By Favour Goodness
One of the unsuccessful aspirants in the recently held Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primary election, Dr Obiora Okonkwo(Dikeora Idemili), has concluded plans to dump the party and emerge as the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) candidate ahead of the November 6 election.
According to a reliable source who spoke anonymously, the National Chairman of the ZLP, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, reached an agreement with Dr Okonkwo after receiving a $2 million payment.
Recall that the ZLP had submitted the name of Chief Ugwoji Martin Uchenna to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s candidate for the election.
While giving details on the transaction, our source revealed that Chief Nwanyanwu chose his friend, Chief Uchenna as a ‘placeholder’ candidate for the party, pending negotiations with the highest bidder.
“The negotiations between Chief Nwanyanwu and Dikeora are in the final stages, and it’s only a matter of time before they make it official,” our source explained.
“Whether this is a good move for Dikeora is yet to be seen, but what I know is that Chief Nwanyanwu, Chief Uchenna and the leadership of the ZLP will smile to the bank, regardless of how Dikeora performs at the polls,” he added.
Obiora lost the PDP primary held on June 26, 2021 at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre. Despite his financial muscle, he scored 58 votes.
According to multiple sources in the PDP, Okonkwo lost the primary because he is from Anambra Central and “it is firmly the turn of Anambra South to produce the next Governor of Anambra”.
“It is with this overriding issue of zoning in mind, that all the major political parties in Anambra, namely PDP, APGA, and APC have produced candidates from Anambra South. The candidacy of any other zone is as good as losing the election,” the PDP insider told our reporter anonymously.
The second major reason is that Okonkwo is perceived as arrogant and a bully who would use his powers to oppress people, a top PDP stalwart told journalists prior to the keenly contested primary.
Meanwhile, Chief Ugwoji in his reaction to the report of Okonkwo’s move to claim ZLP’s guber ticket said he has been inundated with the speculation but described the report as untrue.
His words:“It’s a rumour. If it is true. It would not be a secret. It is a rumour, I’ve been receiving similar calls for days. It is a rumour for now.”