Unusual Politicking In Imo



Those conversant with the trend of politics in Imo State will agree with me that the style of politicking in the State has changed.  Though the next political dispensation is two years away, we have seen new political attitudes and behaviours displayed by political parties operating in the State.  We have seen  unusual politicking in the Imo political arena.
Politicians as well have adopted new techniques and strategies which tend to shape the next political dispensation.
For the first time in the political arena of Imo, we are seeing members of the ruling party groaning and lamenting over absence of political goodies.  In the past, it was the stock in trade of members of the ruling party to enjoy. I mean to savour the joy and gains that accrue to the party in power.
The reverse appears to be the case in the present dispensation.   Rather, we are seeing a fragmented ruling party that has split into two factions firing fierce salvos at each other.
Unlike in the past where members of the ruling party savour the gains of its victory, we are seeing a dismembered and disfigured ruling party that has lost much of its appeal. It is a fact that the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), adjudged the ruling party in Imo State is in tatters and in shambles.
This can be attributed to the fact that the beneficiary of the party’s goodwill at the 2011 elections, Governor Rochas Okorocha, dumped it and jumped into the political boat of  yet to be registered, All Progressive Congress (APC). The attendant effect of that act singular has put the party in jeopardy.
Further, unlike in the past we see a hand of friendship offered by the party in power to the opposition. The opposite is the case now. We are seeing the winner taking all without consideration for political prisoners.
For the first time in the political history of Imo, we are seeing a disconnect between the party leadership and its followers.  We are seeing  aggrieved and disenchanted political followers in a ruling party who rather than sing the praise of their master are rather poised for a war or showdown.
They murmur in low tones and will not hesitate to tell anyone that cares to listen how politically frustrated they are.  They will tell you that the outcome of the 2011 elections which cruised APGA to victory has turned to a curse rather than a blessing.
Also, for the second time in the political history of Imo State, an incumbent Governor dumped the political party that brought him to power and found solace elsewhere.  if former Governor Ikedi Ohakim invented the concept as the first serving governor in Imo State  who cross carpeted  from one political party to another , Okorocha has elevated that practice to an art. He has the enviable record of hobnobbing with four political parties since the advent of democracy in Nigeria, his latest political fortress being the APC.
The latest politics unusual in Imo is the manner the opposition  in the State is growing in leaps and bounds.  It was never so in the past.  Most opposition parties end up in the political gallows when they lose elections. They either go for the crumbs from the ruling party’s table or seek for political gratification. This trend has changed for now.
For 14 years, the PDP was the dominant and ruling party in Imo State until it capitulated in the 2011 elections.
It however lost the governorship election to APGA, though it recorded tremendous success in the National and State Assemblies election winning more seats than other political contenders.
It has not been deterred by its political misfortune, rather it has braced up and forged ahead in its determination to regain what it lost.  At the moment, the party is undergoing total reformation and restructuring and this has paid off with two victories after the unfortunate loss of the governorship seat in 2011. They are the Ezinihitte/Ahiazu Federal Constituency seat and the Oguta House of Assembly rerun election.
Most of its members, in what appears unusual in Imo politics where politicians flock to the any party in power, the PDP in Imo has remained intact as most of its members remain in the party’s fold with the firm belief that e go better tomorrow .
Much as there are flickers of internal strife, bickering and cold wars among top political gladiators in the party, we have seen a quiet PDP in Imo State whose leadership and members have glued together and not hesitated to fire salvos at the ruling party whenever it falters.
Perhaps, the fact that it remains in the opposition has made it to be focused.  Also, the fact that Governor Okorocha has boasted that he has taken power from the PDP and they will never get it back, appears to have kept the PDP on its toes.  And because it is conscious of the fact that if it fails to regain power in 2015, it might be heading into political oblivion, the party appears to be taking its time to repackage itself.
The political gladiators in the State are not left out in the new pattern of unusual politics in Imo State. We are seeing politicians scrambling to provide dividends of democracy as a basis to win elections in the next political dispensation. And because rigging of  elections is gradually fading off and the electorate becoming wiser by the day, politicians have come to realize that only their scorecards will determine if they will be re elected or kicked out of office.
Unlike in the past when politicians say goodbye to those who voted them into power, we are seeing elected public office holders scrambling to satisfy the masses as a basis to get re-elected.
Governor Okorocha is the architect of this practice. Those who walk along the corridors of power confess that the proponent (Okorocha) of the rescue mission decided to ignore politicians and channel such resources to build new roads and provide public infrastructure. This measure according to him is aimed at winning the hearts of the Imo electorate for the next election.
He added that the plan was designed to justify the confidence reposed on the administration by millions of Imolites after the last elections, stating that if Rochas had engaged in the usual practice of previous administrations of sharing money to politicians and pleasing god fathers and god mothers, Imo State will not have witnessed the rapid transformation it has undergone in recent times.     “This is why we introduced politics unusual in the State” he stated.
Aside Okorocha, one has observed lately that most public office holders in Imo State have adopted similar strategy. We have seen some Federal lawmakers  in who seem to have done more of oversight functions than legislative duties. They have attracted more visible dividends of democracy To those who elected them into office. We read in the newspaper s how Senator Chris Anyanwu and the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha attracted Federal road projects to Imo. And one is delighted that our public office holders have seen the need to turn a new leaf by thinking less of themselves and more for those at the polls.
This deserves commendation and applause. See you next week