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INEC time table: Okorocha begs for extension

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– Set to declare war on presidency

– Forms “agwuru anyi” political structure

– Worried over mass drift of loyalists

Sequel to the recent release of the time table for the 2019 general election, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Rochas Okorocha is said to have made several failed attempts to influence the electoral umpire to alter the time table and extend the time frame.

 

An Abuja source who confided in this reporter, said the governor used his position as Chairman of the governor’s forum to mobilize his colleagues to subtly protest and mount pressure on INEC to extend it to December 2018 or possibly February next year.

He is reported to have argued that the time table is hasty and would distract the governors, from concentrating on how to complete ongoing projects and actualize their remaining programmes and policies, aimed at giving the people dividends of democracy.

According to the source, his protest did not yield desired result, as he was ignored and not taken seriously. Hence, he is now, left with no option than to do his best and strategize on how to produce a successor as he has vowed to do.

Governor Okorocha is also said to be worried and highly disappointed that he did not emerge as Director General of the Buhari campaign organization, a position now occupied by former governor of Rivers state, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.

“The last straw that broke the camel’s back and an issue that seems to be giving the self-acclaimed commander of free education sleepless nights is the increasing visibility, relevance and upward mobility of Senator Ben Uwajumogu within the APC caucus. There are also speculations that the distinguished senator is being tipped as the South East coordinator of President Buhari campaign organization.

In view of all these permutations that the governor considers unfavourable, he convened a meeting of APC stalwarts at the Imo International Convention Centre on Tuesday 16th January 2018, where he was quoted as saying that, “no matter how the system is manipulated, anybody who does not belong to our political enclave will not win election in Imo state”. According to him, “nobody outside “agwuru anyi” will win election in this state and all those plotting to manipulate the system to their advantage will fail”. He urged all members of the party to register with the “agwuru anyi” political structure without delay. “There is no doubt that you are all APC members but identifying fully with this political structure is cardinal and of utmost priority”.

Governor Okorocha, at the said meeting, also took a swipe at some of the APC stalwarts whom he accused of being Indian hemp smokers. He vowed to fish out and deal decisively with those who engage in such negative acts and conducts that are likely to dent the image of the party and project the leadership as a group of irresponsible, unstable and parochial people, who lack self discipline. A committee was immediately set up at the meeting to unveil the guilty and culpable members.

A drama however played out, as regards the Indian hemp smoking saga, when one of the party stalwarts, raised up his hand and told the governor that most of the people at the high table with him, including some members of the committee are Indian hemp addicts. He said, “this amounts to sending a thief to catch a thief”.

Some political pundits who spoke on condition of anonymity availed that, it is not surprising that the rescue mission government, their agents and officials are not only getting jittery but afraid of imminent defeat and rejection by Imolites, come 2019. “There is always payback time and the present government in the state is becoming increasingly afraid of it’s shadow. The governor knows that he will soon loose immunity and be held accountable for all his misdeeds, which include disrespect for the rule of law, lack of accountability, transparency, due process and for subjecting the people to the worst form of injustice, impunity, hunger, lack and deprivation, arising from bad and insensitive governance”.

Others who spoke, also opined that the INEC time table released recently, may have thrown the governor and his group off balance by truncating some of their alleged clandestine moves aimed at manipulating election results to install a stooge. “They have been taken unawares and need more time to go back to the drawing board to perfect their scheme. Thank God, INEC has remained resolute and unshaken, in their resolve to stick to the time table”.  

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