The battle on who takes over from Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has taken a new dimension with front runners for the seat in the Rescue Mission camp, the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere and Chief of Staff, Government House, Owerri, Uche Nwosu adopting new strategies to gain the upper hand, according to reports.
The duo have not publicly indicated their interest in the position but their body language gave them out as leading contenders in the Governor's camp.
Aside consultations and persistent support drummed by various pressure and political groups for their aspiration, the duo have resorted to a fierce scramble for the soul of the APC in the state securing endorsements from the 27 LGA chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A correspondent reports that about three local governments have given out their endorsements for the duo in what appears a desperate attempt to secure the backing of party stakeholders before the contest goes full blown.
Early this week, Uche Nwosu was endorsed by the APC chapter in Nkwerre Local government area, his local government area of origin. The same goes for Eze Madumere who represented Governor Okorocha at the South East APC stakeholders visit to President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this week.
Madumere was also recently endorsed by the Mbaitoli chapter APC, his home LGA, while the party has reportedly supported.
Rising from a meeting attended by stakeholders of Ikeduru APC chapter recently, they unanimously endorsed Nwosu as their only candidate, maintaining their unalloyed support and strong desire and readiness to ensure he responds to the clarion call.
Those in attendance include APC chieftains in the area Chief Charles Amadi,(Charvon), a former commissioner of Information, Hon. Obinna Nshirim, Chief Hon Ifeanyi Opara who made a huge cash donation in support of the project.
The Mbaitoli chapter of the party in a statement backed Eze Madumere for the plum job as they presented him as their sole candidate for 2019 governorship election. According to a statement by Uche Onwuchekwa, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, the event took place at the country home of the Deputy Governor, Lake Malinda, Achi, Ezi Mbieri local government area of Imo State.
Some members of the Imo House of Assembly and key stakeholders in the party in various LGAs lately come under pressure to tow the path of some LGAs that had given out their endorsements to a particular aspirant.
However, It was gathered that some local governments party chapters, especially those sympathetic to Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, are planning to resist the move. Reports said the senator who is also eyeing the party's governorship ticket has the loyalty of about 10 local government chairmen of the party in the state.
In November last year, the 10 LGA party chairmen allegedly switched their allegiance to the senator after Governor Okorocha accused them of taking an oath for the politician in exchange for their loyalty.
A top APC chieftain who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the development is worrisome as the ongoing endorsements is out of place and not in line with party rules of electing or choosing candidates.
“This is a new dimension. Is endorsements Primaries where aspirants are elected and emerge as candidates” he asked.