The much advertised Orlu Political Summit finally took place last week, at Nkwere country club. The theme of the summit “ Orlu First “ literarily provided a guide, which all the speeches at the event was centered on.
The selected individuals who were allowed to speak at the event where all of the APC extraction; The chairman of the organizing committee Elvis Agukwe, Chief Gibson Chigbu , Ugwumba Uche Nwosu -Chief of Staff to the Governor and Engr Kingsley Uju- Deputy Chief of Staff operations. Chief Elvis Agukwe set the tone by emphasizing that in 2019, it's either an orlu Governor or nothing in Imo State.
Among the speeches made at the so called Orlu political summit, the one made by the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations Engr Kingsley Uju shocked members of other political parties present when he boasted that Governor Okorocha does not need other zones to produce the next Imo Governor implying that Owerri and Okigwe zones can go to hell.
He further revealed to the audience how Governor Okorocha had concluded plans to use the twelve (12) Orlu LGA’s to produce his son in law Uche Nwosu the next Governor. He gave instance of how PDP almost won Imo governorship in 2015 with three Mbaise local governments. He assured all of us present including the non-APC members that it is 'doable' if orlu will unify. He did not consider if some us and our parties were going to field candidates from orlu or not.
He further stated that for instance that if we write 30,000 thirty thousand votes from all the Local governments in Orlu we will deliver Governor Uche Nwosu in 2019. That Imo Governorship has never been decided beyond 400,000 votes. His statement is that “we will write” . what was he thinking I queried after listening to that speech.Maybe he thought he was in an APC caucus meeting without knowing that he was addressing a mixed audience though from orlu zone but across party lines.
One after another, they made their speech, taking their bearing from the summit theme ‘Orlu first’. All the speeches centered on the need for Orlu Zone to unify and support an Orlu candidate in 2019 gubernatorial elections. This admonition got some of us present edgy. This is because, at the moment in Imo, we know that all political parties are yet to elect an official gubernatorial flag bearer and there are no clear frantic campaign activities from intending contenders from Orlu extraction except Chief Uche Nwosu of APC, who in joint plan with the Governor has mounted a vigorous campaign across zones .
Governor Okorocha’s silence over Uche Nwosu campaigns in the guise of charity, sports tournaments and all manner of events suggests that he is the chosen one. The speeches in the so called summit further suggested that the gathering was yet another avenue to advance Governor Rochas Okorocha’s concluded plans to foist his son in law, also from the same Orlu zone like him and Udenwa on Imo people as his successor. The gathering would have best been described as APC orlu zonal meeting hosted by Nkwerre LGA. Yes ,it was an APC affair, how many people from other political parties were allowed to speak in the Kangaro summit?
Where are Orlu leaders? I wept in my spirit as I watched orlu zone reduced to a drama in Nkwerre country club. Can Nkwerre club accommodate the entire orlu zone?
To those of us from other political parties, this statement confirms to us that Governor Okorocha plans to write the results in the coming election. This statement we are taking seriously and in the coming days, political parties will take steps to address this revelation which we see as an early warning from Okorocha’s top aide.
Although some pundits argued that PDP was busy in Abuja with its non-elective convention, there were some PDP members present, there were also APGA members present and other political parties who came because it was called Orlu Political summit but unfortunately we ended up as observers at an APC meeting.
The Governor and his political family are taking Imo people for granted and in the months ahead we will find out who owns Imo. They are gradually being carried away by antics of political hawkers and jobbers, Imo is indeed enlightened.
Elvis Ndukwe writes from Ihioma in Orlu Local Government Area