The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is the main opposition party in Imo State.

From 1999- 2019, it produced two elected governors- Achike Udenwa and Emeka Ihedioha.

Ikedi Ohakim who governed the State from 2007-2011, was elected on the platform of Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA. He later decamped to the PDP.

PDP’s control of the levers of power in Imo State was however ruptured by the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The APC, like the PDP, produced two State governors- Rochas Okorocha and the incumbent, Senator Hope Uzodimma.

The 2023 general elections ushered in the Labour party as the third force in Nigeria’s political firmament. 

Despite an impressive outing in the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections in the State, many contend that the Imo governorship contest will be a two horse race- the PDP and the APC.

Certainly, the governorship election will determine which of the two political parties, really holds the ace in Imo politics, irrespective of the strong posture expected of the Labour party.

In the build up to the governorship election which will hold on November 11, the PDP in the State is going to the polls, not as a formidable opposition party as it was in the past.

The party lately, is sitting on the edge of the knife, considering recent developments in its fold. In the past six months, the party has witnessed gale of defections.

key stakeholders have either quit the party or dumped it for the governing All Progressives Congress, APC in the State. This has weakened the foundation and pillars of the party.

Three members of the House of Representatives elected on the party’s platform, Hon.Bede Eke, Hon Henry Nwawuba, Hon Ikenna Elezianya, had left the party with their supporters for the APC.

Before then, Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi, had dumped the party after losing its senatorial ticket for Imo East. He joined the Labour party, where he won re- election for a third term.

The withdrawal of former governor of the State, Emeka Ihedioha, from the party’s governorship primary, perhaps dealt a huge blow to the party. Senator Samuel Anyanwu, the National Secretary of the party later emerged its governorship candidate. 

Ihedioha’s withdrawal from the contest had a multiplier effect on the party, such as increased defections by party loyalists to the APC and low morale of members.

Last month, seven members of the State Working Committee, SWC, resigned their positions and quickly joined the APC.

Those who resigned are: Sir Martins Ejiogu, Deputy Chairman, Ray Emeana, Secretary, and Greg G.O.C. Nwadike, Youth leader. Others include Collins Opurozor, Publicity Secretary; Mrs Maria Mbakwe, Women leader; Josiah Eze, Treasurer; and Chibuisi Obido, Vice Chairman, Orlu Zone

This jolted party members and stakeholders.

“This broke the camel’s back. It shattered the party and made it look vulnerable.The defections lent credence to speculations that the party may be on a mission it cannot accomplish. A mission impossible” said Mr. Ben Ekeigwe, an Owerri based political analyst.

Based on the prevailing circumstances in the party and four months to the governorship election, it is unclear if the PDP in Imo State posses the firepower and political stamina to displace the APC and win the 2023 governorship election.

Though it’s governorship candidate, Senator Anyanwu, is reputed to posses fine qualities and experience to be governor of the State, tumbling events and developments in the party, may not give it the cutting edge to win an election, as tough as the governorship, with an incumbent governor from the ruling party seeking re election.

This newspaper observed that the PDP has not won any election in the State, either an  off-season or general election, since the APC led administration of Hope Uzodimma came on board in January 2020.

It lost the Okigwe Senatorial election, which was won Mr.Frank Ibezim, and Ngor Okpala State Assembly election, won by Blyden Amajirionwu, all of the APC.

These elections took place before the 2023 presidential and National Assembly election, where the party lost all the three Senatorial and nine of the ten House of Reps seats, to the APC.

At the State Assembly election held in March this year, it failed to win a single seat, losing all the 27 seats to the APC.

Though the party leadership in the State raised objections to the elections which it claimed were fraudulent, analysts argue that the PDP needs to urgently embark on an “internal surgery” if it intends to win the governorship election.

Part of the “surgery”, is to get the support of former governor Emeka Ihedioha.

Many party members who spoke to INNONEWS say that the continuous silence of Ihedioha, or his inability to openly endorse Senator Anyanwu’s governorship bid, seems to be affecting the party tremendously.

It is observed that 90 percent of the party structure in the State was installed by Ihedioha and majority of those remaining in the party are loyal to him.

“Ihedioha is Imo PDP. Imo PDP is Ihedioha. This is a fact.

“It is not a fallacy. PDP can only win the next governorship election, if Ihedioha comes out openly to declare support for Senator Anyanwu and possibly join him in his campaign train”

“Ihedioha’s endorsement would increase the acceptability of the PDP and it’s candidate in the State ahead of the election”

“The APC knows that with Ihedioha’s exit from the race, it is a straight win for Uzodimma and the governor knows, and this is why he can afford to spend only five days in the State and several months in Abuja since Tinubu was inaugurated as President on May 29” said a chieftain of the party who spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, some loyalists of Senator Anyanwu believe that irrespective of the obvious lack of firepower in the party, he can make a headway at the guber election because of his political credentials

A chieftain of the party, Mr.Chuks Ajaelu, said despite the defections, the PDP is a well structured party in Imo State and its governorship candidate, Senator Anyanwu, is the best man for the job of Imo governor.

In an interview with INNONEWS recently, he said “our candidate, Senator Anyanwu possess all the credentials to be governor of Imo State. His acceptance is beyond the PDP. His acceptability is beyond the boundary of the PDP.

“None of the past governors in the State, from Dee Sam Mbakwe, up to the present governor, is well groomed in the State, like Senator Anyanwu

“He represents a breath of fresh air in the State and if he is elected governor, be will certainly live up to expectations” he concluded.


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