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EXCLUSIVE: Rochas Okorocha’s Ambition Tears South-East Governors Forum Apart



The lingering perceived leadership tussle bedeviling the South- East Governors forum has torn the body apart.

Since after the expiration of the tenure in office of the immediate past Governor of Abia state,Chief Theodore Orji, now senator representing Abia Central senatorial district at the National Assembly NASS, in 2015, the forum had been existing without a chairman.

Senator Orji, took over from ex-governor of Anambra state, Mr. Peter Obi.

AFRICAN EXAMINER gathered that going by the forum’s rotational arrangement, the chairmanship ought to have been handed over to Governor Dave Umahi, of Ebonyi state.

However, our correspondent learnt that because governor Rochas Okorocha, of Imo state, who is presently the most senior among the governors, is also interested in occupying the position, he had been doing everything humanly possible to frustrate the emergence of Umahi.

AFRICAN EXAMINER recalled that the last meeting of the governors was on 17th November 2015,in Enugu, and was presided over by Governor Okorocha.

The meeting, which lasted several hours, was graced by governors, Rochas Okorocha,(Imo) Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, (Abia) Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, (Enugu), while Anambra Governor, Willie Obiano, was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, Dave Umahi of (Ebonyi) was conspicuously absent, and did not send any representative.

A source hinted that the last meeting, earlier scheduled to hold in Owerri, the Imo State capital as planned by Okorocha, was moved to Enugu as majority of the governors, insisted that it must be held at Enugu, being the political capital of the South-East Nigeria

It would be recalled that when Governor Okorocha, who read the communique of the last meeting to newsmen, was asked about the vacuum in the chairmanship position he said, “we are all Governors, from the South-East, anybody can be chairman; we are all equal”.

“So, I don’t think that is an issue, if there is need for us to come up with a chairman, we shall get into that.” he stated.

Meanwhile, the development has pitched the governors, against each other.

A close source to the troubled forum told our Correspondent that while about three governors, are allegedly rooting for Okorocha, to become their leader, based on his experience, and as a governor of the ruling party who can influence certain decision at the federal level, one governor, is said to be indisposed to the Imo chief executive’s ambition.

As the inter wrangling in the forum rages, only time would tell who becomes the next leader of the south east governors.


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