Exchange of words between the caretaker chairman of Imo State chapter of the party, Prince Marcon Nlemigbo and former governor Rochas Okorocha has added another disturbing colour to the crisis rocking the party in the state.
Apart from differences arising from control of party structure and the revalidation of membership registration, verbal displays against each has become the latest fashion adopted by both parties in the supremacy war for the soul of the ruling party.
Nlemigbo had at a fora in Owerri quoted to have boasted that APC in Imo under governor Hope Uzodinma has capacity to win the 2023 election without the likes of former governor Okorocha.
The Caretaker Chairman who was also said to be reacting in connection to the inability of Okorocha and followers to register for the exercise, opined that his faction has capacity to win the next election without the inputs of the camp of the former governor, having done so in 2019.
However, in a swift reaction, Okorocha through his media aide, gave it back to the former PDP chieftain when he stated that Nlemigbo is noted for making bogus political claims.
According to Okorocha, Nlemigbo as a PDP chieftain made a similar claim in 2011 when he vowed to go in exile if Chief Ikedi Ohakim loses the 2011 governorship election. Okorocha’s spokesman, Sam Onwuemedo, in the release disclosed that Nlemigbo couldn’t proceed to exile when Ohakim lost.
Going further, Okorocha reminded Nlemigbo how his Mbaitoli was won by PDP with 13,358 votes in the governorship election leaving Nlemigbo’s faction of APC with only 3,704 votes as against other parties.
As if the response from Okorocha stung Nlemigbo like a bee, the media team of the APC chairman fired again noting that Nlemigbo never boasted of victory for his “faction” of APC by stating that there is no faction in the state chapter of the party “except in the imagination of politically displaced individuals”.
According a statement from the APC media centre, Nlemigbo only said that the exercise was extended in Imo by the caretaker committee following Okorocha’s complain of exclusion.
“While some of his followers have taken the wise step to revalidate theirs, Okorocha is still adamant. No person or group of persons no matter how highly placed can hold this party to ransom”, it added.
The statement further stated “when querried on the likely consequences particularly on the fortune of the party in the event Okorocha refuses to revalidate his membership. Nlemigbo submitted in a frank and unambiguous manner;” in the last election, Okorocha was not with us when Governor Hope Uzodinma won and in 2023, his absence will make no difference”.