Tension In Imo Assembly Over Forced Defection To APC

Crisis is brewing in Imo state House of Assembly over an order compelling

members to defect with Gov. Rochas Okorocha to the All Progressive

Congress (APC) to do so or suffer for it.
 
Pointblanknews.com gathered that majority of the lawmakers boycotted the

sitting of the House yesterday after observing a month holiday.

 
A top staff of the Assembly who spoke on the condition of anonymity to our

correspondent hinted that the lawmakers who managed to find their way to

the Assembly resorted to having meetings in their offices depending on the

group one belongs to, before they later drove away.

 
The order to defect to the APC, alleged to be 'from above', is said to

have thrown the Assembly into three camps; those for the PDP, APGA and

others who have join Gov. Rochas Okorocha to the APC.

 
Pointblanknews.com further gathered that the six lawmakers who belong to

APGA are Hon. Victor Ndunagu (Mbaitoli), Hon. Dan Ikpeazu (Owerri North),

Hon. Eudora Obiageli Igwe (Ideato North); Hon. Victor Mere (Owerri

Municipal) and Hon. Chino Obioha (Njaba). They alleged that they were

being harassed to join APC. The lawmakers have since dragged the Assembly

to Court alleging intimidation to join APC.
 
Ndunagu has insisted that he was elected on the APGA platform and will

remain with the party till the end of his tenure, stressing that he cannot

abandon the party that gave him mandate for the APC.

Some of the lawmakers are said not to be happy with the governor and their

Speaker, Benjamin Uwajumogu over a series of unfulfilled promises,

accusing the duo of enjoying themselves at the detriment of the state.

 
A Source told our correspondent that the affected lawmakers who are mostly

elected on the PGA platform have vowed never to join Okorocha to the APC

as they would continue to resist him since the end of the tenure is at

hand. Others are said to be afraid that APGA may fight to declare their

seats vacant. According to the source, “even a promise by Okorocha to

provide legal representations for them in case APGA make a move to declare

their seats vacant could not sway the lawmakers. They no longer trust our

governor. They have been saying that Owelle does not keep promises and has

disappointed them several times.”
 
One of the APGA lawmakers who may have caved in to pressure to join the

APC, Hon. Innocent Ekeh (Owerri West) insisted he defected to the party on

his own and was nit forced by anybody.
 
Ekeh said he was not among those who took the Assembly to court over the

issue of defection, lamenting that he was not consulted before he=is name

was included in the suit.
 
But in swift reaction to Ekeh's claims, one of the lawmakers who is a

party to the suit upbraided the latter accusing him of being a sellout,

asking how Ekeh's name would have been included in a suit of that nature

if his consent was not gotten.
 
In the days ahead, Uwajumogu who the lawmakers accuse of selling them out

to the governor is said to have devised measures to frustrate the

recalcitrant lawmakers into joining the APC. Sources within the Douglas

House seat of power hinted that Okorocha has mandated his deputy, Prince

Eze Madumere, Chief of Staff, Jude Ejiogu and Uwajumogu to employ every

strategy to coerce more members to defect to the APC to enable the party

get the required majority in the Assembly.
 
When our correspondent visited the Assembly, lawmakers were seen driving

in and out of the Complex even as more than 20 policemen were stationed at

the gate frisking visitors.



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