Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State failed to attend the first strategic zonal meeting of President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election campaign council in Enugu State on Thursday.
Others, who were noticeably absent include former Senate President Ken Nnamani; former Anambra State Governor Chief Jim Nwobodo; four Ministers from the South East, Chris Ngige (Labour), Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), Anthony Anwuka (Education/State Minister) and Okechukwu Enelama (Trade and Investment).
Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology was the only Minister from the South East that attended the closed-door strategy meeting, convened by Sharon Ikeazor, the Director of Buhari Campaign Council, South East.
The meeting was earlier scheduled to start by 10.am but it was delayed for several hours, following the absence of some key stakeholders.
It eventually commenced by 1.pm when it was obvious that Okorocha and other key stakeholders were not coming.
Some inside sources who confided in journalists blamed the absence of notable South East APC leaders on their dissatisfaction with the appointment of Miss Ikeazor, a political rookie without any electoral antecedents as the Director of the Buhari Campaign in the South East.
Most of the APC leaders were said to have seen her appointment as an attempt by President Buhari to add salt to the injury already inflicted on Ndigbo by his administration.
The meeting, however, went ahead without an array of South East APC bigwigs.
Answering questions from journalists after the first session, Ikeazor played down the absence of Okorocha and others from the meeting, saying that workings of government cannot ground to a halt because of politics.
Ikeazor said Okorocha had his representative at the meeting, who would report back to him.
“You noticed that not all Ministers are here. Governance cannot ground to a halt because of politics,” she said.
On the resolutions at the meeting, Ikeazor said since there was no longer time, they resolved to adopt a targeted approach to see that Buhari wins South East.
Others at the meeting were Senators, Benjamin Uwajumogu and Andy Uba, the National Vice Chairman, South East, Emma Eneukwu, National Auditor George Muoghalu, Osita Okechukwu, Hope Uzodimma, Uche Ogar, and Emeka Wogu.