BY GIDEON AGBALAMA
There has been noticeable slow and sloppy approach by politicians in Imo State, as the 2023 general elections draw near.
It has also been observed that the political arena has been somewhat “dull” as most public office seekers, seem to be measuring their foot steps towards realizing their political ambitions.
This development is prevalent in the three major political parties in the State- the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
Some political analysts contend that there is more time ahead for any public office seeker to showcase his or her ambition.
Another school of thought point fingers at the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari, to sign the amended Electoral Act into law, as the major factor responsible for the slow pace most politicians have adopted to 2023.
The amended Electoral Act has been subject of controversy since last year the President withheld assent to the Act.
“The brouhaha over the Electoral Act can be attributed to the slow start, adopted by politicians and political parties, including INEC towards the 2023 elections.
“The Act would dictate the pace of key players and actors in the political process leading to 2023” said Hon Fred Anyagwa, an Owerri based political analyst.
Also,the uncertainty surrounding the conduct of Primaries of Political parties, has also been fingered as part of the reasons why majority of public office seekers are on a slow start to 2023.
However for Hon Kyrian Ezegbu, an ex Councillor in the State, political parties are bound to hold primaries despite the controversy over the Electoral Act, particularly the mode of the primary- direct or indirect- which has been subject of national debate.
According to him, political parties should hold primaries between August and September 2022.
“Come rain, come sun, political parties are expected to hold primaries six or seven months to the general elections. INEC has scheduled February 18, 2023 for the presidential elections, thus Primaries should hold within the period stipulated” he submitted.
This newspaper also observed that the intensity of political activities in Imo State in 2019 was far higher, to what is presently obtained.
This is a sharp contrast in 2022, where there are fewer aspirants vying for various elective positions such as the Senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly.
In 2018, a year to the 2019 elections, there were many aspirants jostling for the State House of Assembly seats. There were also several governorship hopefuls. Those jostling for National Assembly positions were legion.
However, it has been noted that in the build up to 2023, more aspirants are springing up in the opposition parties than in the ruling party, ostensibly due to inter play of political dynamics which shape each of the political parties.
According to Hon Ken Onuoha, an Owerri based media consultant, “Opposition parties, such as the PDP in Imo State, seems to have a level ground for anyone, unlike in the ruling party, APC, where the State Governor holds the ace. And no one wants to be seen to be running a blind race in the ruling party.
“Some aspirants in the PDP have started consultations” he claimed.
Analysts further contend that other factors such as the pending National Convention of the APC, is chiefly responsible for the slow approach adopted by aspirants in the ruling party in the State.
An APC Chieftain, Hon Kevin Anyasodor, said “After the national convention, political activities would pick up and those who are vying for one position or the other would fully kick start their intention.