BY EVELYN ANYASODOR
The race for Owerri zone senate seat is hitting up as aspirants in the two leading political parties in Imo State, the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP continue to surface in a bid to emerge the candidates of their respective political parties.
Owerri zone senatorial contest is adjudged the most fierce and intense in Imo State after the governorship election.
In the ruling party, the APC in the state, four aspirants are hoping to emerge the flag-bearer of the party. There is a possibility that the number of aspirants in the party will increase as the Party Primary draws near.
The four aspirants, thus far in the race are business tycoon, Prince Alex Mbata, Hilary Unachukwu (Ugo Sly), Chief Jerry Chukwueke and Mr. Mike Nwachukwu.
Of this number,political observers contend that the most formidable aspirant is Prince Mbata.
Mbata is a popular philanthropist of note, whose empowerment programme last December was rated the largest in the state, having empowered more than 10,000 people from Owerri zone.
Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma had led prominent Imolites to attend the event alongside former Governor Ikedi Ohakim and elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.
Another aspirant in the contest is Hilary Unachukwu, who decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the APC.
Chief Mike Nwachukwu, an ex banker is also in the race after a failed attempt in the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in 2019.
Chief Jerry Chukwueke, a businessman and one time governorship aspirant had recently joined the contest.
In the Peoples Democratic Party, the contest for the party’s senatorial ticket in the zone, is a straight battle between Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi, who is seeking a second term and a former member of House of Representatives, Hon Uche Onyeagocha.
Another entrant in the contest in the PDP, is Basil Maduka.
Analysts contend that the race in the PDP will be more fierce and intense.
The outcome of the primaries of the two political parties and whoever emerges the party’s candidate will determine the intensity of the senatorial contest scheduled to hold in 2023.