A leadership tussle in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between former Governor Emeka Ihedioha and the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) chapter in Imo is tearing the party apart.
The Imo director-general of the PCC, Greg Egu, is accusing Ihedioha of frustrating campaign plans. But the spokesman for the party in the state, Collins Okpuruzo, dismissed allegations against Mr Ihedioha.
The tussle is heightened by the leadership crisis in Imo PDP between the national secretary, Samuel Anyanwu and Mr Ihedioha.
The campaign council director-general told journalists in Owerri that Mr Ihedioha’s actions could jeopardise Atiku Abubakar’s campaign in Imo. Mr Egu said since his emergence as the director-general, Mr Ihedioha had tried to frustrate the entire campaign management of the Imo PCC.
“All the 41 candidates of the PDP in Imo have found it difficult to campaign for Atiku because of the body language of Ihedioha, who is playing a double-faced game. One cannot be working hard for Atiku and, at the same time, be painting his campaign structure in a bad light in the estimation of the public,” stated Mr Egu.
He added, “All that Ihedioha has been doing is to further his ambition to be Imo governor a third time, and that is why he is frustrating the PCC.”
Mr Egu alleged that rather than ensure a cohesive campaign structure, Mr Ihedioha had been side-tracking the PCC and frustrating the harmonious function of council members to further his governorship ambition, stressing there was no reason for the ex-governor to continue to convene meetings in his residence when the PCC had a befitting campaign building in Owerri.
“There is a party secretariat in Owerri where he can convene meetings if he doesn’t like the Atiku/Okowa campaign building. All of Ihedioha’s nominees within the presidential campaign council have also refused to attend meetings of the council,” claimed Mr Egu, saying he called meetings on December 24, 2022, January 7 and 11, but “not a single loyalist of Ihedioha in the Imo PCC” attended.
He added, “We warn Ihedioha to desist from unilaterally convening meetings of his selected nominees in his private residence in the name of the Imo PCC because we cannot guarantee his true intentions.”
Myke Ikeoku, a chieftain of the PDP and campaign council member, alleged that Mr Ihedioha had refused to invest in the party’s PCC.
Dismissing all the allegations, however, Mr Okpuruzo said, “I can confirm today that most of the activities carried out for our presidential candidate are being funded by Ihedioha. The publicity programmes we have and the billboards, advertorials and jingles that are everywhere are directly sponsored by Ihedioha.”
He added, “He has also deployed his transportation network, contacts and loyalists into the field to aggressively mobilise for the victory of Atiku Abubakar. Anybody that accuses Ihedioha of not supporting or working for the victory of Atiku Abubakar is only playing to the gallery and only being dishonest.”