There is great uncertainty surrounding Senator Hope Uzodinma’s continued stay in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, following the defeats he suffered recently in the hands of former Govenror Rochas Okorocha, and the Okigwe Zone APC Senate candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume.
The first blow had come from Araraume, who dismantled Uzodinma’s plot to install and Frank Ibezim, an aide to junior Minister for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, as the APC Senate candidate.
Political pundits had always known that Uzodinma would go against Araraume for the Senate seat, vacated by the untimely death of Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu.
Initial prognosis had been that Uzodinma would back either of Chief Athan Achonu, or Ms. Chidinma Uwajumogu, the sister to the late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu.
With the death of the former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the dismantling and sack of former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Uzodinma appeared to be floating alone, and sought for new alliance with Nwajiuba, a known ally of Mr. President, to help keep him in the favour books of the Presidency.
It is believed that one of the conditions for Nwajiuba’s support, especially as the Philip Umeadi case threatens to sack Uzodinma, was the install Frank Ibezim, an aide to Nwajiuba, as the candidate of the APC for the Okigwe Senate Bye-election.
Pushed to the wall, Uzodinma was believed to have ditched his close allies, Achonu and Uwajumogu, and obeying Nwajiuba’s orders, threw his support behind Ibezim.
With Uzodinma’s failure to deliver, largely because Nwajiuba presented a faulty product for him, there may no longer be a deal between both of them, to keep Uzodinma close to the corridors of power in Abuja, and save him from Umeadi, whose growling are becoming threatening by the day.
With the EndSARS protests and aftermath, most of the political class are becoming very careful of what they try to influence, and the President cannot be brought into some a matter as trying to influence the outcome of the Supreme Court, leaving Uzodinma to fight his battle alone.
With the recent victory of the Rochas Okorocha backed Daniel Nwafor, the authentic Chairman of the Imo APC, over the Marcon Nlemigbo faction which has the support of Hope Uzodinma, the chances of Uzodinma clenching the the APC Govenroship ticket for re-election in 2023 becomes dimmer.
If Uzodinma will survive Umeadi’s case, 2023 might see him emerging from parties like APGA, as there would not be any vacancy for him in PDP.
It is expected he may do anti-party against Araraume, and Onyirimba of APGA seems the likeliest to get his support, if he does move against his party’s candidate at the Bye-election.
2023 in Imo may become a battle between Senator Ifeanyi Araraume from APC, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP and Senator Hope Uzodinma from APGA or any party that accepts him for the purpose of controlling Govenrment House for as short a period as possible.
Uzodinma’s hope, may lay in serving the people very well with the remaining years left in his tenure, if he still has a tenure after Umeadi.
If he pays salaries on time and fully, pays pensioners, fixes the bad roads in the state, he may still have something to bargain with in 2023.
But as far as Imo Election in 2023 is concerned, the Ben Johnson Way, and the fourth becoming the first is over.