There are fresh and emerging dynamics in Imo politics ahead of 2023 which may put Governor Hope Uzodimma, on the verge of a political gang up.
From all indications, almost all the major political players in the State are not with Uzodimma except Emeka Nwajiuba, the Minister of State for Education.
Within the fold of the All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State, Uzodimma is at cross roads with his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
The duo have been involved in altercations over who controls the soul of the All Progressive Congress, APC in the State.
Aside Okorocha, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, is also not also on the same page with Governor Uzodimma.This was evident during the build up of the APC primary for Okigwe senate election.
Uzodimma is a staunch backer of Frank Ibezim for Okigwe senate seat. And this played out during the Okigwe senatorial election held on December 5, 2020, where Uzodimma alongside Nwajiuba, supported Ibezim and opposed Araraume’s candidature.
Outside the APC fold, major political actors in the State particularly those in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP are expectedly opposed to Uzodimma.
The PDP has maintained its consistent opposition to the Governor since the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha as Governor of the State on January 14, 2020.
Former Governor Emeka Ihedioha, another major player in Imo politics, is said to be preparing the grounds to run for Imo governorship in 2023 against Uzodimma. Though he has not openly kicked against the present administration, Ihedioha has emerged a rallying factor for the opposition in the State.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who had represented Imo East at the Senate from 2015- 2019, had in the early days of the Uzodimma administration, drummed support for the Governor. But he has now recanted having reconciled his differences with his party.
Former Governor Ikedi Ohakim’s political direction is uncertain and it is not known if he is a strong backer of Uzodimma. Another set of APC chieftains called APC Coalition led by former Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, former Secretary to Imo State Government, George Eche are yet to get integrated into the Uzodimma administration.
Uzodimma’s Foes Gear Up For Alliance?
Based on the present political configuration in the State, analysts contend that political foes of Uzodimma may come up with an alliance against the Governor in 2023.
Okorocha, who risks losing a return to the Senate in 2023, based on prevailing political dynamics which does not favour him and his followers, is said to be contemplating either floating a new political party or may join the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. His political followers, thus far have stayed away from the ongoing APC membership and revalidation exercise.
He had also claimed that former Governor Ihedioha of the PDP had approached him for reconciliation.
If Okorocha aligns with Ihedioha, it will certainly have a multiplier effect on political permutations in the State ahead of the 2023 polls, as it will possibly attract Senator Ifeanyi Araraume into the fold, in the event the latter’s senatorial bid crumbles.
“An Ihedioha, Okorocha, Araraume alliance will be deadly. Take it or leave it. With back up from other aggrieved forces in the APC and in the PDP, we may see the biggest political gang up and opposition in the political history of Imo State, and against Uzodimma in 2023”, said a political analyst, Mr. Austin Onwukwe, who spoke to INNONEWS.
Onwukwe continued “In Imo State, the politics of power play begins in earnest. Already, you can see the shape it is taking and by 2022, the coast will be clear. It will be political thug of war, except Uzodimma changes his style
Analysts contend that Uzodimma may face huge political brick-wall if he fails to decimate the opposition, court new political followers and empower his political foot-soldiers.
There has been allegations against the Governor of under-funding of the APC in the State, and has yet to empower his political footsoldiers for the titanic political battle ahead.
Okere Uchendu, a political analyst said “Uzodimma needs to keep his foot-soldiers happy and more importantly open up his administration to new political converts. He runs the risk of an alliance of combined forces if he fails to change his brand of politicking”