With the conclusion of primaries by political parties, three governorship candidates have emerged from Mbaise nation in Imo State.
Mbaise has the largest voting population in the State spanning across three local governments namely Ahiazu Mbaise, Ezinihitte Mbaise and Aboh Mbaise.
This newspaper had predicted before the party primaries that three governorship candidates from three major political parties will come from Mbaise. It had predicted that Emeka Ihedioha will win the PDP governorship ticket, Tony Nwulu will grab that of the UPP and Okey Ezeh judging from his pace in APGA at that time will pick the APGA governorship ticket.
While Okey Ezeh later lost out in the scramble for the APGA ticket, Ihedioha and Nwulu secured the PDP and UPP tickets. Ezeh later left APGA and has reportedly picked the governorship ticket of the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
This development has attracted diverse political permutations which range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Three sub zones make up Owerri zone. They are Mbaike sub zone comprising Mbaitoli/Ikeduru, Oratta or Alaenyi clan comprising Owerri municipal, Owerri North and Owerri West. The Mbaise sub zone is made up of three local governments namely Ahaizu, Ezinihitte , Aboh and Ngor Okpala Local Governments.
Of the three sub zones, Mbaike and Alaenyi axis have no governorship candidate. Either by default or design, the Mbaise bloc now carry the hopes of Owerri zone in the 2019 governorship election having produced three governorship candidates.
Owerri zone has continuously suffered political annihilation in the political alchemy of Imo State. Since the advent of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, it has not produced the State Governor thus strengthening its quest to have a pie of the cake in 2019.
In the past, the two great Mbaise sons had made audacious moves to become Governor of Imo State. They are Dr. Fabian Osuji and Dr. Alex Obi. They both lost as students of political history will recall that there was a gang up against a Governor coming from Mbaise nation by other Zones in the State at that time.
More than 25 years after that political incident, one wonders if such political gang up against an Mbaise governor for Imo State have abated.
With the Mbaise sub zone carrying the hopes of Owerri zone in 2019, there is need for a real political campaign to erase the notion that an Mbaise Governor will be clannish. This makes it imperative for leaders of the three sub zones in Owerri zone to glue together and do away with mundane considerations and work as a family.
This is Owerri zone finest moment. There is need for Owerri zone to go beyond its shores and extend a hand of friendship with other sister geo political zones to realize an Owerri zone Governor in 2019. The zone cannot single handely elect the next Governor of Imo State.There must be a cross pollination and this is the only path to achieve political sucess in 2019.