Imo Guber Candidates: Their Chances And Flaws

by admin


Three months to the governorship election in Imo State, there is no intensity about the contest. It is so drab. No firepower, no razzmatazz.

This contest seems different. Candidates and their political parties are sleep- walking. Issues driven campaigns have taken the back seat.

What we have seen thus far, are reluctant opposition candidates, and an incumbent, who is exuding confidence of his re- election.

Many factors, seen and unseen, would influence who wins the governorship polls on November 11.

It’s a three horse race. Others are struggling to catch up. Three months to the polls, some of the candidates are not known to the public. They exist on WhatsApp, on social media platforms.

Since 1999, Imo has been a swing State. The PDP, APGA and APC had dominated the contest.

No other political party has come close to Government House, Owerri, except the Progressive Peoples Party, PPA, which Udenwa used as an “emergency vehicle” to convey Ikedi Ohakim to Government House. Ohakim, later dumped the PPA for PDP.

APGA brought Rochas Okorocha to Government House in 2011. PDP produced Achike Udenwa and Emeka Ihedioha, while Uzodimma rode on the platform of the APC to come to power.

APGA, one of the major political parties then, has presently fallen from the ladder. Or from grace to grass. The party has diminished in status and stature in Imo.

Lately, it has lost political steam and momentum since the Labour Party came into the political arena of the State.  APGA needs to be re tooled and repackaged. And it should not expect immediate results. Labour party has boxed it into a tight corner.

It has lost its fear factor in Imo politics. In the past,the fear of APGA is the beginning of political wisdom. All that has evaporated.

This is the burden, its governorship candidate,Tony Ejiogu has to carry. He has a lot of work to do in APGA.

*Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma*

For Governor Hope Uzodimma and his APC, a big battle looms ahead. The contest will be no walk over. Incumbency factor may or may not work in his favour.  

We have seen incumbent governors lose governorship elections, not in faraway Zamfara, but here in Imo State. Ohakim was wrestled out of power after a first term. Achike Udenwa could not produce a successor after eight years in office. Ihedioha was booted out after seven months.

Imo governorship contest is unpredictable and laced with landmines. If you step on the landmines, you are blown away.

Those who say the election will be a tea party for Uzodimma and his APC are either oblivious of the emerging political dynamics in the State or simply playing to the gallery.

His chances for a second term are bright and clear, but he needs to work hard and put in more energy. The energy expected of an experienced political war horse which would give him the cutting edge.

There are many variables which is shaping the 2023 Imo governorship contest. Some of them are political, some are not.

What may be going for Uzodimma, is that all the big political actors in the State are now in the APC. Even the opposition PDP has lost its vibrancy because most of its political titans have left the party for APC and openly endorsed Uzodimma’s aspiration.

This is a major plus. But big names based on recent political events in the State no longer win elections. Some of these political elites need political rehabilitation and revival. And most times, the ruling party serves as rehabilitation centers for them- a place for political succour.

Endorsements, either by groups or individuals, are minimal factors which win elections. They no longer add value to any election or to any candidate.

Bola Tinubu lost Lagos State in the presidential election to Labour Party’s Peter Obi, despite all the big political names and groups in the State who endorsed his presidential ambition. And despite the fact Asiwaju was a former governor of the State.

Governor Uzodimma must work for his re election and depend less on political layabouts, big names and endorsements. And he has the unique selling points to campaign with.  The odds count in his favour.

*Senator Sam Anyanwu, Imo PDP Guber Candidate*

The opposition candidates, Senator Samuel Anyanwu of the PDP, Athan Achonu of the LP, are also worthy sons of the State desirous of being elected as governor.

General Jack Ogunewe of the AA, is striving to be an emerging force in the contest, but he seems to be walking on a path he is unfamiliar with.

His aspiration would have gathered momentum if he had not lost out in the scramble for the governorship ticket of the Labour party.

For the PDP, it has waned since Ihedioha went for political sabbatical. The party is quaking. Confusion has enveloped most of Ihedioha’s loyalists and followers in the PDP. Some of them are stranded.

They were so glued to Ihedioha and now that he has left the governorship race, they are finding it difficult to join the train of Samuel Anyanwu, the PDP governorship candidate.

Some have gone to the APC, some are in Labour party and a good number of them are in political wilderness. 

Senator Anyanwu has however, done a great job thus far. He has worked so hard to reinvent some spark in the party which has impacted on his ambition.

What he has failed to do thus far, is his inability to convince Imolites that he is a better alternative to Uzodimma.  He needs to connect to the yearnings and expectations of the people he wants to govern.

He needs to approach Ihedioha. He ought to seek his support ahead of the election. This will impact positively on his chances at the governorship election. Anyanwu should know that Ihedioha is the face of Imo PDP, and till date, the former governor has enormous political goodwill and followership across the State which he can leverage on.

* Senator Athan Achonu* Imo LP Guber Candidate*

In the Labour party, Senator Athan Achonu has shown zeal, but it seems the Peter Obi wave is just to herculean for him to re enact in Imo. And that is the only strategy he needs, in order to give both Uzodimma and Anyanwu a run for their money at the polls.

Alex Otti won the governorship election in Abia State because of the Obi wave. The hurricane of the obidients.

The governorship election which took place a week after the presidential election in Abia, which Obi won overwhelmingly, helped Otti a lot. The Obi tsunami was raging and it aided the labour party to crush the PDP in that State.

Before then, Otti had connected his aspiration to the pains and frustrations of the people of Abia State, especially those in Aba who had groaned over Okezie Ikpeazu’s misrule.

The factors which catapulted Otti and his Labour party to Abia State Government House are completely absent in Imo.

The legal tussle over the governorship ticket of Imo Labour party, has in no small measure diminished the value of the party. It is hurting it badly. It is eroding the confidence of the people about the party. It is squandering it’s political goodwill.

As the elections comes near, what is paramount for Imo people is for the best among the lot to emerge. Imo people deserve the best and only the best among the lot should be elected come November 11.

By Innocent Onyeukwu

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