- There are strong indications that the deputy governor of Imo state, Prince Eze Madumere may be impeached
- This is due to his growing popularity in the state among the electorates
- There are talks that the deputy governor may contest for the position of governor in the 2019 general elections
A report by Thisday indicates that the deputy governor of Imo state, Prince Eze Madumere may be impeached.
According to the report, the purported impeachment is being instigated by the kitchen cabinet of Governor Rochas Okorocha, led by his wife Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha and his son in-law, Uche Nwosu, who is also the governor's chief of staff.
The governor's allies are wary of the deputy governor as he is seen as the main opposition to Okorocha’s plan to install Nwosu as his successor.
Unnamed sources quoted in the report says the governor’s wife and other collaborators in the plot to make Nwosu the next governor of the state come 2019 at all cost perceived the deputy governor's popularity as a major obstacle due to their plans.
It was said that the pressure on the governor coming from various quarters including powerful people from within and outside the state against endorsing Nwosu as his successor, may have influenced the decision by the wife of the governor and his son-in-law to resort to impeachment move.
The state ministry of finance is said to have been given a marching order to mop up huge funds to lobby members of the House of Assembly for the impeachment plot. Similarly, a serving commissioner is said to have been penned down to serve as a liaison with members of the House of Assembly to bring the plot to fruition.
The source further disclosed that a lawmaker from Owerri zone, where the deputy governor is also from, has been promised the position of speaker and automatic ticket for him and other lawmakers who are involved in the plot, while those who would sign the impeachment would be allocated landed property in choice areas.
Reacting to the allegation, chief press secretary to the governor, Sam Onwuemeodo dismissed it as of no substance , stating, “of what political value will the impeachment of the deputy governor now add to anybody or organisation in the State at the moment?
“The truth of the matter is that those who cooked up the impeachment story with the hope that it would help them in their ambition are also the ones marketing it.
“The point is that anybody who thinks that he can win the governorship election in the state in 2019 without the contribution of Governor Rochas Okorocha should go and do what Rochas did in 2011 by taking the ticket of APGA and winning the election and in 2015 when he joined APC in a zone that was dominated by PDP and also won his election. That is the best action now.
“There are a lot of political parties looking for people to come and take their tickets. Any of the aspirants who thinks or feels he has the political capacity to win election in Imo without Rochas’ contribution should go for the ticket of one of such parties and win election and let us see.
“But for APC Imo, Rochas Okorocha cannot and will not be allowed to leave it for anybody because when he was risking his second tenure and life to build the party most of these people were either not there or were sitting on the fence,” he said.
When contacted, the chief press secretary to the deputy governor, Uche Onwuchekwa, dismissed it as mere ruse intended to heat up the polity for mischievous reasons. He, however, confirmed that the office of the deputy governor had been inundated with calls from across the state and beyond concerning the purported impeachment.
Onwuchekwa further noted that “even though the issue is still regarded as mere rumour, let it be known that any such scheme will be counter-productive and an ill wind that will blow no one any good.”
He also described the said impeachment plot as the “handiwork of detractors and those who are daily intimidated by the growing popularity and acceptability of the deputy governor across the state.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Imo state chapter, has said that the alleged move by Governor Okorocha to install his son-in-law as his successor in 2019 will be rejected by the people of the state.
The chairman of the PDP in the state, Charles Ezekwem, said on Tuesday, February 13, that the state had gone beyond the stage of a father-in-law handing over political power to his son-in-law after eight years and mother handing over to his daughter as the first lady of the state.
He said: “This family business will not work; the idea of Okorocha handing over power to his son-in-law after eight years will not work. This ‘familiocracy’ will be rejected because Imo people are highly educated and civilised.”
Ezekwem announced that the PDP had started the process of ensuring that it would reclaim the state in 2019.
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