2015 Imo Guber: Before PDP Loses It Again


One thing that has stuck with us and causing much of the problems in the polity is the penchant for leaders to hear only those beautiful tales their sycophantic Aides feed them with. The moment you tell your Boss the truth, which usually is bitter you have kissed your job good bye. So what do you do? Keep feeding the ego of your Boss, who lives in a fools paradise.
The truth here is that the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Imo state chapter, has no arrow head to be called the “Leader” that can steer all others into one line.
Before, the “Leader” of the party was the Governor, and since 2011 the PDP lost Douglas House, all the members have found “leadership” in whomever they believe in or chose among the PDP heavy weights in Imo state to follow.
Therefore, in this situation the party is now divided into various loyalty cells, headed by the bigwigs, all championing his or her own selfish ends, but with the party as the anchor point.
As elections approach next year Imo PDP members do not know who is their “Leader”. And this scenario is very dangerous and unpredictable, because what it means is that Imo PDP is “in unity in diversity”.
Indeed, Imo PDP is headed by various heads, despite Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie touted to be the state chairman of the party. What Anyaehie is leading today are members of the various “factions”, of these heavy weights whose followers obey and take instructions from first, before those at Okigwe road office.
While observers are yet to come to terms with the “Unity” within Imo PDP, the ambition and quest for the plum job of Governorship has brought with it a more dangerous dimension that will in the end leave Imo PDP in shreds, for other political parties looking for materials to make poaches and a meal of the party.
That owl which cries in the night and chaos busts next day is busy shouting, but nobody is taking note. When it did cry in 2011 nobody cared to listen. But today, PDP members in Imo state can tell you how good their fortunes have faired since the party lost the governorship seat. As at now, trouble is gradually brewing in the Imo PDP, and soon the crescendo will hit the high point, and then the centre will no longer hold, and it will become to your tent oh Israel.
As I write now, all the political gladiators in the PDP in the state have indicated their interests to be governor in 2015.
Senator Chris Anyanwu, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Hon Bethel Amadi, Senator Hope Uzodinma and others. The only person remaining to join the race now is Mrs Kema Chikwe and Prof Viola Onwuliri, and the number would have been completed.
With all these PDP leaders now in the race, who will be the “moderator” in this Hall of ambition? And how can the primaries be held without squabbles and after-effect that may tear the party to the seams?
If it were before, the likes of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu would have been counted on to wade in and use his wisdom and influence to restore sanity. But Iwuanyanwu is not getting younger. Chief ID Nwoga cannot come to the rescue too, because of various factors that I cannot mention here. Already, Mrs Kema Chikwe is enmeshed in allegation of partisanship. Prof Viola Onwuliri is too “academic” than politician to be able to settle Imo PDP wahala when it explodes.
Chief Fidelis Ozichukwu cannot act as he would also be accused of being partisan to any of the Aspirants. This leaves only the Presidency at Abuja as the place Imo PDP may run to for a final arbiter for the Governorship primaries logjam.
But with the way and manner Boko Haram is keeping President Goodluck Jonathan busy, does it look any likely that the man will have the time to talk about Imo state PDP turmoil when he himself is facing his own challenges?
Therefore, it may end up that only Imo PDP can redeem herself from self destruction. But is it possible with the current situation where all the bigwigs are eyeing the Governorship? Who will bell the cat?
Another issue is that among the plethora of these PDP Guber Aspirants is the ego war and old scores to settle, which will not give room for any of them stepping down for the other.
For instance, between Bethel Amadi and Emeka Ihedioha is a long stretch of unfinished battle to settle. Between Ifeanyi Araraume and Ikedi Ohakim is an existing peace of the grave yard. And again between Hope Uzodimma and Ihedioha is a covert suspicion and raging battle. I still believe that some of the Aspirants simply joined the race to “pour sand” inside the “garri” of perceived Aspirants seen to have chances.
I still wonder how Hon Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi will feel in an Imo state headed by a Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
A political war between these illustrious sons of Imo state has been raging for years now. It dates back to when Bethel Amadi was removed by his colleagues in the House of Representatives as the Chief Whip, and the plum position handed over to his “Brother” from Imo state.
Till date, Amadi does not believe that Ihedioha got that job without instigating his removal which Amadi sees as brother stabbing brother. But the Ihedioha camp had made it clear that Ihedioha got the job simply because of zoning formula, since he hails from Imo state, and could not have refused the position as it would have gone to another state in the South East, and a loss to Imo state.
This face-off continued between both men as they ran for elections in 2011 and luckily they both won. Ihedioha was made the Deputy Speaker. And for Bethel Amadi, he became the Speaker of the African Parliament which thanks to God, made both men “Speaker”. Despite this,they still watch each other with “corner eye”.
Therefore, Imo guber tussle is another titanic battle ground between both men, who are not going back to the National Assembly. So between Ihedioha and Amadi, the Imo PDP primaries is the “last fight”, if you know what I mean.
