*BY RALPH EJIMKONYE*
The Imo Awareness Coalition, a political watchdog and forecast group have predicted that three of the four or five major political parties in contention for the Imo governorship race may have their candidates from Mbaise nation.
Mbaise clan is the most dominant and the largest in Imo State scattered across three local governments. They also have the largest population in the State.
According to Emmanuel Okwu, spokesman of the group, he said governorship aspirants from Mbaise axis are waxing strong in three of the five major political parties predicted to produce the next Governor of Imo State.
According to him, of the five parties, four of them are in contention for the exalted of Imo governorship. They are the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, the All Progressive Congress, APC, the United Progressive Party, UPP, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and to a minimal extent the Social Democratic Party, SDP
He said the influx of Mbaise governorship aspirants in APGA such as Chief Okey Ezeh, Steve Nwoga, Stanley Amuchie and others from Mbaise nation “creates a window of opportunity for Mbaise to possibly produce APGA’s governorship candidate”
“In the PDP, it is a two horse race and the ticket could swing in favour of either Senator Samuel Anyanwu who is from Ikeduru LGA and Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha who is from Aboh Mbaise. If the latter emerges the candidate of the PDP that means another candidate from Mbaise has emerged from another major political party for the governorship contest in 2019.
“There is no indication that the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC will be from Mbaise considering the strong showing of Uche Nwosu who is from Nkwerre LGA and who has been favoured for the guber ticket by Governor Rochas Okorocha who controls more than 90% of the APC in Imo State
“ In the United Progressive Party, UPP in the State, it is a one horse race where Hon. Tony Nwulu is the unchallenged governorship aspirant in the party and has 100% chance of picking the governorship ticket. Though he represents Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency in Lagos State, he is from Ezinihitee Mbaise LGA
“The implications of a possible emergence of three governorship candidates from Mbaise is a tricky one. It could make or mar their chances in the long run depending on how the dynamics of Imo 2019 governorship plays out” Mr. Okwu said