The All Progressive Congress APC, the ruling party in Imo State, and at the National level on Wednesday kicked- off her Governorship Campaign in Imo State.
Nothing less was expected of a party that parades the sitting Governor. The issue is that the outing was tumultuous as expected, because the APC in Imo possesses both the yam and knife.
However, it is a truism that elections are not won by mammoth Crowds that attend such functions. Some of the attendees may not even know why they were thrown into vehicles heading to Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.
If you verify well, you will discover that even members of other political parties were in attendance, since it was certain that whoever attended such occasion was certain to go home with a little “hand-Shake”.
Meanwhile, the magnitude of crowd witnessed in APC November 11 Governorship kick-off cannot be same with that of Action Alliance AA, Peoples Democratic party, PDP, Labour Party or All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA.
However, the collapsing of various groups into the Hope Uzodinma Campaign Train should pose a serious signal to other political parties, that the incumbent is serious and not leaving anything to chance.
For students of Imo political History, this time is quite different from other days Chief Hope Uzodinma participated in elections. This time he is not leaving any stone unturned in campaigning vigorously for his second term election.
Even those days he ran for the Orlu Senatorial Seat, Uzodinma just made one campaign move or the other.
Instructively, now that he has both the cash and incumbent power, Uzodinma has shown seriousness in this election, and reaching out to various quaters to make his reelection a success. Therefore, the opposition should gird their loins. The election will be tough.
In 2019 Imo Governorship election, Uzodinma could not campaign much as the then out-going Governor, and now Senator Rochas Okorocha could not give him any landing space to tell Imo people what he has for them.
I remember vividly that Uzodinma had to do his “flag-off” on Okigwe Road, Owerri, because Okorocha refused him space to assemble Imo people.
But in the Irony of life, today Uzodinma has in his hands all the spaces in Imo State and has today used his own method to deny most of the opposition political parties “Spaces” to place their own “Billboards”.
The opposition parties lament and describe the fees to pay and place their Billboards as astronomical, which is chicken feed to the Sitting Governor and his party that were also denied “Spaces” in 2019. The opposition parties accuse Imo Government of upping the levy beyond their reach.
However, despite all these challenges, the campaigns in the State are moving on peacefully, since there has not been reports of harassments or disruptions of any of political gatherings yet.
So far the Campaigns had already hit the hinter lands as AA, PDP, APGA and Labour Parties have been stormed the grassroots, begging for votes.
However, the parties have tactically avoided the trouble spots in the State, following intelligent reports. Because he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.
Most of the political parties changed their strategies and mode of campaigns this time. There seems to be a limit to much street parades and open out-door campaigns as candidates resort to quiet and “Beer Parlour” Canvassings, which in most cases are more productive and result oriented. Ama Jehova style.
The story not making the rounds is that with the elaborate campaign kick-off where who-is-who attended, Imo APC may lower her Campaign in the rural areas and may not even hold LGA Campaigns. Let us watch and see.
Sources said that with the number of groups joining the Uzodinma train, the Governor now is confident that his election on November 11 is already a foregone conclusion.
But the major “Campaign” in Imo State, that will shock many will commence in the State immediately the Independent National Election INEC announces the winner of the November 11 election.
The Proponents of the recently dusted up Imo Charter of Equity, which the three Zones are anchoring the reelection of Uzodinma, will set off a volcano which they should be ready to contain its debris soon.
No matter who wins the election on November 11, the Charter of Equity will rear its head. It does not matter if it is Tony Ejiogu of APGA.
But the issue will generate heavy reactions the moment Uzodinma bounces back as Governor.
As a candidate, Uzodinma wants to win and therefore bound to make promises, just like every other politician at the heat of elections.
Now in Okigwe and Owerri Zones, a lot of people are seeing themselves as going to takeover from Uzodinma in 2027, as a fulfillment of the Charter of Equity, spearheaded more daringly by Owerri people.
Therefore, certainly among the array of politicians from Okigwe and Owerri Zones, there must be a person the out-going Governor then, will anchore his hope as his chosen successor.
In this case, after Uzodinma is sworn-in, if he wins, the “Campaign” to succeed him will commence in earnest.
Much as Uzodinma would want to add to what already he had done in his first term, but his mind will always be occupied with who succeeds him.
While these politicians will be trying to outshine each other by attracting the attention of the Governor, the main Man will still have the last say.
But from what has been deciphered recently about Uzodinma’s style of politics, he usually keeps the most important decisions to his chest until the final hour.
This is the reason he shocks most of those around him from predicting him correctly.
And this method keeps his loyalists on their toes.
When Uzodinma facilitated the emergence of Dr Ijeomah Arodiogbu as the APC Southeast National Vice Chairman, it hit many as a rude shock. Uzodinma’s Camp was dumb founded with surprise. Many had thought he would pick a regular known face.
He repeated some shocker when just recently, the name of Mrs Uzoka cropped up as the Imo State Ministerial Nominee. It was like a thunder storm to some elements.
Therefore, whether Uzodinma is handing over to Okigwe or Owerri Zone, his loyalists must not be carried away with thinking that Uzodinma is someone you can fool easily.
I know that in Owerri Zone now, many are already “warming up”, and quite “Unfortunately” Owerri Zone is brimming with sound qualified personalities with verifiable means of livelihood and authentic certificates to steer the Ship of Imo State any day. So, who will he pick among the stallions? That will be a big question soon.
Same also for Okigwe Zone, where some even if not directly qualified, can shop among their sons and produce who can lead Imo State steadily.
Therefore, from a hind sight, the original “Campaign” will start soon.
However, the Governor also must realize that it is never easy to produce a successor.
It has always been a bad development for all former Imo State Governors.
One of the reason is that among the legion of Loyalists, the moment one is singled out by the Leader, others will revolt.
Therefore, from the fallouts from what happened to Governor Achike Udenwa and Senator Rochas Okorocha over the issue of successorship, Uzodinma should immediately after being sworn-in, if he wins on November, begin to plan his successorship. If he allows it late, he may just be looking for a way of going home peaceful, than embroyed on issue of successor.
You might think it is too early, even when he has not yet secured a second term. But remember I predicted this.