By Remi Emeka Njoku
With the multitudinous sea of human heads that have continued to grace Imo State PDP governorship campaign rallies since its epochal flag-off in the local governments of the state since Monday 14th January 2019, it is no longer in doubt thatRt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha, the PDP governorship candidate is the man that Imolites have been anxiously waiting for.
From Mbaitoli to Nwangele, Nwere, Isiala Mbano, Ehime Mbano, Njabs, Isu, Ikeduru, Owerri North, Ideato North, Ideato North, Ideato South, Ezinihitte Mbaise, Ahiazu Mbaise, Oru, Osu, Owerri West, Ngor Okpala, Oru West, Oguta, Oru East, Ihitte Uboma, Obowo, Ohaji, Egbema, Onuimo, and Okigwe, where the governorship campaign train has so far roared through, the turnout of party faithful, supporter, and even the decamped from other parties, has been unprecedented.
From town hall meetings to open rallies, the long suffering people of Imo are turning out in their number – civil servants, retirees, market women, trader unions, youth organisations, professional bodies, church societies, towns unions, the physically challenged, and traditional rulers – to show solidarity and support forthe iconic public administrator, Emeka Ihedioha and his team of tested and trusted personalities who will represent them at the various levels of the legislature.
Worthy of note also is the level and number of endorsements received by Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha by various groups from across the three senatorial zones of the state.
However, in spite of the crowd and endorsements that graced the governorship rallies and the candidature of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, equity, fairness, discipline must be strictly observed by party supporters, loyalists and the Imo electorate irrespective of one’s senatorial zone for Imo PDP’s victory to be assured on March 2.
The permutation is the Okigw zone has occupied the Imo State Government House, Douglas House, for 16 years, Orlu zone also has, leaving out Owerri zone. Equity, and fairness therefore demands that Imolites should speak with one voice at the polls on March 2nd by giving Owerri zone the support through voting Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha, the PDP governorship flag bearer in the state into Douglas House.
Can Okigw zone still win the gubernatorial election on March 2nd? The answer certainly is NO! The reasons are, first: both the governorship candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and the governorship candidate of Accord Part (AP) are from Okigwe zone. For two of them to be on the same ballot paper, it will be very difficult for any of them to win. In 2011 when Ohakin had an aim at a second term, this same scenario also played out. Owelle Rochas Okorocha then defeated Ohakin who was the incumbent with about 20,000 votes when Ararume who was from the same zone scored about 100,000 votes. If Ararune was not on the race, Ohakim would definitely have returned for a second tenure. The implication again is that On March 2nd, their votes will be split again in Okigwe zone.
In Orlu zone, the current state governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha is indirectly contesting the elections through his in-law, the Imo State Action Alliance (AA) governorship candidate, Ugwumba Uche Nwosuwo while Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is also on the ballot – both from Orlu zone. Both of them will also split the votes from Orlu zone leaving both candidates at great disadvantage.
In Owerri Zone, The whole leaders of the zone having learned from their past mistakes have decided that they are going to queue behind and support only one person from the zone, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. Recent statistics from INEC has shown that Owerri zone registered the highest number of voters (about 1.4million) in the state, Okigwe zone is the second and Orlu zone is the third. If Owerri zone can exercise discipline and give 80percent of their votes to Emeka Ihedioha, there is no other candidate that can win the election other than him.
It is very certain the going by voters registration strength, both Okigw and Orlu zones cannot win this election. But for the fact that both zones have had a shot at the governorship of the state, it becomes very necessary that Owerri zone be given this opportunity on March 2. That is where belief in equity, fairness, justice and discipline will come to play.
The calculation therefore is that if Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha gets at least 80percent of the votes from Owerri zone, and maximum support from PDP supporters and loyalists from Okigwe and Orlu zones, he will surely emerge winner after the March 2 polls and Owerri zone will have been treated justly, fairly and equity will have prevailed.
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