Four months to the November 11 governorship election in Imo State, it is evidently clear that candidates of three political parties are the major contenders.

They are:Governor Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress, APC,  who is seeking re election, Senator Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Senator Athan Achonu of the Labour party, LP.

The aspiration of Senator Achonu is mired in controversy, following the ruling of a Federal High Court in Owerri, which declared Chief Ikechukwu Ukaegbu, as the authentic governorship candidate of the Labour party in Imo State.

Key determinant factors such as the intensity of the contest, how Imolites/voters perceive the candidates, the possibility of a fourth force and other contending issues will shape the outcome of the race.

A  Sloppy Contest?

It has been observed that the pace or intensity of the governorship contest has not been impressive. It is a sloppy contest with candidates and their political parties yet to bring the expected chasm and energy in the race.

Observers of the forthcoming polls say there is no spark in the Imo governorship contest.

“There is no spark in the contest thus far. Four months to the election, we do not know the unique selling points of the candidates.

 “I think it has to do with the quality of candidates we have this time around. The needed fireworks are not there”  said Ken Onwumere, a political analyst who spoke to INNONEWS. 

Mudslinging and character assassination by supporters of candidates have taken the centre stage, replacing the quest for issues driven campaigns.

How Voters Recognize The Candidates

Name recognition of candidates by voters play crucial roles in determining the performance of candidates at elections.

Governor Hope Uzodimma of the APC is the most recognized name in the guber contest, ostensibly because he is the governor of the State.

He is closely followed by Senator Sam Anyanwu of the PDP, who is recognized by vast majority of Imolites because of his consistent foray in the political landscape in the State having being a local government chairman, and state and federal legislator.

The crisis of dual candidature in the Labour party has significantly affected name recognition of its governorship candidate.

The voting Imo populace is in limbo on who is the authentic governorship candidate of the Labour party, and it will not augur well for the party if it fails to fix the issue of who really is its governorship candidate.

A Fourth Force Can’t Alter Three Horse Race

Four months to the polls, none of the three major governorship candidates seem to have hit the 70 percent acceptability pass-mark among the populace. Perhaps, this will change when the campaigns begin in full blast.

The possibility of a dark horse or a fourth force emerging in the contest to alter the outcome of the election is most unlikely.

Poor visibility of majority of the candidates and weak political party structures are major factors undermining the capability of these candidates to give the major contenders a fight.

Contending Issues For Nov 11 Guber

Key issues such as insecurity, economy of the state, governance, infrastructure etc, remain major discourse for campaigns. It is yet to be seen what is the holistic approach or strategy of the candidates to resolve major issues plaguing the state.

 A Political Tsunami Not Imminent In Imo Guber.

Random sampling of opinion show that a political tsunami is not expected in the Imo guber polls.

The Peter Obi Tsunami, which swept across the South East and gave considerable edge to the Labour party, is not likey to re-echo in the guber election.  

Obi’s Labour party does not possess a candidate who can serve as arrow head for a tsunami in the election.

Also, other factors such as the disenchantment of the voting populace in the state over the electoral process in the country  have eroded the confidence of voters in the state.

This may lead to voter apathy.

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