As political parties intensify preparations to hold their primaries, that of the governorship have elicited so much interest as an analyst, Mr. Emmanuel Okwu has reeled out his prediction of the likely governorship candidates that will emerge from four major political parties in the State.
Okwu, a political scientist, said his prediction is based on his deep understanding of Imo politics having served as political adviser/consultant to more than five governorship aspirants from 2007- 2011.
Speaking to this newspaper in an interview, he said his predictions were personal and may not necessarily influence the outcome of the primaries in the political parties namely the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, the All Progressive Congress, APC and the United Progressive Party, UPP.
“These four political parties do stand a chance to produce the next governor of Imo State” he told this newspaper.
“Governorship candidates that will emerge from these political parties should not be taken for granted
“Imo PDP is relatively calm because it is now a minority party. That is the reason why we have limited number of governorship aspirants. The scenario in the party is that we have a two horse race between Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and Senator Samuel Anyanwu.
“The PDP is all about structure politics.The structure produces the candidates and whosoever that has the structure gets the ticket”
“Ihedioha has a grip on the party structure judging from his role during the Makarfi/Sherrif battle at the national level of the PDP”
“He has hugely benefited from the outcome of that political quagmire because his loyalists are scattered all over the party in the State
“He took over a huge chunk of the party structure a long time ago and it will be difficult to wrestle it away from him
“Senator Anyanwu is not a pushover. He has not lost any election in his political career so such a character should not be under estimated”
“Anyanwu is keeping Ihedioha on his toes and this is good for the party. We are about to see an interesting governorship primaries in Imo PDP” he said
Okwu predicted a tight race in the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA.
“The success of Imo APGA at the elections depends on how it goes about its Primaries. If it comes out unscathed during the primaries considering the number of aspirants in the party, then it looks good to make a headway in the 2019 governorship elections.
“I must admit Imo APGA parade the finest set of governorship aspirants at the moment.
“There is no clear cut prediction on who will get the governorship ticket because many factors are involved and there are unpredictable political variables that may play out
“The party has been hunted by a stigma- whereby some politicians gate crash into the party, use the party platform to win elections and bingo, off they join another party
“The case of Governor Rochas Okorocha is a case study. He won the 2011 governorship election with APGA and dumped the party thereafter. I believe the present party leadership in the State has done so well to prevent such from happening again
“I believe the party members are now wary of this and will avoid a repeat of such.
“At the moment, aspirants such as Okey Ezeh, Frank Nneji, Uche Onyeagocha are doing great. From my observations, they are doing so well.The entrance of Ikedi Ohakim into the party is another huge factor. You cannot wish him away because take it or leave it; he is an asset to the party. Humphrey Anumudu is an old political war horse with so much experience. We will have a five horse race for the governorship ticket in Imo APGA
Mr. Okwu spoke on the All Progressive Congress, APC, saying unless the Courts “clear the coast properly, there may be parallel governorship primaries”
“APC in Imo State may produce two governorship candidates. The Courts will play a crucial role by giving legitimacy to one of the factions
“But no matter the political situation in the party, Uche Nwosu and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume are the major contenders for the governorship ticket of the party. Whoever that can outwit the other in the ongoing game of wits carries the flag
He said the emergence of a “Fourth Force” is very possible before the election, arguing that the United Progressive Party, UPP is making strong incursions in the political arena of the State.
“UPP is growing in strength. I foresee a one horse race in the party because the House of Reps member, Tony Nwulu is dominating the scene in the party and is likely to effortlessly grab the governorship ticket” Mr.Okwu predicted.