Our man “on ground” claims that Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha has his eyes on a 2019 run for president.
He has been secretly seeking the support of influential Muslim northern Nigerians. But they allegedly told him that they would only support his bid if he could “sensitise” more Igbos towards Islam and Muslims, making them more sympathetic to the religion, seeing it as a religion of peace, and so on.
A way forward has been identified which involves creating an “artificial” Muslim community in Igbo land. To achieve this, young women from villages across Imo State are being offered 2m Naira to be married off to northern Muslim alhajis. The idea is that they should have Muslim children, increasing the numbers of Muslims among Igbos.
Most Igbos are Christians, with Igbo Muslims a statistically insignificant number. Okorocha’s potential northern backers feel that with more Igbo Muslims, any party seen as Muslim or northern dominated would have a better chance of making inroads in majority Igbo-speaking states like Imo.
Okorocha has also converted the property previously occupied by the state government-owned Statesman newspaper to an “Institute of Strategic Studies”. Apparently, the only “strategic studies” going down there involve combat training. Our contact claims thugs are being trained there to be deployed for intimidating opponents and rigging the (s)elections.