The countdown to the 2023/24 governorship election has kick started in Imo State and many political observers say that the contest is a straight one between the governing All Progressive Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
It is expected that Governor Hope Uzodimma and his predecessor, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, will plunge into the guber contest in 2023/24, barring unforeseen political circumstances.
Irrespective of the fact that other eligible governorship hopefuls are free to join the contest, political dynamics in the state already point to a titanic battle ahead between the All Progressive Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Both political parties dominate the political landscape in the state because of their spread, solidity and presence across the nooks and crannies of the State.
Latest political events in the state lately, show that the guber race may have begun on a slow note, with the Egbu Declaration- an event organized by Owerri Reawakening, a group, which claimed it is championing the cause of Owerri zone to produce the next governor of the State in 2023.
This year’s event understandably generated so much fuss, because the Declaration was dominated by stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with former governor Ihedioha, taking advantage of the event, to re-state that Owerri zone should keep their eyes on the ball, in other words, Owerri zone should not lose sight of the governorship seat of the state.
Analysts further contend that Ihedioha maximized the event to showcase his desire to contest for the Imo governorship election in 2023/2024, when he said “he will not go on campaigns because the campaign has already done itself”
Events which trailed the Egbu Declaration jump-started flurry of political activities with salvos fired at organizers of the event by groups strongly affiliated to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC in the State.
Apparently irked how the PDP and Ihedioha spearheaded the Egbu Declaration, some groups, such as Orlu Political Consultative Assembly, OPOCA, headed by Rex Anunobi, who was re appointed as Commissioner by Governor Hope Uzodimma, took a swipe at the organizers of the event and poured invective on Ihedioha.
The former governor, according to the group, is desperate to return to power.
Political mind games had followed suit after the event, with the APC led administration in the state taking key steps in what appears to be subtle preparations for the 2023/2024 governorship election.
Mr Jude Anyasador, a political analyst told INNONEWS that “the Egbu Declaration was a tactical political mind game orchestrated by the PDP and Ihedioha to signal their readiness for the political contest in 2023/2024”
This newspaper observed that aside political altercations exchanged by pro PDP and APC groups after the event, the APC led Uzodimma administration has taken some steps which signals their preparatory moves ahead of 2023/2024.
Anyasodor said “After the Egbu Declaration, the APC also played out its mind game. New Commissioners were named 6 months after the governor had sacked his cabinet, a local government election is imminent with the declaration by Imo State Independent Electoral Commission, ISIEC signaling readiness to hold the Council polls in March 2022
“Development Centres which had gone extinct after Ikedi Ohakim left office as governor is about to return to the State. For the first time, party stalwarts from the booth level, to the ward and LGA levels were to meet the governor before its was postponed.
“These recent developments are political mind games on the part of the governor and APC in Imo State to tune the mindset of loyalists of the party ahead of the coming political battle”he said.