Imo PDP Chair: Kinsmen, Group warn Acholonu over ambition
As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo state prepares its election of officers into wards, LGAs and state's offices, Dr. Douglas Acholonu, former Deputy Governor of the state and one of the party's state's chairmanship aspirants had been warned to drop any ambition of becoming the next PDP state's chairman zoned to the Orlu senatorial zone of the state.
This is coming at the heels of similar advice by a group of his kinsmen under the aegis of Orlu Democratic Front (ODF) recently in Owerri, the State's capital urging Acholonu to aim higher than mere state's party chairman having served in the past as Deputy Governor in the state.
The ODF's call on the former Deputy Governor frowned at Acholonu's decision to run for the PDP state's chair saying the German trained surgeon is in the zone's political “First Eleven” who should be eyeing ministerial or ambassadorial posts having been recognized both nationally and internationally.
“We are disturbed at the emerging trend today in our zone where those we have always looked up to as our political leaders for national and international positions had always condescended to struggling for offices which ordinarily should be left for their younger and upcoming politicians in the state”, the ODF's statement had read in parts.
But in a similar press statement made available to journalists in Abuja weekend and signed by Greg Nwadike, Coordinator, Imo Peoples Movement (IPM) said Acholonu's decision to run for the office of the PDP state's chair in Imo is “like a former minister coming down to run for the office of a Local Government Councilor.
“We are not saying that our brother is not qualified to run for any elective office of his choice but what we are saying is that people should maintain certain degree of esteem in their quest for political posts. Being a PDP state's chairman in a politically tensed state as Imo is not a job for such highly placed Orlu sons like Dr. Acholonu.
“Acholonu was in our promotion agenda when a ministerial slot was zoned to the Orlu zone but he declined interest and chose to sign endorsement for his in-law, Presidential aspirant and former Governor Achike Udenwa to take up the job. Today, we are looking up to the former Deputy Governor to aim ambassadorial office because of his stainless background, intelligence and gentility which we believe would not blend with the political expectation from a party chairman”, Nwadike explained.
Throwing more lights on the issue when contacted on phone by this paper, the Abuja based youth leader further described the position of a party chairman as “a servant of the people. It needs a man who is patient and can tolerate the idiosyncrasies of the ordinary local politicians. The position requires a man who is very humble and can be 100% loyal to Ohakim.
“Now, Acholonu, from an aristocratic background is not cut out for this type 0f politics. He doesn't suffer fools easily and we wouldn't want him disgraced because of the nature of this job. Our brother is not even the kind of a man that can dance naked in the public when the time comes.
“Although he may appreciate the governor's intelligence which blends with his but he would equally be the last man to fawn over Ohakim. He would always consider himself superior to the governor because he was Ohakim's boss in those days; the Governor served under him as a mere Commissioner when he (Acholonu) was a Deputy Governor.
“So I am worried about the likely friction and expected disharmonies that may arise if this marriage of convenience is not quickly aborted. I am afraid this would further polarize the party in the state and we cannot continue to live under a divided home”, Nwadike maintained.
While urging Governor Ikedi Ohakim to be mindful of the candidate that would eventually get his nod for the office of the state's party chairman, Nwadike warned that it must not be one who would abandon the ground when the battle becomes fierce.
It would be recalled that Imo state, unlike other PDP states is yet to get a properly constituted executive committee of the party owing to internal wrangling orchestrated by those referred to as oppositions within the party; a situation the state's Governor, Ikedi Ohakim has been battling to restructure.