An indication that a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State, Senator Ifeayin Ararume, may be on his way to joining the All Progressives Congress, as widely speculated, emerged yesterday in Owerri, the state capital.
With only a few hours left to the governorship and state house of assembly elections in the state, Ararume was said to have summoned his supporters to his campaign office, which is situated on the busy Owerri-Onitsha expressway, and instructed them to vote for Governor Rochas Okorocha who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
The move was confirmed by the Director of the Ararume Campaign Organisation, Dr James Okoroma, who described it as a decision taken by the former PDP governorship candidate in the best interest of the state.
It would be recalled that a few days ago, Ararume, alongside the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, were rumoured to be planning to defect to the APC and to that effect, secretly negotiating for a soft landing with Okorocha.
But Okoroma denied that Ararume, who may still be nursing grudges against the PDP hierarchy in Imo for choosing Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps, Emeka Ihedioha, over him as its standard bearer in today’s governorship election, had left the PDP.
“He has not joined APC, what he did was to urge his supporters to vote for Governor Okorocha since Imo is the only APC state in the South-East and we don’t want to lose out completely in the present political dispensation,” he said.
While negotiations between intending PDP defectors and Gov. Okorocha, as well as other leaders of the APC in the South-East, are still ongoing, some prominent members of the Imo PDP have joined the APC. They include two former governorship aspirants in the state, Chief Jerry Chukwueke and Chief Bethel Nzimako. Others are Chief C.Y Amako and Chief Vitalis Ajumbe.