How the Obvious Manifested in Imo Governorship Election

In an interview with AmbaJay, Ofoegbu revealed the political calculation of the incumbent governor and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the election, Hope Uzodimma.

Why PDP, APC lost Imo to Governor Uzodimma in Saturday’s election
Photo Credit: Hope Uzodimma, Samuel Anyanwu, Athan AchonuSource: Twitter

The analyst said:

Anyone shocked by the outcomes of the gubernatorial elections of the past week either wasn’t paying attention or had a faulty political calculus. The only surprise was the low number of violent infractions recorded.

In Imo, it was a one-sided affair like I predicted the week before. The opposition threw the contest right from their various primaries. By oppositions, I’d like to limit them to the second and third-placed parties, that is, the PDP and the Labour Party (LP)

A formidable opposition must have double the wind behind the sail of the incumbent to stand a chance under a peculiar political climate like what is obtainable in the Nigerian body polity, the least of all, Imo state. Unarguably the most politically dynamic state in the Southeast. So, it is safe to say the fight was amply over before it began.

PDP, Labour Party puts up weak contest against APC in Imo

Ofoegbu told AmbaJay that it was obvious that the PDP was not ready for a strong contest in the election when Emeka Ihedioha, withdrew from the race ahead of the party’s primary, and explained how Labour Party lost in the poll.

He said:

The PDP surrendered the bout the moment their primary was “conducted”, to the surprise of no political observer. All the signs of a disastrous ending were there when the party’s presumed heavyweights withdrew from the race, alleging malfeasance in the process, which set whomever the flag bearer would be up for the monumental drubbing that was handed down.

The Labour Party had no real ground game (not as if the PDP had much going on in that regard) and probably was expecting the enthusiasm of the immediate past general elections. Which never materialised.

A political novice visiting the state in the weeks, if not months leading to the election, would be forgiven for thinking the election was over and could have easily mistaken the governor’s campaigns for post-election rallies.

There was minimal to no publicity for whatever reason. No banners at strategic points, no voter reach out, only social media rants and radio jingles.

In Athan Achonu’s defence, the court’s injunctions did not help his plight. The longer it dragged on, the more fractured the party became, and most voters don’t have the stamina to stand such anxiety.

How Uzodimma’s calculation knocks out PDP, LP candidates in Imo

The analyst also explained that the APC candidate built the broken bridges in his party ahead of the election, citing the settlement between him and Rochas Okorocha.

He said:

On his part, the governor, Uzodimma, was busy plugging loopholes in his own camp. The masterstroke was the mending of fences with the Okorocha political machine. Without which, I doubt he would have carried Ideato North and South and, by extension, 25 to 35% of the Orlu Senatorial zone.

His running mate, Chinyere Ekomaru, was a dagger to the heart of the PDP, which I believe would have performed better in the Owerri Senatorial zone. She drew votes away from the zone’s traditional base. It proved to be a political masterstroke.

Now that leaves the Okigwe zone. At first, it was as if that would be a grey area given that Athan Achonu’s campaign focused mostly on the region as that is his Senatorial zone. At first, it was like many sympathy votes could have come from there.

But then, in politics, one plus one is hardly two. The zonal gladiators did not end up aligning with his campaign. Whether this could be attributed to taking things for granted or a clandestine political horse trading would be left for future political historians to document.

With 100% control of the State House of Assembly, deep purse and the power of incumbency, it was obvious how it was going to pan out Joe Ajaero’s drama, rather than turn the people against the incumbent, angered most voters who saw through the tricks he was pulling.

Tinubu congratulates Ododo, Uzodimma, Diri

AmbaJay earlier reported that President Bola Tinubu has congratulated Governor Douye Diri of the PDP after winning the Baye;sa state governorship election.

The president also congratulated Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo state and Usman Ododo, who were elected in the just concluded off-cycle election.

Tinubu then commended INEC for the level playing ground during the conduct of the election and saluted the role played by the security agencies.