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.