Guber polls: Tension in Imo, Kogi as Presidency abandons Uzodinma, Bello



There are very strong indications that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, APC national leadership may have abandoned the second term bid of the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma and Yaya Bello of Kogi State in today’s governorship elections in their States.

Bello is in the race by proxy having nominated his candidate, APC’s Mr Ododo, who is from Okene Local Government Area.

According to sources, APC had zoning arrangement but the nomination from the same LGA that produced the outgoing Governor Bello, squared Bello with the Abuja APC and its national leadership including the presidency.

According to Presidency sources, Bello’s stiffness in changing the template in Kogi made Ododo’s candidature a tough sell to voters in the two other districts.

A competent source said Tinubu jetted out to Saudi Arabia for a bilateral summit with the Saud’s authorities and wouldn’t want to be around during the elections.

It was gathered that Tinubu is not interested in the Imo and Kogi governorship elections because of the demeanours of Uzodinma and Yaya Bello.

According to our source, Tinubu was not happy for the role played by the two governors during his attempt to be President under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

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Our source in Abuja told Saturday Times that Yaya Bello and Uzodinma were against the candidature of Tinubu, as presidential candidate of the APC, and worked against him but Tinubu won the primaries eventually.

While Bello opted to contest the APC primary and refused to step down for Tinubu, Uzodinma joined forces with the former Senate President, Ahmed Lawan’s candidacy and played a critical role in the primaries.

Tinubu fought gallantly to win the primary election and defeated the former Senate President Ahmed Lawan, former Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Ogbonnaya Onu, Emeka Nwajuba, while others stepped down for him.

Trouble started for Uzodinma, when the Inspector General of Police, IGP, withdrew the commissioner of Police in Imo and redeployed him to Force Headquarters, Abuja.

It was gathered that Uzodinma has not been frequently visiting the Presidential Villa as he used to visit during the former President Mohammedu Buhari’s administration on account of this.

Our source said for the Supreme Court to try to revisit or review the Supreme Court judgement that brought Uzodinma to power is an indication that he is under probe by the present government who wants to rewrite the wrong in Imo State and solve the problem of insecurity in the state.

In Kogi State, it was gathered that the presidency is secretly backing the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, who supported President Bola Ahmed Tinubu during the APC’s presidential primary.

Alhaji Murtala Ajaka, SDP governorship candidate in Kogi was said to have bought campaign vehicles for Tinubu’s campaign and worked assiduously for his victory in the state.

Ajaka hails from Igalamela LGA in Kogi East Senatorial district. The zone is known for its large vote delivery and may determine the winner on November 11.

It was gathered that Ajaka delivered his zone to APC during Tinubu’s election and with him working for Tinubu’s victory, he is seen as the President’s candidate in Kogi.

According to APC supporter in Kogi, Bello withdrew his campaign vehicles and never donated them for Tinubu’s campaign because he failed the primaries

Also, the presidency refused to attend the final campaign of all the APC governorship candidate in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa States to give them presidential support and encouragement.

Just yesterday, a television station allegedly owned by Tinubu before he became the President, TVC, purportedly disowned a news video item allegedly emanating from Uzodinma stating that PDP candidate, Sam Jones had stepped down for Uzodinma.

Dumebi Ifeanyichukwu, Director, New Media, SamJones Governorship Campaign, addressed the issue of a malicious video circulating, falsely claiming that their esteemed candidate, Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu, has withdrawn from the gubernatorial race.

“We emphatically state that this information is categorically false. After a thorough examination of the video, it became evident that it was heavily edited with manipulated audio to mislead the public.

“This video circulated by agents of the outgoing Uzodinma administration is incontrovertible proof of the palpable fear that has engulfed their camp due to the widespread endorsement of Senator Anyanwu’s Gubernatorial Bid and the Federal Government’s Commitment to ensuring free and fair elections in Imo.

“We call on the general public to disregard the video.”

Meanwhile, the TVC has threatened to drag Uzodinma, APC to court if he failed to withdraw the malicious video which the station purportedly used on its news bulletin.

The management of TVC, allegedly gave Imo state government 24 hours to withdraw the video and apologise to the media establishment or risk legal suit.

A letter with the caption, “Fraudulent Use of TVC Name, logo and inscription by Governor Uzodinma of Imo state: An Unwholesome and Distasteful Desperation to Retain Power” and signed by the station’s Director of Operations, Tunji Olumide.

Uzodinma was given 24 hours to withdraw the fake video or be dragged to court for criminal impersonation.

Meanwhile, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has apologised to the NLC for the brutal treatment given to NLC president Comrade Joe Ajaero, stating that it’s regrettable.

Ajaero was last week brutalised by men alleged to be loyal to Uzodinma in connivance with the Imo State Police command.

But the Imo Police command debunked the rumour, stating that it took Ajaero into protective custody after receiving intel of planned mob action against the union’s leader.

Speaking during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Thursday, Uzodimma said the attack on Ajaero is regrettable to him and the government, insisting he would never support violence

The Governor also apologised to the NLC president, urging him to act more civilly.

He said, “I was unaware that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president was in my state. What I did was that to condemn the action. I have never had disagreement with the labour union.”

“It has nothing to do with my government. Whether Joe Ajaero is the President of NLC or not, I will not wish this to happen to any human being. Of course I have to apologise because it happened in my state.

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“Iam a Christian and believe in God. I can’t support violence. I can never support violence. Whatever happened to Joe Ajaero in my state which I am not aware of that led to him being assaulted must be regretted by both my government and myself.

“Going forward I will also like him to do things in a more civilised manner. That was the point I was making. A man who is from my state to go on street without clearing me out; without bringing all the allegations before me…”

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