Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has failed to instill his son-in-law Uche Nwosu as his successor following the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaration of Emeka Ihedioha as winner of the Gubernatorial poll last weekend.
The former Deputy Speaker and governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ihedioha was delighted after the State Returning Officer, Prof. Francis Otunta made the result public.
Ihedioha had 273404 votes to beat the Action Alliance (AA), Uche Nwosu who polled a total of 190364 votes while candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and All Progressives Congress (APC), Ifeanyi Araraume and Hope Uzodinma scored 114676 and 96458 votes respectively.
Meanwhile, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has removed the name of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has been removed from list of elected senators.
Okorocha was initially declared winner of the senatorial election of February 23, but returning officer for the election, Innocent Ibeabuchi, later revealed that he was forced to declare the governor winner.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, had informed last week that the commission would not issue certificate of return to any candidate declared winner of an election under duress.
“The commission will not tolerate the act of holding our officials hostage and forcing them to declare winners under duress. Where such occurs, the commission will not reward bad behaviour by issuing them certificates of return,” he was quoted as saying.
In 1992, Ihedioha was appointed press officer to the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Iyorchia Ayu. A year later he was appointed as chief press secretary to the Deputy Senate President.
Following military incursion in the polity in November 1993, Ihedioha returned to his communications practice as Chief Executive Officer of First Page Communications. He became the Director of Publicity of the newly formed People’s Democratic Movement, the purveyor of the ruling People Democratic Party in 1998.
He was named as special assistant to the Presidential Adviser on Utilities in July 1999, as special assistant of media and publicity to the President of Senate in November 1999, and as special assistant on political matters to the Vice President in September 2001.
He won a seat into the House of Representative as a member representing Aboh-Mbasie-Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State in 2003.
He was the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives of the federal Republic of Nigeria from 2011 to 2015. During this period, he also served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives after Tambuwal’s defection to the APC and choice to stand down.
Is this the end of Rochas Okorochas’ stronghold in Imo State?