Sometimes, we need to step aside from the track and observe what the race looks like. Experience remains the best teacher; desperation is never the best option. As we keep watching the political pendulum and trends of events in the country and Imo State, in particular, one should be mindful of the fact that the politics of 2023 has already started. It is just a matter of days.
It is on record that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruled the country for 16 years and Imo State was governed by the party throughout that period. The governing All Progressives Congress (APC), which took over power from the PDP in 2015, is on the verge of completing a second term in office under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
What we are expecting is to have peaceful coexistence among the various political parties – the LP, PDP, APC, APGA, Action Alliance (AA) and others in the that are going to participate in the 2023 general election.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi has made the political party very popular. He has not only done that, but also his approach cum political methodology has endeared him to people of all classes. The youth have organised solidarity marches for the former Anambra State Governor and thrown their weights behind him.
It would be recalled that immediately the PDP gave its presidential ticket to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi joined the LP and he was received with open arms. Truly speaking, the Labour Party is an unpopular platform in some parts of the country because the APC and the PDP appeared to overshadow other political parties.
Peter Obi emerged the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party after Prof. Patrick Utomi, Faduri Joseph and Olubusola Emmanuel-Tella stepped down from the contest, making him the only aspirant in the presidential primary and the party projected him.
Although, during Peter Obi’s tenure as Governor of Anambra, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was in charge in Anambra as the platform on which he held sway. APGA was a party to be reckoned with under his leadership. As the 2023 general election draws nearer, the presidential candidates of the various political parties are not resting on their oars. All the parties in Nigeria are making frantic efforts to make a breakthrough in the forthcoming election.
Unfortunately the Imo chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) built its home with strength and vigour, but regrettably pulled it down.
On the part of the LP, Obi, who the party has deemed worthy of its presidential ticket, is considered to be a sellable candidate and of greater advantage for the Labour Party. It is the desire of Nigerians that those flying the party’s flags now should not defect to a rival party after the 2023 general election. They should transform Labour Party into a formidable platform in Imo.
It is advisable to always learn from the downfall of groups that were incapable of managing challenges from various forces. The “highest-bidder-carries-it-all” syndrome has thrown many parties into the abyss of disorientation. It is the reason why there is disunity, bitterness, backbiting and rancour among party members.
Everyone has accepted the Labour Party with open arms because in outlook, it tends to be an umbrella that would accommodate all and sundry. But its members should eschew selfishness, which could externally and internally mar its progress.
Recently in a meeting, LP stated that the senator representing Owerri Senatorial District, Ezenwa Onyewuchi, is its highest political office holder in the state. The party has spoken. It is their internal decision. But the present Federal legislator who is seeking a re-election may not find it easy, considering the PDP flagbearer that is vying for the same seat, Barr. Uche Onyeagucha, is a strong contender.
The Obinze-born former Secretary to the Government of Imo State is making efforts to ensure that he wins. Also, the Orlu and Okigwe zones’ Senatorial candidates of the Labour Party, the ruling APC Candidate for Owerri; Prince Alex Mbata and their counterparts in other parties are expected to slug it out in a most transparent manner.
The Imo State chapter of Labour Party is visibly reeling under the burden of choosing its governorship candidate. Judging by his body language, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume from Okigwe Zone is eager to hoist the Labour party’s flag in Imo as Governor. The problem is who will be handed the party’s ticket in the Imo governorship election, which is going to be a stand-alone exercise.
The issue of zoning, as regards the governorship position, may also be waved away due to the zealousness exhibited by people of the state to get it right in future elections, even as the Hope Uzodimma Administration has performed excellently on roads rehabilitation, Youths’ empowerment and other areas.
The 2023 general election is going to wear a different look in Imo because the electorate have resolved to cast their votes for tested and trusted individuals who will not joke with the confidence reposed on them, as against the erstwhile practice of supporting parties with candidates whose lifestyles are questionable.
Regrettably, the Labour Party’s rejection of the nomination of Pauline Onyeka as the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo State does not necessarily require raising an eyebrow. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should look into the party’s agitation and resolve the issue amicably.
The people of Imo are expected to steer clear of unnecessary incitements that would not bring a positive change to the political system in the state. Security officers, the INEC and other stakeholders should work towards getting it right for the interest of Ndi Imo.