By: Sam. Onwuemeodo.
The 2023 contest, for Owerri zone Senate seat , presents a very interesting picture. Very spectacular. Perhaps, than any other zone or Senatorial District in the State.
l had sometime ago, without much ado, reduced the Orlu Zone Senate race to three people. Osita lzunaso of APC, Charles Ahize of Labour Party and Jones Onyeriri of the PDP. A triangular contest. l was able to explain why l did that. Why l had thought as such. The reason l had felt that way. With no sentiment attached.
ln the case of Owerri Zone, it’s a “quintet” race. A kind of “quintuple”. This Bekee self. And l have swiftly remembered Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi of the Labour Party. Barr. Uche Onyeaguocha of the PDP. Barr. Chyma Anthony ( Odiuko) of APGA. Sir Alex Mbata of APC and Rev. Simeon Nwulu of Action Alliance , AA. They could all be adjudged strong candidates. Though, in their own rights. They have also been involved in vigorous campaigns. None, so far, has left any stone unturned.
Imo East Senatorial District or Owerri Zone, has nine State Constituencies or Local Governments. And four federal Constituencies. This is the geography. The geo- political diagram. The socio-political graph.
Onyeaguocha of the PDP, is from Owerri West State Constituency. Mbata of APC and Onyewuchi of LP, are from Owerri North State Constituency. But the trio, are from Owerri Federal Constituency.
Anthony of APGA is from Ikeduru State Constituency or Mbaike Federal Constituency. Nwulu of AA is from Ezinihittee Mbaise State Constituency or Ahiazu/Ezinihittee Federal Constituency. Geography.
On the face value, Onyeaguocha, Mbata and Onyewuchi, three strong contenders, coming from one federal Constituency isn’t commendable. Not healthy. lt’s not fantastic.
l am not talking about the election and who wins at the end of the day. l am only expressing an opinion. Which obviously, may or may not count, on the day of the election.
One could say , they have already bastardized or balkanized, in lieu of galvanizing, their home advantage, if there is anything like home advantage in politics or in political contest.
The APGA guy, Anthony, is from Mbaike Federal Constituency. That’s good for him. Looking at it. How he reaps from this beautiful political development depends on him and his God. Otherwise, it would not be surprising any other candidate coming to beat or defeat him in the area. ln politics, anything can happen.
The AA man, Nwulu, is from Ahiazu/ Ezinihittee Federal Constituency. The issues raised about the man from Mbaike, should also apply to him. Enjoying “home advantage” depends on a lot of factors. It does not come from the blues. No one builds something on nothing.
Beyond these issues raised above, there are other factors or idiosyncrasies that would equally come into play, in the final analysis. These factors or variables are even more result- oriented or more productive than the issue of which State or federal Constituencies the candidates come from.
Onyeaguocha has been an activist . He has also been in politics. He has the voice. He has the charisma. A very brilliant guy. Equally dogged and to me, stubborn.
He was in the House of Representatives. And he did well. He had also served almost all the past governments in the State. The last one being Secretary to the Government of lmo state, SGI, under Rt. Hon. Emeka lhedioha. A very courageous man.
lnspite of all these wonderful qualities or attributes , l have the feeling that, if he is contesting this 2023 election as an independent candidate, he would fail. What l do not know is whether he would lose his deposit. But he would fail. I may be right or wrong. lt appears , most people do not subscribe to his brand of politics. They see him as too confrontational. And with unbearable controversies attached . Most of them, avoidable and needless. Too controversial. To behold. Someone else may see all these, as gallantry. As Bravery.
But luckily for him, he is not an independent candidate. He is the Candidate of the PDP. And this is where the headache of other candidates is located. Resides.
PDP is very strong in Owerri Zone and of course, in all the nine local governments that make up the zone. He is also lhedioha’s candidate. This is serious. So , it’s PDP’s election. And lhedioha is from Mbaise . You can read my lips correctly. ln other words, Onyeaguocha isn’t a push over candidate. Do you understand?. Hate him or love him. lt does not matter.
