A survey conducted in nine local governments across the three geopolitical zones of Imo State by the Centre for Democratic Rights (CDR) has predicted that the forthcoming governorship election in the state is “dicey and unpredictable.”

In a 17-page survey report forwarded to this newspaper by David Uhuo, the CDR State Director, it said there is no conclusive evidence to prove who will emerge as the winner of the governorship election to be held on November 11.

The report expressed worry over “voter apathy, disinterest in the election by a large number of eligible voters, and insecurity, as major factors that will impede the conduct of the election.

“A sizeable number of voters will not vote, drawing inferences from the State Assembly election, which, in their analysis, was flawed and did not reflect the wishes and expressions of the majority of voters in the state.

“The untamed level of insecurity, especially in key unstable areas of Orlu and Okigwe zones, would hamper voting, as voters seem to be off guard over the forthcoming governorship election.

“Awareness about the election has dropped mainly in rural areas. Urban and semi-urban settlements are attuned to the electoral process and have expressed willingness to vote but worry if their votes will count.

“Loss of confidence in the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has not ebbed, as opposition parties have continuously expressed worry over the Commission’s ability to be truly impartial in the process.

“The Commission has been repeatedly accused of aligning with the ruling party, despite assurances by the Commission that it would be above board” part of the report stated.

On the level of preparedness of the 17 governorship candidates, the CDR noted that three political parties—the Labour Party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC—have high levels of visibility across the state.

“The APC is the most organized across the LGAs, with strong membership and an impressive support base across the state, including areas least expected.

“Despite resentment toward the party and diminishing acceptance levels , it has maintained a formidable structure and membership.

“The Labour Party has an impressive and appreciable acceptance rate, riding on the looming image of its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, who was massively voted for during the February 25 presidential election.

“The PDP maintains an age-long structure and presence across the state, which is a huge advantage to its quest to return to power. However, the party is plagued by rooted political differences that emanated before the process that led to the emergence of its governorship candidate.

The CDR noted that several cumulative factors will determine who wins the governorship election on November 11 “if unconventional factors such as rigging, which has been a common feature in most elections in the state, do not rear their ugly heads.

“If the votes count, the contest would not be a one-way victory for any of the three leading political parties, the APC, LP, and PDP. It is unpredictable and dicey only in the realm of genuine, free, fair, and credible elections.

“Candidates are up against political muscling, and idea-driven campaigns are not visible thus far,” part of the report stated.


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