The out-gone year, 2021 was not an election year in Imo State, but it was a year which gave an insight of how tense and fierce the political space will be in 2022.
2022 is expected to be a campaign year in Imo State. Key political actors and players will influence the political direction of the state, as the year opens up a floodgate for political consultations and campaigns by politicians.
With the State and National Assembly elections expected to hold in February 2023, this sets the stage for intense politicking, as the outcome of the polls will determine the political pendulum of the state ahead of the governorship election which is expected to hold in late 2023.
In the run up to these developments, certain factors, political players will determine what takes place in the state.
Governor Hope Uzodimma
Governor Hope Uzodimma’s political moves in 2022 will determine the political direction the state will go.
With the likelihood to seek for a second term in office in the face of a turbulent first term, Uzodimma is expected to come under fierce criticisms from the opposition which seems to have kept his government on its toes since he assumed office.
With issues of insecurity weighing down his government, Uzodimma knows he has to step up the pace of governance in 2022 in the state, in order to embolden his ruling APC to ask for votes from Imolites for re election in 2023.
In 2021, Imo State was plagued by security challenges as the activities of unknown gunmen reached its peak. There were attacks on Police formations, security personnel and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in some local governments.
However, with remarkable success recorded by security agencies in tackling insecurity in the state, a secure and safe Imo State is imperative, in order to provide a platform for active politicking as a prelude to peaceful campaigns and elections in the State.
All Progressive Congress, APC
The APC is the governing party in Imo State. The party considerably stabilized in 2021, after it successfully conducted its congresses which ushered in new executives from the ward, Local government and State levels.
The party will be keen to retain power in the state, a monumental challenge or task for the party leadership in the face of mounting opposition.
Peoples Democratic Party
How the PDP intends to “dethrone” the APC from power in Imo State is yet to be deciphered. The party has become a rallying point for those who are opposed to the Uzodimma administration.
Having resolutely sounded its determination to succeed in taking over the reins of power in the state in 2023, how it fares in the political turf in 2022 will determine if it has the political nerve to accomplish this task.
All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
APGA in 2022 is expected to provide virile opposition to the ruling party, having proved in 2021 that it has got its acts right and does not want to be an onlooker in the next political dispensation.
Driven by its gubernatorial success in Anambra State in 2021 and having showed sparks of a new order, APGA could be the major alternative in 2023.
Senator Rochas Okorocha
Former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has not relented in his open opposition to the Uzodimma administration since 2021. He is not expected to cease fireworks, as his political camp- the Rescue Mission- seek to stage a come back to power in the state in 2023. Whether they will succeed or not, is an answer that is unknown.
His presidential ambition is also said to be on course.
Hon. Emeka Ihedioha
Former Governor Emeka Ihedioha is the arrow head of the PDP in Imo State since he was removed from office by the Supreme Court in January 2020. His intention to return to Government House, Owerri, in 2023, underscores how charged the political arena will be in the state. He has succeeded to rebuild the opposition party for the titanic electoral contest in 2023.
Hon Emeka Nwajiuba
Nwajiuba,the Minister of State for Education, is said to be eying the presidency in 2023. His aspiration is also gathering momentum . He has remained a key ally of President Muhammadu Buhari and if the quest by the South East to produce the nation’s President will be a reality, Nwajiuba is certainly in contention.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu
Senator Samuel Anyanwu is the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In 2021, shortly after his emergence as PDP National Scribe, he has been galvanizing the opposition party in the state to give the APC a chase for political power in 2023/24.
Uche Nwosu, son in law of former governor Rochas Okorocha, is expected to led a band of political loyalists of the former governor who want to return to various elective offices in the state in 2023.
2022 is not an election year. But this year, Imolites will play an important role in shaping the next political dispensation in the state ahead of the 2023 gubernatorial elections. 2022 is a year that would pin point their choices for various elective positions.