24 hours to the Presidential and National Assembly election in Imo State, the race is a straight one, between the candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the Labour Party.

The APC is the ruling party, while the PDP remains the main opposition party. The Labour party was little known in the state, until the emergence of Peter Obi, as the party’s presidential flag-bearer.

The presidential race will be keenly vied for in the State considering the fact that the presidential candidates- Bola Tinubu (APC), Atiku Abubakar (PDP) and Peter Obi (LP), have appreciable level of support from the electorate across the state.

While Tinubu and Atiku rely on the solid political structure in place as a result of the strength and capacity of their political parties, Peter Obi’s aspiration has continued to enjoy tremendous and widespread support from majority of the populace.

This puts the former Anambra State Governor in pole position to possibly win the presidential vote, with Tinubu and Atiku, expected to garner 25 percent of the total votes cast.

For the National Assembly polls, which include the race for the three senatorial and 13 House of Representatives seats, the battle in Imo West is a fight to finish between the APC candidate, Senator Osita Izunaso and his Labour party counterpart, Charles Ahize.

The PDP is not fielding any senatorial candidate In Imo West. The Supreme Court had last month nullified the senatorial primary of the party which produced Jones Onyeriri, as its senatorial candidate.    

With a political marriage of convenience between Ahize’s Labour Party and the PDP lately, the APC senatorial candidate, Senator Izunaso, is banking on the backbone and support of the ruling party and Governor Hope Uzodimma, who until he became Imo State governor, represented Imo West in the Senate for eight years.

It is yet to be deciphered how voters will vote in the zone which has been bedeviled with insecurity and violence in the build up to the elections.Recently, over 100 National Youth Corps Members, NYSC, withdrew as INEC ad hoc staff and presiding officers in some parts of the zone, citing insecurity as major reason for their withdrawal.

In Imo East Senatorial zone, the surging popularity of business mogul and APC senatorial candidate, Alex Mbata, has put the governing party in pole position to clinch the senatorial seat, which is expected to spillover to the House of Reps contest in the zone.

Imo East has been the stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for a long period, but the zone has become a battleground for the APC, PDP and the Labour party, whose senatorial candidate, Ezenwa Onyewuchi, is seeking a second term as senator.

In Imo West Senator zone, it is a dicey affair as pockets of violence perpetrated by armed gunmen have led to the burning of houses of some politicians in the area.

The senatorial race in the zone, is between the PDP candidate, Emmanuel Okewulonu, APC candidate, Patrick Ndubueze, and LP candidate, Ifeanyi Araraume Jnr. The zone is dominantly an APC enclave, but changing dynamics in the build up to the polls has made the outcome of the race to look unpredictable.

There is a growing consensus among the Imo populace that candidates with capacity, excellent track records will earn the votes of voters irrespective of the political parties they belong to.



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