By Chioma Gabriel
One of the aides of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha texted me and complained bitterly about what he perceived as anti-Okorocha stance in the media. He complained that throughout the week that just ended, some newspapers on their own had named Hope Uzodinma as the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC in Imo State.
He demanded to know if candidates were decided on the basis of marriage relationships which I didn’t fully understand. He also asked if there are no more rules in deciding candidates; if the electoral act and the nation’s constitution are no longer applicable.
Indeed, there are more questions than answers about Imo APC primaries, between the Allied Forces and the Governor’s faction of APC in the State. The way things are going in Imo, I pray the state remains the same after the elections.
There is always news about Imo, ranging from molding of statues to coinage of words like ‘iberiberism’. Imo is hot in the news at all times.
I’m not an indigene of Imo but I have friends from Imo and I would want things to work well for them. I also have relations who are married to Imo indigenes. I happen to know some of the political contestants at different levels and many of them have already faded out, having lost out in the primaries. Some scaled through and they cut across various political parties. It bothers me that the ruling party in the state has messed things up for the people and that would likely affect others if things go wrong.
The protests in Imo over the loss of Uche Nwosu are normal. A child that was beaten has the right to cry. But the big question is, will Imo people want Okorocha’s son-in-law to take over from him? Will they want Governor Okorocha to be in the next senate, his wife in the House of Representatives, his brother-in-law and his sister in other key positions in Imo and another future son-in-law as deputy governor? Has Imo State been sold to a dynasty?
What also bothers me is the aide of the governor blaming the media for reporting the emergence of Hope Uzodinma as the APC gubernatorial candidate. The aide had complained bitterly about a perceived media’s hard stance on Governor Rochas Okorocha and the fact that Hope Uzodinma featured consistently as the APC governorship candidate in Imo.
But it wasn’t the media that submitted Hope Uzodinma’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the APC candidate in Imo. It was APC and the media reported what was going on. Why would any aide of the governor think the media is taking sides in reporting what is going on? Events are playing out in Abuja and Owerri and the reports were being filed. The media did not create the APC factions which was the issue not only in Imo but in many other states across Nigeria.
If the governor wants his son-in-law to emerge governor after him, it is okay. There is nothing wrong with the governor’s daughter being the next first lady after her mother. There is also nothing wrong in the governor’s son-in-law being governor after him. Perhaps, if his own son had grown enough, he would have been the one in Uche Nwosu’s position now. At a time when the youth are clamouring to be given space in the polity, Uche Nwosu’s candidature wouldn’t be bad. He has all it takes. The young man is matured enough and well-qualified to contest but when the push comes to shove as it has become now, the blame should go the appropriate quarters.
The APC has accepted the results of the Ahmed Ahmed Gulak committee which declared Hope Uzodinma, the winner of the October 1 primaries. It jettisoned the October 6 rescheduled election held by the Ibrahim Agbabiaka panel that declared Uche Nwosu as winner.
It wasn’t the media that did it.
If anything could be altered at this point, maybe the courts could. The governor’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu said he has a court order which stated that no other name but his name should be submitted to INEC as the governorship candidate.
The fight is becoming ‘rofo, rofo’ and something has to be done to save Imo State from political carpet-baggers. The truth lies between the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, the NWC of the party, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha and the Allied Forces.