The same Emeka Ihedioha is not seen by the Hope Uzodinma camp with “clean eyes”. Forget the cosmetic embrace and huggings Ihedioha and Uzodinma exhibit in the public.
Emeka Ihedioha entered Uzodinma’s “black book” simply because he was elected the Deputy Speaker, the number sixth citizen of Nigeria, by his colleagues in the House of Representatives.
Uzodinma as a Senator sees himself as senior to Ihedioha both in age and position. Yes, a Senator is higher than a member of the House of Representatives. But as a Presiding Officer of the Legislature, Ihedioha is higher and above Uzodinma in protocol ranking in Nigeria.
Despite Ihedioha’s political position Uzodinma still believes he “pass” Emeka, while the Deputy Speaker subtly uses protocol to take shine off Uzodinma, which does not sit well on the Omuma, Oru East LGA born politician.
This war of ego between Uzodinma and Ihedioha came to the fore during President Jonathan’s last visit to Imo state.
Therefore, both politicians will fight to finish during the guber primaries. Even as Owerri people visited Hope Uzodinma to seek his support and that of Orlu zone for Owerri to realize the Governorship seat, Uzodimma always continues to say that he will support the zone, “only if Owerri presents a good candidate”. This is when Uzodinma already knew Ihedioha was in the race. So, it is a tacit condemnation of Ihedioha. But, October will be the “last fight”.
Till tomorrow, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume believes that had his “brother” Ikedi Ohakim not been drafted in by Governor Achike Udenwa and co in the 2007 Imo Governorship race through Peoples Progressive Alliance PPA, he (Araraume) would have been the elected Governor of Imo state.
To teach Ohakim a lesson, Araraume kept him in court for nearly the duration of his tenure in office as Governor.
In 2011, the battle changed hand, as Ohakim who was the then incumbent Governor suffered loss of votes due to Araraume’s presence as the candidate of the now defunct ACN from the same Okigwe Zone.
The Tribunals, and Courts said Ohakim lost the election with about forty thousand votes, when his brother Araraume of ACN garnered over (100,000) one hundred thousand votes. The calculation within the Ohakim camp was that had half of the Araraume’s “wasted votes” been given to Ohakim, the Okohia Isiala Mbano born politician would have been rounding-off his eight years now.
When you look at the Ohakim, Araraume scenario, it seems it is a “draw”. One-One. Ohakim “failed” Araraume in 2007 and Araraume “failed” Ohakim in 2011.
But the big question now is; have both men sheath their swords against each other? October will say. However, another problem that may hamper PDP victory in Imo in 2015 is the issue of zoning. The matter looks immaterial to the PDP hierarchy, but Owerri zone is not taking the issue with kid gloves.
Should PDP produce an Orlu candidate, I see Owerri people looking elsewhere for salvation. And this is where APGA or APC may make success.
If APGA files an Owerri candidate and PDP any other candidate outside Owerri, APGA may make hay, as Owerri people will troop to APGA as was the case in 2011.
For APC, the image being created by Igbo people that it is a Hausa/Yoruba party is sticking out like a sore thumb.
However, should PDP file an Oweri born candidate, and APGA Owerri born candidate too, Okigwe zone still angry that Owerri zone betrayed her in 2011 may take the “devil’s alternative” by going for APC, which flag Gov Rochas Okorocha would hoist.
And with Orlu zone still reaping the dividends of Okorocha’s massive development of the area, may go for their brother.
Therefore, votes from Okigwe, and Massive ballots from his Orlu people and a sprinkle of votes from Owerri may give Okorocha an edge.
With these empirical postulations, it is now left for Imo PDP to either throw the baby away with the bath water, or have a deep reflection, for the journey ahead looks dicey.
In all this permutations, the only people standing a risk is Owerri people who look likely to miss producing the Governor in 2015, since the entire affair seems to have been thrown open for the survival of the fittest.
But unfortunately, politics is a game that is synonymous to football. Whoever watched the European championship finals between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid last Saturday till about two minutes to the end of the match would not have believed that Real would win the Trophy.
Since 1999, it has been very difficult to predict who will be Imo state governor. It has defied every prophesy till date. And the “surprise” may continue again next year, unless God wants to break the jinx. In 1999 no body gave Udenwa a chance among Greg Mbadiwe, Humphrey Anumudu, Eze Ajoku, Rochas Okorocha etc in the PDP primaries.
In 2007, Senator Araraume was the “Governor in waiting” until the gods of Imo Governorship seat changed the equation and Chief Ikedi Ohakim from no where was anointed by man and God. The mystery behind Imo Governorship seat played out again in 2011. Till date Ohakim did not believe he could lose the 2011 governorship election because of the factors in favour of his party, the PDP.
Again, we are approaching another election year. While we are all busy plotting, the hand of destiny is hovering above all the aspirants hissing at some, while smiling at some. But one major and important thing is that only one man or woman will be made candidate among these legion of Aspirants. And I hope they all have the heart of sportsmanship to be good losers? Because in the end only one person will emerge victorious.