- Can Imo North Senatorial bye election be a catalyst to determine the political direction of Imo State in 2023?
BY DECLAN ONWUAMAMAM
Four years from now may be a long period, but in politics, particularly in Imo State, four years is sufficient time for any serious political contender with intention to vie for public office to begin plotting the success of his or her political ambition.
Baring unforeseen circumstances, the Imo North Senatorial bye election may be the last election in Imo state before 2023 political season.
Imo state is expected to hold staggered elections between 2023 and 2024, because the timeline for holding the governorship election in the State was altered when the Supreme Court removed Emeka Ihedioha as Governor, and enthroned Hope Uzodinma.
While other elections such as House of Assembly, National Assembly polls are expected to hold in 2023, the governorship election will take place in 2024.
Based on the foregoing, the Imo North Senatorial election which comes up on October 31, 2020 is strategic to future elections in the State.
While certain political dynamics which will shape the outcome of the Imo North Senatorial election may not necessarily apply in three or four years time, it will give an inkling which political party could be in pole position to take the commanding lead ahead of the general polls in 2023/2024.
The Okigwe South House of Reps re run election, which was won by Ms Miriam Onuoha of the All Progressive Congress, APC, gives further clarity how the Imo North Senatorial polls may eventually turn out.
The APC prides itself as the ruling party, on the grounds that it is in control of all levers of power in the state, leaving the PDP to remain the dominant and opposition party with vast tentacles to cause an upset.
On paper, the APC may look good to clinch Okigwe senatorial seat having maintained strong and considerable hold in the area even after the demise of Senator Benjamin Uwajumuogu who was also of the APC. That the party is weighed down by internal crisis is surpressed by other variables such as being the party in power at the State and at the centre.
Despite the intractable crisis that rocked the APC Imo North Senatorial Primary, the party retains its tap root in the zone considering the number of the political heavyweights who belong to the party.
This does not however mean it will have a walkover, an easy ride to victory at the polls when there is rooted opposition which the PDP firmly represents.
The contest without mincing words, is a two horse race- between candidates of the APC and PDP. Others make up the number since there is no known history of political upsets or surprised stunts recorded by other political parties in the zone. This is the bitter truth.
Whichever way the pendulum of victory swings in the Imo North senatorial bye election, it will never in anyway, influence or dictate the outcome of future elections in the state. The factors and variables which may shape the outcome of the bye election cannot be used as a yardstick for the governorship election in four years time which is largely influenced by the perception of the government in power and the party by the Imo electorate.
“While certain political dynamics which will shape the outcome of the Imo North Senatorial election may not necessarily apply in three or four years time, it will give an inkling which political party could be in pole position to take the commanding lead ahead of the general polls in 2023/2024”