Politics, according to Adolph Hitler is history in the making and “history itself is the presentation of the course of a people’s struggle for existence”. By and large, the most significant feature of a democracy is the periodic conduct of elections which give citizens the opportunity to renew the mandate of their current leaders and ruling political parties or to bring in a new set of leaders and empower a new political Party to take charge of the affairs of State.
As a system, democratic politicking is open to different opinions and predictions, but like soccer matches, there could always be room for upsets, that is why every prediction is open to debate and there cannot be a finality to any analysis until the final ballot is counted and a winner is officially affirmed. In Nigeria, the process for closing each election cycle stretches longer than in other climes, as endless litigations, reluctance of defeated Parties and candidates to accept defeat and acerbic misinformation campaign and desperation among key players leave the political process in limbo from one election cycle to another.
All things being equal, Imolites will be trooping out in the next three weeks to cast their votes for their preferred governorship candidates. With three major Parties determined to really be in the contest and one major spoiler, I will give you an independent analysis of their chances and how I believe, given an analysis of all factors that determine an election’s outcome, each candidate would poll in the election.
ACTION ALLIANCE – GENERAL LINCOLN OGUNEWE: A retired Major-General in the Nigerian Army and a new entrant in partisan politics, General Ogunewe could be described as one of the greatest disappointments of this political season. Many Party leaders and political operatives from across various loyalties had looked forward to rallying behind him, if he had secured the Labour Party nomination, but his apparent inexperience in the Nigerian pattern of politics was manifest during the LP primaries where he lost a golden chance by the whiskers to pocket the LP ticket, after key leaders of the Party had done everything to put the ticket in his hands. The same reason he failed to secure the LP ticket has also clogged his campaign since his defection to AA. His platform, the AA, could have also conferred some advantage on him, given the popularity given to it in 2019 by Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, who flew its flag and came a strong second by INEC’s official result, though eventually nullified. The retired Major-General would have been Governor Uzodimma’s biggest rival as long as this election is concerned, but by no one’s own doing, but his, he has pushed himself to the very fringes of the contest and I do not see him doing better than a fourth position in the election, though a last minute shore up of his campaign infrastructure could still brighten his chances and help him displace PDP’s Anyanwu from third position.
PDP – SENATOR SAMUEL ANYANWU: Ordinarily, the Party with the most formidable grassroots presence outside the ruling Party, the PDP should have, and had always been, the Party with the brightest chance of giving the incumbent a run for its money. Since losing power in 2011, the PDP had always won majority of the National Assembly seats, placed a strong second position in the governorship election, and always record clear victories in the nine LGAs of Owerri zone while making good inroads across other parts of the State. The PDP was the Party you were sure had the best chance of defeating the incumbent, but this time around, they would be lucky to win a single local government area. Some of the factors that diminished the PDP’s chances in this election, include; its choice of candidate; Anyanwu has not won election for the PDP in his Ikeduru LGA since 2015, and his worse outing so far was in 2023, when his anointed candidates lost woefully and placed distant fifth and sixth positions in his own constituency. The inability of the candidate to unite his own Party; Anyanwu’s most portent opposition is from within his Party, where he has lost more than 60% of the Party’s members and critical leaders to the ruling Party since his contentious and unpopular emergence as the Party’s governorship candidate. Low Morale among campaign staff and few members of the Party still officially affiliated with the campaign is another major factor that places the PDP on a very poor footing for this election. For the first time in the history of PDP in Imo, we are having a situation where the Party does not have a single Senator and none of the four House of Representatives members elected on its platform is openly canvassing votes for their candidate, while its sole House of Assembly member has distanced himself from the governorship campaign and is rather seen as a major asset to the APC’s re-election plans. This is also the PDP’s most poorly funded governorship campaign since 1999. This might be the first time in PDP’s history in Imo State that it would be placing third in a governorship election and without any clear chance of winning any LGA, outright.
LP – ATHAN ACHONU: Many factors including the undeniable commitment of the people’s darling, Mr. Peter Obi, has made the LP a strong factor in this election. Senator Athan Achonu has also shown an unexpected tenacity in riding through the many storms placed on his way. From the primaries where the Party leaders had allegedly anointed General Ogunewe ahead of him and given the Army man some logistical advantage in the primaries, to the many legal and technical banana peels placed on his way, including a voracious attempt at discrediting his candidacy, the man referred to as One-Arm General has rode the storm and is currently the opposition candidate with the strongest presence across the State. The LP is the only Party that will lose this election, “gallantly”. The LP looks set to place second.
APC – GOVERNOR HOPE UZODIMMA: Hate him or love him, what you will never be able to deny is that Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma is about the most intelligent politician, East of the Niger and among the most dreaded political tacticians in Nigeria of today. While we can concede that this election is made easier for him due to the opposition’s failure to field competent, popular and marketable candidates, you would not also be able to deny him credits for turning the opposition into mere noisemakers and crybabies instead of portent rivals in this election. The APC has literally reduced this coming election to a mere coronation ceremony, because of their deft strategies and assiduous work rate in this campaign. Except an upset in the rank of Chelsea FC losing to Heartland FC in a competitive match happens, Uzodimma should be guaranteed of a landslide victory on November 11. I expect his victory to be so overwhelming that it would be a mere waste of time for any Party or candidate to seek to challenge him in court.
MAY IMO WIN!