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As the race for who succeeds Governor Rochas Okorocha gathers momentum, Osuh Leadership Forum (OLF) in Isiala Mbano Local
Government of Imo State has endorsed Senator Ifeanyichukwu Ararume as the sole candidate for governorship in 2019.
It took the decision after its recent stakeholders meeting, held in the area. The endorsement is coming few days after traditional rulers in Isiala and Ehime Mbano LGAs endorsed Ararume as Okorocha’s successor.
The governor had in a recent statement boasted that he would produce his successor to continue from where he stops. But the decision did not go down well with Okigwe leaders. The leaders expressed their displeasure over Okorocha’s stand and vowed to resist the return of godfather in Imo State politics.
The meeting which was held at the residence of a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Tobby Anumaka was well attended by who-is-who in Okigwe zone. They include, Senator representing Imo North in the National Assembly,  Sen. Benjamin Uwajimogu, member representing Isiala Mbano in the state House of Assembly, Collins Chiji, former House of Representatives aspirant, Chikwem Onuoha, Chief Mike Ejiogu, the Youth Leader, Iyke Anumaka and Engr. E.U Nwokorie
In his address of welcome, the Chairman of the event and Constituency Officer of Sen. Uwajimogu, Chief C. y. Obialor commended the large turnout of members and thanked Chief Anumaka for convening the meeting which he referred to as a wakeup call for the people of the area. He  noted that  the major reason for the gathering was to let the people of Imo State know that some of them in APC in the state are not in support of Okorocha’s leadership style and would resist any attempt by the governor to impose a stooge on Imo people as a successor.
He said the reason the people of Okigwe are  behind Ararume is for the zone to complete its eight years of four years two-term which was denied the zone when former governor, Ikedi Ohakim was voted out in 2011. He said the formation of the forum became necessary as a strong voice which according was lacking during the dispute between their two sons, Ararume and Ohakim which he said cost the zone the governorship seat. He expressed joy with the coming together of leaders in the area; a thing he noted would ensure that further political disputes among indigenes would be properly handled.

Obialor stated that in OLF is a strong voice and it has began to mediate in the dispute between the two political heavyweights to avoid further disagreement that may truncated Okigwe’s aspiration of producing the governor next year.
He noted that Ararume has the capacity and ability to win the race, pledging the forum’s unflinching support for the former lawmaker to succeed Okorocha.
He urged members to remain focused and continue to engage people from other zones in dialogue adding that, that is the only way they could stop Okorocha from elongating his privatisation of Imo through installation of a stooge as his successor.
He further recalled how Okorocha killed civil service in the state, a situation that resulted in the inability of the state government to pay salaries. He further revealed how the governor paid pensioners 40 per cent of their pension and as against been paid 100 per cent.
Obialor puts it this way “if you want to see the actual Emperor Nero come to Imo State”. The forum also unanimously endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari, Sen. Benjamin Uwajimogu, Collins Chiji member representing Isiala Mbano LGA in the state House of Assembly for second-term. The forum also adopted Chikwem Onuoha as sole candidate for Okigwe North for the House of Representatives election in 2019.
In his speech, Anumaka thanked members for honouring his invitation. He commended them for throwing their weight behind Ararume’s governorship bid stating that he has never associated with failure and would do everything possible to achieve whatever he believes in. While recounting how he delivered his electoral ward for Sen. Uwajimogu on the instruction of Ararume during the Imo North senatorial re-run, Anumaka faulted Okorocha for reneging on the agreement he had with Ararume before he got Ararume’s support during the governorship re-run in 2015 that earned him victory.
According to him, Okorocha further compounded his problem by his recent endorsement of someone as Uwajimogu’s successor without due consultation, adding that the very day Uwajimogu was declared winner of the re-run election, was the day his second-term was affirmed by OLF.
Anumaka said “We are behind Ararume for governor, President Buhari, Uwajimogu and Chiji for second-term” Responding, Uwajimogu commended Anumaka for providing an avenue for him and his team to interact with his constituents. He described him as one of the humble men he has met and prayed for God’s blessings upon him and his family.
On his endorsement for a second-term and Ararume’s endorsement as consensus candidate for the governorship of the state in 2019, the lawmaker thanked them for reposing confidence in him and promised to attract more projects to the area through legislation.

He praised the forum for endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari for a second-term saying that the adoption of Buhari for a second-term was the easiest route to South-East’s presidency in 2023. He also pledged his commitment towards the welfare of the people but regretted the state of the economy which he said has brought untold hardship on the people stressing that an economy cannot be built from the pocket of an individual. He stated “I want to thank you for voting for me and I promise to continue to serve you as long as you wish”.


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