Many people were expecting governorship primaries of various political parties in Imo State to hold before the general elections, but I have always known and argued otherwise.
In my various discussions with chieftains of the three major Parties in the State, I always maintained that Imo and Kogi elections will hold the same day and that INEC wouldn’t want to burden itself with supervising governorship primaries while it has her eyes primed on the general elections.
Some of these Party bigwigs were so confident that the primaries would hold in January, that if I offered a bet, they would have taken it without thinking twice.
Imo State is one of the most politically sophisticated States in Nigeria and elections here are not like elections anywhere else, hence, it is difficult predicting the dimension that each political season will take.
However, the easiest way to make good predictions is by taking a cue from history. And I am going to tell you ten things that will happen in the Imo political arena from now until March/April 2023, when the primaries are expected to have been concluded. Let’s go;
1. Ongoing Projects In Imo State Will Be Affected, Adversely:
I insist that the smartest political decision that Governor Uzodimma will take is to disappoint his political rivals and decline his second term right, but I am almost certain that the Omuma political magician does not believe that he can be defeated in any political contest in Imo State, hence, he will throw his all into the race.
Most laudable projects, especially, road projects will either be very slow in execution or completely abandoned. The thinking of the governor will likely be that after the primaries, he would expedite work on the projects and use them as campaign references.
2. Samdaddy Will Visit Imo State More Often:
Imposed by the Rivers State governor as National Secretary, Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu has been on a long vacation in Abuja since his election. However, with the primaries drawing closer, he will increase his visits to Imo State in the coming weeks and days.
3. Labour Party Governorship Opportunists In Imo State Will Slack In Their Support For The Party:
I have seen many names flying around as potential aspirants for Imo governorship on the Labour Party platform. I can confirm that most of those names have been chipping in some money into Labour Party, either secretly or openly, but most of them were doing that in the belief that the governorship primaries will hold before the 2023 general elections.
With the release of this timetable, many of them will reduce their support for the Labour Party and wait to see the outcome of the presidential election before deciding on whether to continue or to completely withdraw.
4. PDP Legislative Candidates Will Enjoy The Open Support Of Their Key Gladiators:
One does not need to be an analyst to know that the PDP in Imo State is in disarray and that a number of their legislative candidates will encounter the biggest sabotage from their Party members.
If the primaries had been held before the general elections, these intraparty tussles would have been more obvious during the general elections, but with this timetable, the unity of the graveyard will persist till after the general elections.
However, the subterranean sabotage will be more intense, as the gladiators approach the elections with their eyes on the governorship ticket.
5. Party Leaders Will Retain Their Relevance:
Governorship aspirants across the three major Parties; LP, PDP and APC will continue to oblige Party leaders until after the primaries because they understand that even with the new electoral act that stopped the statutory delegates option, these Party leaders still have significant roles to play in selecting the delegates that will vote at the primaries.
Had these primaries been scheduled for earlier, a good number of these Party leaders and executive members of different organs of the Party might have been discarded during the general elections.
6. Governor Uzodimma Will Intensify Effort To Win Well In General Elections:
Governor Uzodimma’s ticket is in the bags, but he also knows that without securing a reasonable number of seats for his Party in the general elections, the chances of internal unrest in his Party will be higher.
The governor will be under no illusion that he will have a compact Party if he as is expected, leads his Party to a very poor outing in the general elections. To strengthen his grip on the Party structure and in essence, the governorship ticket, he will need to “show working”.
7. The Okorocha/Uche Nwosu Factor:
Unless the former governor has embarked on a forced sabbatical or decided that it is over with him and political contests, it is very likely we will see stylish but measured steps towards a relaunch into the Imo political sphere.
For a man, who is arguable, Imo State’s most successful politician alive and until recently, the most recognizable Igbo politician alive, it will qualify for a study in the rarest political oddities, if we do not see events like his Rochas Foundation alumni or current students organizing a big show in Owerri or Abuja by Christmas or some kind of made-for-the-cameras shows, as a prelude to relaunching a bid to retake Imo government house by proxy.
I predict that the Imo West Senator will push for the big job and if he misses it, try for a running mate position you do not need to guess the protege of his, whom he will push forward for the job.
While Okorocha may be rightly accused of not providing good leadership to his loyalists, his son-in-law and most reliable ally; Ugwumba Uche Nwosu has covered up well for him, thereby, inheriting what was a behemoth of a political structure. Ugwumba is bidding his time, he is watching the scene and placing some cards. Like others, he will wait for February 23rd to make a definitive statement on his political future.
8. The Ararume Factor:
With his oldest son having secured the Labour Party Senatorial ticket for Imo North, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume has undoubtedly put a strong foot forward, especially, if the younger Ifeanyi plays like him by asserting a strong grip on the fledgling LP structure in the Okigwe zone.
Agu Isiebu has been afforded a good chance to watch from the sidelines until after the general elections before deciding whether to openly defect to the LP or remain in the APC and see what he can get from the broom bandits after the 2023 elections, depending on where the pendulum swings.
9. Ihedioha Will Continue To Be Ihedioha:
There is nothing new to expect from Ihedioha. Like Uzodimma, the Mbutu-born political strategist has the PDP structure in Imo State in his grips. Forget Samdaddy’s reliance on some fortuity. There is a limit to how far luck can carry a man, especially, when such a man lacks the right discipline and temperament to sustain good fortunes.
Ihedioha is intentional, focused and resilient. He didn’t buy the Imo PDP, he groomed it and while there are bound to be new loyalties, realignments and new enemies, Ihedioha should prevail if the PDP primaries are close to free and fair.
Unlike his strongest rival for the PDP’s soul, I do not expect Ihedioha to have too much trouble winning his State and Federal Constituencies seats for the PDP, especially, if he plays cautiously with the LP tsunami across Nigeria.
He has to do his best for his Party’s presidential candidate, but he doesn’t have to allow himself to be consumed by that loyalty, because any attempt at standing in the way of Peter Obi during the election proper might rob his Party of everything.
10. The Parvenus and The Wannabes:
There will be a new set of politicians and political wannabes, some of them who had come about some good financial fortunes, hence, believing they can buy off power with their money and there are others who will come with the tale of being technocrats, men of integrity and women of international contacts.
They will have a busy Christmas, giving out bags of rice, tomatoes and some cash. The majority of them will be in the Party I currently identify with, the LP, and many others will stand aloof and watch to know where the pendulum will swing.
This set of people will be the biggest clients of the numerous political fraudsters parading Imo State. Do you remember Dangote Owalla and Osmond Ukanacho? What about our own Orange Drugs, Eze Festus odimegwu and their likes?
We will have a lot of them in the coming weeks and months, and I can assure you that the hawks are already standing by to devour whatever they are coming with. Many people will cash out with some easy millions because there will be lots of novices with bags of money to throw around.
Read Also: Imo And The Culture Of Corruption
By the way, it is going to be the best Christmas season ever in the last three years. Happy Christmas in advance to Ndi Imo.
- Written by ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Onwuasoanya FCC Jones and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite. The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”