—Revealed: Oshiomhole substituted Uche Nwosu’s name for Hope Uzodinma over 2023 Presidential race
Rmtimesng-Facts have emerged on why the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole decided to substitute Uche Nwosu name for that of Senator Hope Uzodinma as the party’s governorship candidate in Imo state.
A party insider says the 2023 Presidential race is the real reason why powerful interests in the APC are keen on cutting down the perceived influence of Governor Rochas Okorocha and his rising profile.
With popular sentiment pointing to the likelihood of the party zoning the Presidency to the South East in 2023, the source say all eyes are on Okorocha given his strong friendship with many sitting African Presidents, his Rochas Foundation Colleges across the country and recently his educational scholarships across the African continent coupled with his strong ties to Northern Nigeria.
The speculation is that the leader of the cabal from the South West also wants to take a shot at the Presidency in 2023.
So according to the insider,the powerful interests are worried that with Okorocha in the Senate, Uche Nwosu as Imo state Governor and many of his trusted aides in the State House of Assembly and National Assembly as well as his closeness to the north, and rising influence in many African countries, the coast may well be clear for him to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023
A source close to APC in the state who agrees with this position wondered how Oshiomhole could disregard the Panel which conducted elections in the state in which Uche Nwosu emerged as the candidate of the party.
But the party has now gone ahead to submit the name of Hope Uzodinma as its governorship candidate inspite of two restraining orders from different courts
One of the orders is from a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri which specifically barred the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting any candidate outside of the ones that won the party’s primaries pending the determination of the substantive suit
Justice MT Salihu issued the order on the basis of a suit filed by Ekwebelem Kelechi and twenty six (26) others against the APC,Alhaji Ahmed Gulak,chairman of the party’s governorship primary election committee and Hon. Henry Idahagbon the committee secretary
On its part,the FCT high court sitting in Abuja restrained Oshiomhole as first defendant and the APC National working committee from forwarding any name aside from that of Uche Nwosu as the party’s flag bearer for the 2019 election
It also restrained INEC the second defendant from accepting accepting
Uzodinma as the party’s governorship candidate “pending the hearing and determination of the notice for injunction” filed along with the application
The FCT court also issued a notice of consequence of disobedience of its order.
The ruling party however opted for a court order secured by the Imo Deputy Governor Eze Madumere which favoured Senator Uzodinma and disregarded that the two others
It will be recalled that an APC Primaries Committee led by Ahmed Gulak that conducted the Imo primary election on October 1st was disbanded by Oshiomhole as a result of Gulak’s disappearance while the remaining 8 members went ahead to conduct a process which was won by Uche Nwosu won. The APC National Chairman later set up a new committee led by General Agbabiaka which conducted a fresh primary on October 6th which again saw Uche Nwosu emerging victorious