*BY CHIEDU UZODINMA*
The race for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Imo State, has really given intensity to the contest.
The race is a clear and direct one between two front-liner aspirants- Rt.Hon Emeka Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senator Samuel Anyanwu, Senator representing Owerri zone.
Others in the contest such as Chukwuma Ekomaru (SAN), Prof Jude Njoju indeed make up the number of contestants.
The PDP in the State enjoy relative peace and harmony which can be described as the first time the party is going into its primaries and a general election with little or no chaos as was the case in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
However, this new scenario does not make the guber primaries less cumbersome.
Analysts contend that Ihedioha and Anyanwu are indeed the leading candidates in the governorship contest having invested so much time and resources in marketing their aspirations.
Ihedioha was the party’s governorship flag-bearer in 2015.Despite losing the governorship election to Governor Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressive Congress, he has to his credit of putting up a remarkable performance at the polls.
His journey to the 2019 guber race has not been an easy one as he had a battered PDP to resuscitate, a party badly ravaged by the monster of defeat of the 2015 election.
Despondency and loss of hope had gripped party members as the PDP in the State remained in limbo and state of hopelessness.Series of intra party squabbles had rocked the party as contending forces scrambled for its soul.
With the crisis over and a party structure from the ward to the State levels put in place, there are indications that majority of party members are loyal to Ihedioha.This places him in a vintage position to pick the governorship ticket of the party at the primaries.
However, the ambition of Senator Samuel Anyanwu has indeed made the race for the governorship ticket of Imo PDP not an easy ride for the former Federal Lawmaker. Anyanwu has a great deal of support from a foremost leader of the party, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu who has not hidden his support for the Senator.
Iwuanyanwu has remained a political octopus in the PDP having contributed immensely in dictating who gets what in the party both at the State and national levels. Anyanwu too has some considerable level of support base from party members who attest to some of his fine qualities as an effective legislator.
However, in a party structure politics is key, it appears the race will be more favourable to any of the aspirants who have considerable grip on the party structure.
This is where Ihedioha could be said to have an upper hand though he has a herculean task to displace Anyanwu who has not relented in firing his ambition on all cylinders and who seem to reaching out impressively to grassroot members of the party
Whatever will decide who pick’s the party’s governorship ticket depends soley on who among the front runners have the political wizardly and acumen to charm the delegates who have the sole power to choose who flies the party’s flag at the primaries.
*Uzodinma Is Editor At Large, innonews.com.ng