There are fresh troubles for embattled Senator Hope Odidika Uzodimma, whose declaration as governor of Imo State by the Supreme Court has continued to generate outrage across Nigeria and overseas this writer can personally and confidently affirm.
This time, a source in the Office of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, (names withheld) confided to this author that Senator Uzodimma stepped on big toes of the President, following the increasing knocks on the controversial judgement by the Supreme Court on January 14, 2020.
According to the insider, the recent visit by the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Senator Hope Uzodinma was at the instance of the president. He had sent for them to explain the anger that have trailed the Supreme Court judgement.
According to the source, President Buhari expressed dismay at the way the judgement has brought the Supreme Court and the country to ridicule.
He revealed that the President’s insistence that the right thing be done, was instrumental to the acceptance of the Supreme Court to honour the request by Nigerians for a review of the judgement.
The source hinted that President Buhari has ordered that the right thing be done and the rightful winner of the election be declared, no matter the beneficiary.
According to him, the President lambasted Senator Uzodimma for being the cause of the bad image Nigeria is contending with at the moment, the most prominent consequence of which is the listing of Nigeria among countries that will enjoy very limited travel privileges to the United States of America, henceforth.
He said President Buhari is quite unhappy that Nigeria is being scandalized by the hugely flawed Supreme Court judgement.
Meanwhile, from another source, who is a member of Senator Uzodimma’s inner circle, said before invitation to see the president, the new Imo governor had been making frantic efforts to find willing top notchers of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to create passage for him to meet with the president.
The source said Senator Uzodimma approached the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but was rebuffed, saying he did not want to get involved with the Supreme Court saga.
Senator Uzodimma, according to the source, even sought to see the President with Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, but they were denied access, citing security reasons.
The source, a legal practitioner, further said that Senator Uzodimma, after parting with huge amount of money, in hard currency, found support from Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who accompanied the him to President Buhari on Friday, January 31, 2020.
According to the source, on coming out of the close door meeting with the president, it was very clear it was not a successful meeting. Thus much was confirmed, when Senator Uzodinma, speaking in Igbo language, intoned that, “Mr. President is still angry.”
According to this source, who occupies one of the topmost offices in Imo State chapter of the APC, Senator Uzodimma is very desparate to retain his declaration as governor by the Supreme Court. This, the source said, can be confirmed with the type of promises Senator Uzodimma has been making here and there to whoever he feels could make it possible for him to remain as governor.
He gave instance with Senator Uzodimma’s promise to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole that he will wholly fund the 2023 APC presidential election if he is retained as Imo governor, while making offers of contracts and monetary gains to the APC National Chairman.
According to this source, Senator Uzodinma was heard pleading with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to assist him get APC Governor’s Forum to rally support for him.
As if the aforementioned desperate efforts by Senator Uzodinma were not enough, he promised Oshiomhole to organize a massive rally in the next days in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, to prove to President Buhari that he has the support of the people of Imo State.
On the whole, it appears that amidst all the strategies and efforts being made by the parties involved in the appeal before the Supreme Court, it is the expected review of the judgement and the circumstances surrounding it, that will determine the actual winner of the 2019 governorship election in Imo State and put the matter to a final conclusive end.
Peter Akoche writes for the Daily Update Newspaper.
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