– Ahead of INEC’s bye-election date on Sat Oct 31, 2020
Just as Owelle Rochas Okorocha government in 2015, successfully stopped Chief Athan Achonu from serving out his mandate as senator representing Imo North, Okigwe zone, by heavily funding the eventual nullification of his victory under PDP, and subsequently distancing himself from the re-election bid of Chief Benjamin Uwajumogu in 2019, reports from Government House Owerri, have indicated that the Governor, Hope Uzodinma has concluded plans to stop his contemporary in the 2019 guber election, Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume, from realizing his ambition to return to the senate for a record third time. Araraume, having lost out in the governorship election in 2019, wants Okigwe senate seat as consolation but his ambition to break the record of two terms senator seems heading for the rocks at the rate Governor Uzodinma is opposed to it and wished to scuttle the dream.
Sources that are very close to both leaders spoke to Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper of clandestine moves and swift contacts being explored by Uzodinma to get the National leadership of APC to reject the prospect or possible nomination of Senator Araraume, who has been tipped to win the election in the event the Okigwe chapter of APC hands over the ticket to him at the primary.
According to a reliable source, Uzodinma is exploring the opportunity of his membership of the Edo APC governorship campaign committee, where he is a leading light to launch a vitriolic and aggressive attack against Araraume and compel the National leadership to reject Araraume’s nomination whenever it comes.
As an option, Hope Uzodinma is already drumming support for the trio of Chief Athan Achonu (One Arm General), Chief Chikwem Onuoha and Mrs Chidinma Uwajumogu, younger sister to late Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu, whose death led to the seat being declared vacant.
With Hope Uzodinma in this mission to stop Araraume at all cost are Chiefs Tony Chukwu and Longers Anyanwu, both of who claim that having remained behind in APC when Araraume defected to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in furtherance of efforts to become Governor of Imo State. Whereas Longers had eyes on the senate seat having lost out as the nominee of Imo APC for the ministerial appointment to Emeka Nwajiuba, Chief Tony Chukwu is said to be throwing his money about for the nomination of one of his loyalist , Eze Okoro.
To further rattle Araraume, Tony Chukwu and Longers Anyanwu at a meeting convened in the home of a sworn political opponent and traditional ruler in Isiala Mbano, Oliver Oweni, frontally accused Distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Araraume who happens to be their collective benefactor of posing a threat and stumbling block to the development of Okigwe zone. Longers Anyanwu at the said meeting raised the alarm that Isiala Mbano and Ehime Mbano LGAs are the greatest problems plaguing the zone but Tony Chukwu who has since displaced Orji Kalus Zerock Construction Company in the re-construction and rehabilitation of World Bank Housing Estate Owerri, pointedly warned against imposition of candidate for the position. He vowed to kill imposition of candidate regretting that his huge investment in the election of late Ben Uwajumogu taught him a lesson against imposition.
The trio were also fingered in the rejection of Araraume’s nominee for the Revenue and Fiscal Allocation and Mobilization Commission (RFAMC), Emma Nwosu (Ndorodoro) by the senate, who though earlier cleared Emeka Nwajiuba, elected as member of the Federal House of Representatives under the Accord Party, as ministerial nominee had to only to reject Barr Emma Nwosu for joining Araraume to APGA.
Meanwhile Emeka Nwajiuba is said to be persuading Hope Uzodinma to endorse his choice of Dr Frank Ibezim, as Okigwe senator against senator Ifeanyi Araraume. The fear that any support for Frank Ibezim might give Nwajiuba a greater advantage, clout and opportunity to also contest the 2023 gubernatorial election, is said to have further given Hope Uzodinma reason to use zoning as an alibi or factor in choosing or determining who gets APC nomination. And that is where he is presently considering Acho Ihim from Okigwe North federal constituency as the last option if Achonu, Onuoha and Uwajumogu fail.
It is still a speculation that Athan Achonu has a filia relationship with Hope Uzodinma, forcing him to defect to Imo APC where he has so far declared interest in contesting the Okigwe senator.