There are emerging dynamics and ongoing political intrigues in the race for Okigwe senatorial contest within the fold of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
The pace of the contest had ebbed when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, but it has not halted underground ongoing consultations by contestants and stakeholders in the zone.
More than 20 aspirants, both contenders and pretenders, have surfaced on the political podium of the zone, signaling their interest to replace late Senator Benjamin Uwajumuogu.
Some of the aspirants in the race include Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Former Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Acho Ihim, Hon. Mathew Omegara, Prof Nnamdi Obiareri, Senator Athan Achonu, Chidinma Uwajumuogu and others.
The big drama and intrigue is taking place in the APC, which looks good to win the contest, considering its political might, size in the zone and incumbency factor, at the state and federal levels. The APC had clinched Okigwe North Federal House of Representatives seat won by Princess Miriam Onuoha.
There are strong indications that powerful forces in the party at the national and State levels , including Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma are now rooting for the candidature of a new entrant into the party, who had dumped the opposition PDP for the APC.
INNONEWS was reliably informed at the weekend, that a top contender in the contest such as Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, who is on a second missionary journey to return to the senate, may have to struggle so hard to upset such grand plot. Off all the contestants in the race, Araraume appears the most formidable, having been a serial governorship contender for more than 20 years.
A source said it is not strange that Governor Uzodinma did not accommodate “interests” from Senator Ifeanyi Araraume in his latest appointments. None of Araraume’s loyalists found his or her way into Uzodinma’s administration, a signal that there may be love lost between the duo.
Araraume was among top APC chieftains who joined Uzodinma’s victory party after the latter was pronounced Governor of Imo State by the Supreme Court on January 14, 2020.
The latest game- plan in the ruling party, may also affect political calculations of a leader of the zone, Tony Chukwu, who is alleged to be keeping his choice for the senate seat close to his chest, despite claims by some aspirants that he is supporting their ambition.
Chukwu had hosted a stakeholders meeting attended by political leaders in the zone in January 2020, where there was a collective resolve that the next senator to take Late Unwajumuogu’s seat, will be the choice of the people.
A school of thought had flayed the meeting which took place barely 48 hours after the late Senator was buried.
Part of the resolution reached at that meeting by the stakeholders include writing a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari to commend him for appointing a son and a daughter of Okigwe zone, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and Mrs Gloria Akonbundu, into his government.
Chukwu is said to have allegedly influenced the success of past senators of the zone, including the late Senator Uwajumuogu.
“How he peddles his enormous influence in the race for a new Senator of the zone in the face of emerging interests within the ruling party is yet to be deciphered” said a top APC chieftain who spoke to this newspaper on condition of anonymity.