By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI— Contrary to speculations, Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has given approval to his deputy, Prince Eze Madumere, Chief of Staff, Sir. Jude Ejiogu, and other senior political appointees in his government willing to contest the 2015 governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to declare immediately.
According to a release signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha gave the directive while addressing party leaders, officials of the party and elective office aspirants on the ticket of the party in the state.
Onwuemeodo also stated that the governor advised aspirants that his looming presence should not deter anybody from aspiring to the highest post in the state.
“Nobody should withhold his or her ambition because of me. Every member of the APC willing to contest the governorship position of the state should throw his or her hat into the ring.
“There would be a level playing ground for all aspirants in the choice or selection of candidates of the party,” Okorocha told his aides and party loyalists.
Okorocha also told the party stakeholders that the party would conduct mock primaries on September 1, 2014, which would precede the main primary.
“The mock primaries would be community-based because the candidates the party would back in the primaries proper would be the persons who got more popular support from the people in the communities that make up their respective local government areas, state or federal constituencies, or the senatorial zones,” Okorocha said.
According to him, the people at the grassroot must be fully involved and the party will press for popular candidates that will win elections for the party, no matter the zone they come from.
He charged the aspirants to go home and mobilize support, stressing that they should not hope that anybody would be given the party’s ticket through the back door.
Governor Okorocha said: “Every aspirant must face his community. All party members must be involved. It is not going to be a matter for a few delegates.
“There will be no Government House candidates or Governor Okorocha’s candidates. The Government House or the governor will not give the party any candidate. Government or Governor would go for the candidate of the people.”