The issue of rotating the Owerri House of Reps seat between the three local governments of Owerri Municipal, Owerri North and Owerri West has been a thorny issue.
But available facts show that the odds for the 2019 House of Reps Seat favour Owerri Municipal born APC House of Reps candidate, Hon. Obinna Mbata if the principle of equity is applied in electing a new House of Reps member for the Federal Constituency.
Owerri Municipal is the “weeping child” of the Federal constituency as other two sister local Governments have had more than a fair share of the pie.
Owerri West Local Government had produced representatives of the constituency producing Hon Levi Oguike (1999-2003), Hon Uche Onyeagocha (2003-2007), a total of eight years.
Owerri North would have done eight years by the time incumbent Reps member, Hon Ezenwa Onyewuchi completes his two terms of eight years by May 2019. Hon. Onyewuchi was first elected to the House in 2011 and was re-elected for a second term in 2015.
Owerri Municipal only had an occupant at the Green Chambers through Hon. Ernest Ibejiako who was elected Member of the House from 2007- 2011. Based on these evident records, Owerri West and Owerri North Local Governments have occupied the Reps seat for 8 years each while Owerri municipal had done only a single term of 4 years.
Political watchers contend that in the spirit of equity, fairplay, justice and promoting the bond of unity in the Federal Constituency, Owerri Municipal should produce a representative in 2019.
Also If political permutations are anything to go by, the All Progressive Congress, APC Owerri House of Reps candidate, Hon Obinna Mbata is also in good stead to make a headway at the polls on February 16, 2019.
Despite the interest of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Ikenna Elezianya, Lawrence Achgbuo (APGA) and other candidates, the factors working in Mbata’s favour are weighty.
Aside enjoying the backing of a ruling party, an expected bandwagon votes will come Mbata’s way during the Presidential and National Assembly election scheduled to hold on February 16, 2019.
President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC presidential candidate has become a “rallying point” for the APC in Imo State. APC National Assembly candidates including Mbata are expected to benefit from this. Despite the crisis tearing the APC apart in the State orchestrated by Governor Rochas Okorocha and Senator Hope Uzodinma, the governorship candidate of the party, the two rivals are united in the task of “delivering Buhari” at the polls.
This could also work in favour of Hon. Mbata and other APC candidates who will benefit from such groundswell support irrespective of political leanings of the candidates in the two rival camps existing in Imo APC. This implies that Mbata and other APC candidates are expected to reap from such support for the President since voting for the President and National Assembly candidates will be held on the same Election Day.
It has been observed from previous elections that votes for Presidential candidates of a ruling party (irrespective of political party) positively impact on National Assembly candidates of the President’s party.
In 2015, President Goodluck Jonathan won in Imo State and National Assembly candidates of the PDP benefited from the bandwagon votes. There is no indication this will change in the 2019 presidential polls.
“But available facts show that the odds for the 2019 House of Reps Seat favour Owerri Municipal born APC House of Reps candidate, Hon. Obinna Mbata, if the principle of equity is applied in electing a new House of Reps member for the Federal Constituency”