Ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Imo State, political actors in the state, including three members of the outgoing House of Representatives, shift loyalties to the governing party.
As the tenure of the Ninth National Assembly elections winds down, there are indications that alignment and re-alignment of political forces will not stop anytime soon, even among members of parliament who will not be returning to the federal legislature.
This indication follows thr defection of at least three serving Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) along with thousands of their supporters at the Ndubuisi Kanu Square in Owerri, the state capital.
The lawmakers; Hon Henry Nwawuba (Mbaitoli/ Ikeduru Federal Constituency), Hon. Bede Eke (Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency), and Hon Ikenna Elezianya (Owerri Federal Constituency) were received by Governor Hope Uzodimma, his deputy, Prof Placid Njoku, Dr MacDonald Ebere, Imo State APC Chairman, Dr Ijeomah Arodiogbu, APC National Vice Chairman (South East).
While Rep. Nwawuba is from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the other two lawmakers were elected to parliament on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Bruno Ukoha, Emma Nwogu, PDP Apex Leader in Ngor Okpala, and Pastor Frank Onwumere were also among the defectors who made an official declaration for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to the defectors who unanimously promised to support Governor Hope Uzodimma’s administration as he seeks a second term in office, his leadership qualities and achievements in the last three and a half years were the reason for their defection.
“I thank my brothers, they have come to add value; they have not come to reduce value. I know every one of them on their credentials; they are people with impeccable credentials, they have something to offer, and I can tell you that I know how to use the value they are coming to add.
Those who have been at the National Assembly speaking for and on behalf of our people. I am very happy that we have bought into the acronym that charity begins at home. My promise is that there are no new members of APC and no old members of APC. I want to assure them they will not regret their decision because what is there to fight?” I am elated,” Governor Uzodimma remarked.
Rep. Henry Nwawuba, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), representing Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency lost the 2023 National Assembly election; polling 7,202 votes behind Uche Ogbuagu of the Labour Party (LP), with 18, 296 votes and Akarachi Amadi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who received 21, 372 votes to emerge winner of the election.
While Rep. Bede Ekeh: a two-time member of the House of Representatives for Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala constituency was in 2022 denied the return ticket of the PDP, Rep. Ikenna Elezianya; a first-term member of the House of Representatives for Owerri Federal Constituency was defeated by Tony Okere of Labour Party (LP).