Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State is reportedly angry with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, for promoting a member of the House from his state, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, to allegedly undermine him and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The Imo State governor, who is contesting for a second term, is angry that the Speaker promoted Ugochinyere, a member of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by appointing him as the chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream).
It was gathered that the governor considered the appointment of the lawmaker to head the juicy committee as an undue empowerment of an opposition politician, which would give Ugochinyere undue prominence and visibility in the polity.
A source disclosed that Uzodinma is worried that Ugochinyere’s leadership of the strategic House committee has added value and enhanced the status of the opposition politician.
The source told Leadership Newspaper that Uzodinma felt that undue patronage and empowerment of the opposition elements, especially someone of Ugochinyere’s political standing, by the federal authorities could be detrimental to his re-election bid.
It was gathered that the governor had tried to persuade Abbas to rescind the appointment, but the Speaker rebuffed his request.
According to the publication, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is expected to intervene in the rift between Abbas and the governor when he returns from his foreign trip.
One of the sources who craved anonymity said, “The governor of Imo state, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Tajudeen Abbas, are in for a serious fight, which has been brought to the attention of the Presidency. The governor is unhappy that Mr. Speaker appointed a cantankerous politician from his state, Ugochinyere, as chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream).
“To the governor, this is not a wise decision to take by the Speaker. How can an astute opposition element in Imo State like Ikenga be given such a strategic appointment in the House? This is an election period, and the House is patronising the opposition politicians from the state so that they can have the impetus and resources to fight us.
“This is the same Ikenga who has been rubbishing the governor and saying all kinds of nonsense about our party, APC, and he is the same person they are patronising with this juicy job by a top-ranking official of an APC’s government. This is unfair and insensitive. How do we grow a party this way?
“They are giving positions meant for APC members to the opposition lawmakers. To worsen the situation, the person Mr. Speaker is patronising in Imo state has now been appointed as DG of the governorship election campaign council of the main opposition party, PDP.”
“The governor has been appealing to the Speaker to withdraw the appointment of Imo Ugochinyere as chairman of the petroleum committee since it was made public on July 27, but he called the governor’s bluff. How can Mr. Speaker humiliate the chairman of PGF this way?
“This situation has compelled the governor to bring this development to the attention of Mr. President. We expected the President to call the Speaker to order when he returned from his foreign trip. Ugochinyere must be removed, and his ego must be deflated. Continuous patronage of the opposition elements by our leaders at the national level is an attempt to kill the party,” another source in Uzodinma’s government said.