While verbal war is ongoing between the immediate past governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha and his successor Governor Emeka Ihedioha, some politicians who contested and won under Okorocha’s party have dumped him and joined forces with Ihedioha.
Report from Imo State confirmed that the lawmakers in the state House of Assembly who were elected under the canopy of the Action Alliance (AA) in the last election had defected to Ihedioha’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmakers numbering six reportedly announced their defections in a letter they addressed to the Speaker and read by the clerk of the House during plenary on Monday, June 10, 2019 less than two weeks after they assumed office.
Five of them were until their defection members of AA while one was a member of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), The Punch reported.
Mike Iheanaetu (Aboh Mbaise), Victor Onyewuchi (Owerri West), Ken Agbim (Ahiazu Mbaise) Lloyd Chukwuemeka (Owerri North) and Bruno Ukoha (Ezinihittte Mbaise) were AA members who defected while Chiji Collins representing Isiala Mbano dumped APGA for PDP.
AA is a party founded and financed by the Chief Okorocha under which his son-in-law Uche Nwosu contested for Imo Governorship Election but lost to Emeka Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Before, during and after the election had been turbulent in the state which is famous for statues of the political figure across Africa.
Recalled that a few days after Okorocha’s son-in-law lost the election, Ihedioha had raised an alarm that Okorocha was planning to empty the state’s treasury, an allegation Okorocha denied.
A day after assuming office, Ihedioha had allegedly ordered the demolition of Akachi (hand of God) structure built by Okorocha.
The Akachi tower was one of the projects commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the tail end of Okorocha’s administration.
Another action which Okorocha took less than three weeks before the expiration of his 8-year regime was the creation of an additional four universities which political observers described as one of the ways Okorocha devised to create problems for Ihedioha.
Okorocha was also alleged to have signed several cheques a few days before his exit from office.
That act prompted Governor Ihedioha to place an embargo on all cheques signed by his predecessor, directing all financial institutions not to honour any withdrawals from the state’s coffers, either through cheques or transfers of any form.
With all the aforementioned verbal war between the two powerful politicians, the defection of the five AA members to PDP would definitely reduce the influence of Okorocha in the state House of Assembly.
As at the time of this report, Okorocha was yet to react to their defection.