Okigwe Senate:Contenders,Chances and Challenges

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-Why The Odds My Be Against Iwu, Onuoha

Barely 60 days after the demise and interment of late  Senator of Okigwe (Imo North senatorial District) Benjamin Uwajumogu and following the world wide Coronavirus pandemic outbreak which has led to a total shut down of all human activities, including political activities which made it impossible for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to lift the ban on campaigns as well release the time table for the bye-election for Imo North senatorial seat, some underground campaigns have been going on within Okigwe zone and our roving reporters have the following briefs on some of the gladiators to the coveted seat.

According to our reporters, surveys and sources from Okigwe area and APC led Imo Government House Owerri, the two-time Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, the Agu Isiebu/Ugwumba Okigwe who hitherto was said to have long standing quarrel with the state governor,senator Hope Uzodinma over alleged effort to frustrate another’s contract deal Since the governor’s days in the upper chambers of National Assembly.Aside this factor, Governor Uzodinma would not want to support Araraume to return to the senate in order not to ruin his chances for a second tenure in 2023.

Hope Uzodinma as gathered would not also like Chief Rochas Okorocha to be assisted by Araraume to  become APC leader in Imo State hence he may not be disposed to supporting the agu Isiebu as fondly called.

Another aspirant in the race is Hon Matthew Omegara, a former two-time Federal House Lawmaker for Okigwe and Onuimo constituency who is also said to be experienced but not buoyant enough to face the attendant fiscal challenges for the race as he relies on Governor Hope Uzodinma for financial support but some Okigwe leaders would want a younger fellow to take over from the late Ben Uwajumogu (Jnr). 

Matthew Omegara is closely followed by the vibrant former Executive Chairman of Okigwe Local Government and former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon (Chief) Acho Ihim, who seems to be favoured in many ways. He was to be Deputy Governor to Uche Nwosu and currently being propelled by some Okigwe indigenous leaders. Though he left the APC briefly only to return immediately, his constituency has never had a chance to occupy the seat.The challenge he may have is that Senator Okorocha’s core supporters may not support him as he abandoned Okorocha and his son-inlaw, Uche Nwosu, when they needed him most at the tribunal against the wishes of Imo people; perhaps he stands a chance since experience matters so much in who becomes next Senator of Okigwe zone with Okorocha and Uzodinma, all of Orlu senatorial zone calling the shots, It is expected that besides Araraume, the next in experience and sterling leadership acumen is Acho Ihim.

Next in the line-up of the gladiators is the present SGI, Chief Cosmas Iwu who rides on the robust image of his brother, Prof Maurice Iwu and said to always snob most Okigwe leaders of all class. He also served Ohakim as SGI and fell apart due to irreconcilable differences ever. Public opinions reveal that he is inaccessible and does not take calls. He came into the line because APC picked Uzodinma as Governor and to win most Catholic faithful-electorate, his elder brother led the team that met the church leadership in Owerri to pick Njoku who is currently the Deputy Governor of Imo State, the former INEC boss had the opportunity to nominate his brother SGI for a second time. Giving him a senatorial ticket will mean selling APC’s chances. He does not have a voice in Okigwe.

The other candidate is Hon Chief Chikwen Onuoha, a man alleged to be after the governor’s heart. He is another vibrant young man who has all that it takes to go into the election. However his problems are that he comes from the same Isiala Mbano with Araraume,a two time senator and Princess Miriam Onuoha of the lower chamber of the National Assembly and the incumbent Speaker of Imo House of Assembly, Rt Hon (Dr) Chiji Collins. Allowing him will be seen as injustice on  other LGAs of the zone. It is rumoured that he has put his property in South Africa for sale to prosecute the battle of Okigwe zone’s soul and leadership and may wish to recover his money if he wins. He is said to be very close to the sitting Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma as they are very well known to each other for a while. On a closer look,Chikwem Onuoha however,may get the ticket if the governor decides to jettison zoning as he did in his recent appoinment which saw Some local governments like Oru West produce two commissioners.

For Hon Chief (Sir) Mark Chijioke Uchendu, the two-time Executive Chairman of Ihitte/Uboma local government area and later Legislator for the same constituency under APP and the last Secretary to Government of Imo State under Okorocha’s rescue mission government after a few months as commissioner, the only thing that favours him is that he wants to replace his kinsman who could not complete his tenure. He may win the two local government of Etiti division of Ihitte and Obowo if he wins the ticket but may not carry along the Mbano block and Okigwe North.Unfortunately for him,most Okigwe leaders loyal to Uzodinma believe that if voted into power,will only pay allegiance to Okorocha whom they say talked him into the race.

Then comes one Eze Okoro from Ehime Mbano described by men around Okigwe zone as a neophyte who is alleged to be sponsored by super-rich Chief Tony Chukwu (Onweyi Ihe Kariri Chineke) who they said does not possess enough qualifications to go to the senate. Tony Chukwu they said is fighting a battle of life and leadership by trying to dictate the pace because of his sudden wealth.

Then comes into focus: Chidinma Uwajumogu, a high society woman whose sole ambition is to step into his late brother shoes. She was able to consolidate the position which the brother held in the red chambers and she is very close to almost all the political gladiators from across the country. According to the survey, nobody will be sure that if given the ticket, she will give her loyalty to any particular person and this is working against her.

Finally comes lady Eillen Ben Uwajumogu, a very charismatic woman but only enjoys the sympathy, patronage and support as well as sponsorship of the Senators wives Association but will the party give her the ticket?It is believed that she does not have the clout to win Okigwe Senate except if voted on sympathy which may be difficult.


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