By Martin Opara
Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, the All Progressive Congress APC candidate for the Imo North bye-election that was conducted last Saturday, has accused the governor, Hope Uzodinma of anti party activities, ineptitude and below average performance, hence the state is stagnant.It is worthy of note that while Araraume claims he is the authentic candidate of APC, Mr Frank Ibezim who was accused of presenting fake certificate for screening also claims candidature of the party.
Senator Araraume who featured in an interview with AIT reporter, alleged that the governor told members of his political structure on the eve of the election, to vote for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Emma Okewulonu.
According to him, Governor Uzodinma’s anti party activities have been on for a long time but came to a climax in the recent bye election. “He came from the PDP and believes that he is still there. This has reflected in most of the appointments he made. He has not done anything to support or encourage supporters and sympathizers of APC since he emerged. It is obvious that he has some arrangement with the PDP”.
He further said that, Frank Ibezim, who also contested the election as candidate of the APC, did not participate in the primaries because he was disqualified by the court and the screening committee constituted by the national leadership of the party, prior to the election. “The leadership of the party should sit back and reflect on some issues that cropped up recently. It is worrisome that most of the party’s candidates in some states had issues and were disqualified for one reason or the other. “There is also need for them to look seriously at Senator Uzodinma’s anti party activities and take disciplinary measures against him, to serve as a deterrent to others”.
He posited that, aside undermining the image and electoral fortune of the party by his clandestine and manipulative antics, the governor’s below average performance is also a minus for the party, in all aspects.
“No part of the state is developing as all sectors of the economy are in reverse gear. How can a governor worth his onion, celebrate the commissioning of a 500 kilometer road that gets dilapidated in few months, when some of us have personally done more than that for our communities without making noise. No reasonable person applauds himself. It is the people that will assess your performance and applaud you if necessary. But how can they applaud you when pensioners are being flogged and an incumbent legislator is detained?”
Senator Araraume also stated that it is an irony that Governor Uzodinma “who is a product of the judiciary that brought him from a distant fourth position and made him governor take delight in flagrantly disobeying the orders of courts of competent jurisdiction.
“It is on record that he lost his local government area in the 2019 governorship election and also lost federal constituency to the PDP in the Federal House of Representatives election that was held in his constituency and mine on the same day. I won my local government area in the governorship election and also delivered my federal constituency in the House of Representatives bye-election”.
“I contested for the senate in 1999 and was also the pioneer state chairman of a political party. I don’t know where he was then. We are prepared to work with him but he has to change his style and know that he met some leaders in the party when he came in from the PDP”.