How Okorocha lost his groove in APC
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state realized very late into his leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors Forum, popular known as Progressive Governors Forum, that he is not as popular as he thought.
Okorocha, insider sources revealed, may have unknowingly gotten on the bad side of other members of the APC Governors Forum when they were detailed by President Muhammadu Buhari to meet with the National Leadership of the party and disclose his (Buhari) choice for national chairman of the party.
According to our source, President Buhari had, at a meeting with some APC governors who were led by Okorocha as chairman, informed that he would prefer that Adams Oshiomhole, erstwhile governor of Edo state, succeeds Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as national chairman.
Our Source disclosed that the information pleased Okorocha who had been bearing grudges against Odigie-Oyegun for giving Sen Osita Izunaso, National Organizing Secretary of the party, a lot of leverage in the management of Imo state chapter of the party.
Indeed, Okorocha had literally withdrawn support and respect for Oyegun and members of the National Executive Committee (NWC) of the party, and had teamed with those who wanted the executive out, to fight Oyegun.
It was gathered, that Okorocha has done all he can to lure Oyegun back to his side and use him to get Imo APC back in his control.
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Oyegun, it seems had called Okorocha’s bluff and allowed Sen. Izunaso to have full control of Imo APC. For this reason, Okorocha was said to have been in wait for the right time to cut his pound of flesh.
The time came with President Buhari’s meeting with the APC governors.
According to our source, “after the meeting, Okorocha led the other governors to meet with Oyegun and other members of the National Executive Committee. It was at that meeting that he exposed himself as deeply anti-Oyegun and anti-Izunaso”.
Our Source continued: “During the meeting, Okorocha started insulting Oyegun and Izunaso. In fact, he told them that they should resign immediately as the President no longer wants them. He was so uncouth with words that the other governors present challenged him.
“When Oyegun wanted to respond, he banged the table and refused that he would talk. He was insisting that their time as leaders of the party was over and that they should quit immediately. He was specific in asking that Izunaso should leave office immediately.
“At a point, the other governors challenged him. One of the governors even stood up and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt threatening to fight him physically if he continued abusing Oyegun and the others. He was surprised that the other governors challenged him.
“However, they passed the message but the meeting did not end well as Okorocha kept telling Oyegun that he has lost power and can no longer do anything”, our sources narrated.
It was further learnt that after the meeting, some of the governors returned to pacify an angered Oyegun who did not however betray any sense of retaliation against Okorocha.
It will be recalled that as his travail in the loss of placement in the Imo APC progressed with embarrassments he suffered in the ward and local government congresses of APC, Okorocha has been unrestrained in holding Oyegun and Izunaso particularly responsible for his humiliation.
He has consistently accused Odigie-Oyegun of corruption though he has been unable to provide evidence to justify the allegation.
Despite a sponsored protest by all female appointees in his government demanding cancellation of results of ward and local government congresses of the APC in Imo state, the party leadership ignored him and went ahead with the state congress which outcome may have signaled a final decimation of the governor.
APC appeals panels had upheld both ward and local government congresses in Imo state.
Even the state congress which held on Saturday in other states, was shrouded in controversy in Imo State. Even though a court had stopped the exercise, there were reports that a faction of the party opposed to Okorocha went ahead to elect executives at a secret location.
As the intrigues continue to play out in the run-up to the 2019 elections, one thing seems clear, Okorocha may be losing grip on the control of the APC in his state, and also losing face at the national level.
By Femi Qudus…
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