Despite its open endorsement by the National Executive Council (NEC), the embattled People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Caretaker Committee in Imo State has been described as illegal and a failed coup that cannot stand.
A former governor of the State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, made this angry assertion in an interaction with our reporter at his Burma retreat country home in Isiala Mbano LGA.
According to Ohakim, who spoke on the crisis currently tearing the party apart and other sundry issues, the Hon. Vitalis Okafor-led caretaker committee could best be described as “a 419 and Kangaroo arrangement”.
Chief Ohakim further opined that apart from the illegality which trailed the formation of the caretaker committee, the caretaker committee was a product of impunity and injustice.
He accused the current national woman leader of the PDP, who hails from the state, Mrs. Kema Chikwe and the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha of constituting the caretaker committee without consulting other leaders of the party. Chief Ohakim who was embittered about the development, stressed that it was an insult on the personality of other leaders of the party, for only two persons to constitute a sixteen man caretaker committee.
“The ex-governor asked, “how would you constitute a caretaker committee without consulting Ikedi Ohakim? A party I rebuilt between 2007-2011 when everybody ran away? You said that you constituted a caretaker committee without consulting a two time former governor of the state, Chief Achike Udenwa and former deputy governor, Dr. Ada Okwuonu?”
Describing the caretaker committee as a product of impunity, he said that there is no justice in it because out of the sixteen man committee, only two persons come from Okigwe zone.
“How can you say that you are democratic when out of “the sixteen man failed coup committee” only two persons come from Okigwe zone” he added.
According to him, the same impunity and injustice which destroyed the party in 2015 has resurfaced and if not checked would affect PDP chances in 2019 elections.
Chief Ohakim averred that PDP is like any other smaller political party in the state, because PDP has no president nor the governor of the state.
Adding that only justice, internal party democracy, discipline and absence of impunity would guarantee electoral successes for the party, come 2019.
Speaking on the 2014 PDP governorship primary, the ex-Governor alleged that he was the rightful winner of the exercise.
He accused a former senator of the republic, Ifeanyi Araraume and Chief Ihedioha of manipulating the entire primaries and rigging him out in the process in 2014.
On how he won the election when he came a distant third position, Chief Ohakim was quick in asking “where you there? If yes, you would have understood that they only called names without showing the ballot papers to the people, the ballot papers they were calling Araraume and Ihedioha were actually written name; Ohakim. I have found out that they came from Ihiala, Anambra state to rig me out”.
Chief Ohakim who revealed that he spent over N2bilion at the primary election but was out smarted and rigged out by the dreaded rigging capacities of Senator Araraume and Chief Ihedioha, boasted that he would have ousted Governor Rochas Okorocha had he flew the flag of any other political party, no matter how small the political party is.
The former governor explained that defeating governor Okorocha in 2015 governorship election, needed one who could match him, “administration for administration, projects for projects, structures for structures and so on”.
He equally made case for Okigwe Zone, saying that it would not only restore the Imo Charter of Equity but will engineer the perfect succession plan, which would enable Owerri zone to take over power in 2023.