the preferred choice for the office of the governor of Imo State and people are afraid and now they are saying that I am no more running.”
He added that he was ready for any method of primary adopted by the party leadership.
Madumere said his governorship ambition was a ‘journey of grace,’ expressing optimism that he would emerge the party’s candidate.
According to him, he had the capacity to fix the economy of the state.
Also, Uzodinma said the people of the state would team up to salvage “Imo from Okorocha.”
The party chairman, Daniel Nwafor, told our correspondent that that the party was prepared for a free and fair primary.
Nwafor said the State Working Committee had adopted indirect primary and immediately communicated its decision to the National Working Committee.
He said the decision to adopt indirect primary was to allow democracy in the party.
Also, ex-governor of Imo State, Ikedia Ohakim, 26 others have indicated interest to get the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the state.
Some of the aspirants include a former member of the House of Representatives, Uche Onyeaguocha; a former senator, Bright Nwanne; business mogul, Okey Eze; a former commissioner, Charles Onyeagbako, and two-term senator, Ifeanyi Araraume, among others.
Our correspondent gathered that several meetings held in Awka, Anambra State, to choose a consensus candidate ended in a deadlock.
Most of the aspirants insisted on a primary to select the party’s candidate. APGA has the highest number of governorship aspirants in the state.
Speaking to SUNDAY PUNCH, Ohakim, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, said the number of the aspirants showed the beauty of democracy.
He said, “The more, the merrier. It will further advance the fortunes of the state across the 27 LGAs.’’
Ohakim said he was in the race to salvage the state from bad governance and poor economy.
Describing himself as a mechanic, Ohakim, who ruled the state from 2007 to 2011, said as a former governor, he knew the problems of the state and would hit the ground running should he creturn to office.
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