As The Elections Are Here


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Barring any further postponement, the general elections scheduled for this weekend will kick-start the two-legged elections expected to produce the President, national Assembly members, Governors and House of Assembly lawmakers.\after the body empowered to conduct the elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC moved the earlier dates of February 14 2015 and February 28, 2015 to fresh dates, the stage is set for the mother of hostilities.
Judging from the build up to the elections, the election in my dear Imo state will be a spectacular scene to behold.
Considering inter party skirmishes that shaped pre-campaign activities in the state fondly called the Eastern Heartland, there is no doubt that all eyes will be on Imo state.
At the moment, some of the parties fielding candidates parade the best that can be voted to serve the people.
Several factors will single out Imo state among the pack as one of the states to watch out for. The war of supremacy especially for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be fought between the APC and PDP in Imo while other parties like APGA, UPP, Accord and Labour will join the fray to drag Senators and Reps seats this weekend.
The March 28 Presidential election will be dicey and it will amount to premature permutation for any political analyst to predict whether Goodluck Jonathan or his major challenger, Muhammadu Buhari will carry the day in Imo.
Prior to this period, PDP easily garnered major votes in Imo state during the presidential elections since Nigeria’s nascent democracy debuted. For instance, in 2011 Imo gave Jonathan the highest votes in the South. However, 2015 will definitely appear different because of certain odds working against the umbrella party.
In the previous elections, a PDP governor controlled affairs of the state unlike the present dispensation where an APC governor in the person of Owelle Rochas Okorocha is incharge.
Despite the loss former governor, Ikedi Ohakim suffered four years, Jonathan won convincingly in Imo courtesy of the unified support PDP alongside the party of the eventual winner, APGA, which Okorocha used to enter Government House, offered.
Present ratings of both parties ahead the elections in Imo indicate that victory may tilt either way depending on the workability of the variables working in favour of the each of the parties.
On paper, Jonathan will garner majority of votes in Imo, but the never-say-die spirit of the APC led by the governor will give PDP a run for their money.
Even as Okorocha and his APC stalwarts are apparently employing several tactics to market Buhari in Igboland especially in Imo state where APC is in charge, the likelihood that the Katsina state-born former military head of state will displace Jonathan in the state is remote.
Apart from having solid structures and unrelenting in capturing power back from Okorocha’s APC in Imo, most of those sympathetic to Okorocha’s second term bid are not favourably disposed to giving Buhari their votes.
As Okorocha took his campaign to nooks and crannies of the state including markets and churches, one disturbing response that greet him was that he will get their votes but that of the APC presidential flagbeaer is doubtful.
This sad reminders may have prompted Okorocha to name Buhari, Okechukwu, an Igbo name with a corresponding claim that the retired Army general will hand over power to him in 2019 if he wins the 2015 election. To also convince doubting Thomases of Buhari’s candidacy, the Imo state governor once informed the mammoth crowd at a recent Owerri rally of APC that Buhari’s grandparents are from the state.
Okorocha and his APC group are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to avoid losing to rival party in the presidential polls. As a critical stakeholder in APC and chairman of APC governors forum in Nigeria, loosing his home state to Jonathan would amount to political suicide for a political generalissimo in the mould of Okorocha.
On the part of PDP, all hands are on deck to ensure he 2011 repeat feat for Jonathan in the state. Major PDP stakeholders are also working round the clock to ensure that Jonathan emerges winner. A prominent moral booster for the PDP and Jonathan is support it would get from other parties that have endorsed the president as sole candidate. Apart from PDP, another prominent party that are likely to grab a position, APGA, Accord and Labour parties are routing for Jonathan’s victory. APC will be up in arms against PDP, APGA, Accord, et al during the Presidential election.
Apparently aware of the multiplier effects of the results of the first election especially the Presidency, Okorocha and his followers will attempt to stamp his feet on the political firmament of the state while PDP egg heads would be plotting to undermine his relevance in the system.