Tuesday Jan 22, 2019, will ever remain fresh in the minds of majority of Owerri residents, capital city of Imo State.
The Reason for this is not far-fetched. It was the day the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP locked-up Owerri for hours, following its Presidential mega rally held at Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.
Previously before then, other political parties in Imo State had held such rallies at the same venue. This was reason Owerri residents felt no qualms with the PDP Rally, therefore assuming it was going to be the same as those held by other political parties.
But alas, there are rallies, and there are rallies! After the Tuesday PDP outing, I doubt if there would be any other like that until the 2019 general elections are over.
Owerri people will live with this feeling till the next election year in 2023, when another type of political rally could be held in the town and by PDP.
As early as 10am, the Dan Anyiam, venue of the event was filled to the brim, with its adjoining streets streaming with mammoth crowds trying to gain entrance into the stadium.
However, the PDP Rally created a very big opportunity for Traders with business acumen, as Foods, Drinks and PDP Souvenir sellers made quick business that will never come their way again soon.
The PDP Rally turned to carnival, as uninvited Dance Groups took over available spaces to exhibit their “wares” as revelers sprayed them with crisp Naira notes and Dollars, all in the spirit of “PDP Rally”.
But security men had a rough day because it was clear that the organizers underestimated the heavy crowd that thronged the venue.
The crowd inside the Dan Anyiam Stadium was over one million, while those outside were more than that, and yet were making frantic efforts to gain entrance, with the zeal not to miss the action inside the stadium where the candidates will show-case themselves.
But nobody expected less, as the deluge of Human traffic gathered from the five Southeast States of Abia, Imo Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi.
This include the Imo PDP members who mobilized down the grassroots from where all the twenty seven Local Governments Areas in the State stormed Owerri with over Six buses each from the Three Hundred and Five 305 Wards in the State. It was tumultuous!
The major point was that this crowd waited patiently right from the time they hit the venue around 10am, until about 3.30pm when the first set of dignitaries began to arrive the stadium.
This situation was an indication that PDP members in the Southeast are committed to a change in the zone via the National mainstream that would liberate Ndigbo in 2019 with one of their own, Chief Peter Obi as a Vice President.
However, yours truly was wondering how this almighty PDP Presidentially Rally could for all reasons be slated for Owerri, the Imo State capital, when there are other States like Enugu or Ebonyi with PDP Governors.
The Rally was a statement that the entire PDP hierarchy from the National to the Zonal, are well-pleased with Imo State PDP.
It was an indication that Imo PDP is intact and could be trusted to host such a gigantic ceremony that brought political Heavy Weights of Igbo extraction into the Heartland State.
The Rally in Owerri was a confirmation that PDP has interest in Imo State and therefore the reason the Rally could not even be taken to other Southeast States that have incumbent PDP Governors.
Looking at the entire scenario, it was a testimony by PDP of the Political acumen of the Imo PDP Governorship candidate, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha. This is where the political pedigree of the Imo PDP State chairman, Bar Charles Ezekwem was rewarded.
In retrospect to what transpired within the Imo PDP in the last one year, no one would ever have thought that Imo PDP can be this peaceful to host the cream of PDP National in Imo State.
Imo PDP has proved that with dexterity one could overcome mounting challenges.
The party has proved that a determined few can weather all storms and even excel. The PDP in Imo has confirmed that the proverbial chicken will continue to run, while its pursuers deal with falls. The party has proved its doubting Thomases wrong. The pessimists are now confused with the growing fortune of Imo PDP.
For the first time, the PDP held its Presidential primary with a winner emerging without a single whimper from other contestants.
In Imo, PDP stands out as the only political party whose primaries in all the elective positions held in atmosphere of peace and tranquility without rancor till date.
This situation has united the party more than before, even though it is natural that “Fifth Columnists” most exist to feather their selfish nests. It is part of politics, provided the minorities have their say and the majority have their way as the dictum of democracy dictates.
Any person with any atom of doubt of the unity of Imo PDP must have been proved wrong with the Southeast Presidential rally that shook the foundation of Imo State.
If Imo PDP was in disorder, the PDP would not have shifted its Headquarters to Imo for the entire day, with who is who in the party present in Owerri.
This visitation should seal all cravices in Imo PDP and those fanning embers of discord should sheath their swords for perpetual peace to reign.
While speaking at Dan Anyiam Stadium, the PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubaka made it clear that from indices available, it has been proved that Nigeria is now the head quarters of poverty. And this “record” was broken within the last three years.
And Imo State is part of Nigeria, and the poverty in the State has another definition with hardship.
A majority of the populace have testified that no matter what anybody may say about the present dispensation, the PDP era still remains a better option.
If that is the general verdict, it follows to say that Imo people are feeling the current pains, and therefore desirous of a breath of fresh air as represented by a PDP Government in the State.
Alhaji Atiku said it that it was in the search of a better Imo that the party chose Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha to fly the party’s flag in the 2019 Imo Governorship election.
Chief Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President assured that Ihedioha is one of the best Ndigbo have now, and Senate President, Bukola Saraki added that Ihedioha has been tested and therefore is trusted. So, the question now is; will Imo people join hands and return Ihedioha in the Governorship election?
Although the PDP National Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus raised alarm that there is plan to rig the election by a certain political party, which he said would not be allowed. Would that affect PDP chances in Imo even when the electorate are alert and vigilant?
In a level- playing election, will PDP lose the Governorship election under the present circumstance where the masses have resolved to vote for PDP, with the intimating crowd witnessed at Dan Anyiam Stadium?.
Even though the guests have all departed to their respective destinations, but the mark remains that PDP shook Imo State to its foundation, as never in the recent times.
It is now left for Imo PDP to consolidate on this great outing and prove to Imo electorate that the party remains one and united and behind its Governorship candidate, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, and other candidates of the party in all the elections.
Already, the party is not leaving anything to chance as it nearly rounds off its campaigns getting set for the Presidential election next month and with Ihedioha combing the entire nook and cranny of the State reaching the electorate.