Onyewuchi , a sitting Senator and LP candidate, would definitely benefit from PDP’s votes. He went to the Senate on the platform of the party. Those who voted for him at the Party’s primary or those who would have loved him to go back to the Senate on the ticket of the party (PDP) which he didn’t get, might also go for him in the election proper.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu, the National Secretary of the PDP, may also have no option than to support the Party’s candidate, Onyeaguocha, with his group. Reason being that, as the National scribe of the party, he has a stake. He must have something to drop on the table, at the end of the day, especially, when he has gubernatorial ambition. He must justify his coming out to challenge lhedioha or any other aspirant in the party for the guber ticket.
So, looking at the picture l had painted, one would only write off Onyeaguocha at his or her own peril. At his or her own risk. Ask me, he is a major contender.
Aside Onyewuchi’s people still in PDP and expected to work/vote for him on the election day, as the candidate of the bubbling LP, he is also a key candidate. LP has gotten large followers in the State. But the extent this large followership can be galvanised or mobilized or articulated at the wards and LGs, especially on the day of the election, would determine how far Onyewuchi would go.
For me , he hasn’t done badly as a Senator. But interest varies. Galvanizing LP members for the election is the panacea for Onyewuchi, especially with PDP and APC folks around. l wish one would appreciate where l am coming from.
They said , any result transmitted from the polling unit at the end of counting the votes, becomes the official and acceptable result for that particular unit. In other words, party agents would be the H.C. F and the L.C. F, in such situation. l have been trying to paint a clearer picture, for goodness sake.
To say the least, Onyewuchi is a strong candidate. l can also testify that he has engaged in vigorous campaigns across the Senatorial District. lf he does all he is expected to do, with regard to LP members in the LGs and wards, he should then be watched closely . Anything can happen in such circumstance. ln a situation like that. He is not a candidate one would wish away. Or push away. He has gotten political muscle.
Alex Mbata is the Candidate of APC. The party in power. The ruling party, both at the State and at the federal levels. But can this being in power, has any added electoral value or fortune to Mbata? .
ln PDP, you have ex-this and ex- that, in most of the LGs and wards. Can APC make a similar claim? . l won’t answer this question here. Your guess or answer, is as good as mine.
To what extent has the leaders and members of the party at the LG and ward levels made to feel or know that their Party has been in power, both at the State level and at the Federal level?. You do not build skyscraper on humus soil or clay soil . Abagom na Agric. Agriculture. l wish one knows the essence of these harmless questions.To what level or extent have they felt the impacts of their governments so much so that, they could go naked on the day of the election to work for the party and its candidate?. l won’t answer any of these questions. Let us continue clapping for Jesus.
Mbata, as a person, is a very good man. A large hearted man. Full of compassion. Luckily for him, he has done very well with his PAM FOUNDATION. He has made tremendous impacts in the zone with this wonderful Foundation. His name rings bell in all the wards, for what his PAM FOUNDATION has been able to do for the people.
And if all those who had benefited from his empowerment programmes in the wards, mobilize and work for him, then, he should also be watched closely. His Foundation is as strong as a political Party. That’s very good for him. How all these would give birth to his victory on the election day is a different matter altogether. A different ball game.
The truth therefore remains that, if APC leaders and members work hard or diligently for their Party and its candidate, and those who benefited from his empowerment programmes, work assiduously for his victory, then, he would do very well in the election.
ln this composition, l am not talking about who is going to win or who is not going to win. My caveat. Caveat emptor. What l am doing here is what lawyers would describe as ” academic exercise”.
One of the finest candidates in the contest under scrutiny, is Barr. Anthony of APGA. His style produces results. His style of campaign can thrown up surprises. He has been having direct dealings with the ward and booth leaders. The guy should be followed closely.
His party, APGA, has “traditional” members and leaders. They see the party as Ojukwu’s legacy for an average lgbo man and woman. The reason the party has refused to go down.
The big story is that, the APGA candidate had for long, made a lot of impacts in Mbaike area with his Foundation. And his approach of reaching out to critical groups and stakeholders in the LGAs and wards, is very strategic and result oriented.
The reported level of support he has gotten from his Mbaike, could make the difference. And should not be ignored or taken for granted. ln election of this nature, with these calibre of candidates, a particular candidate could win with ten votes. Odiuko, as his people fondly call him, should equally be given close marking. Anything can happen.
Rev. Nwulu of AA, is the only senatorial candidate from Mbaise axis, with three large local governments. How he has worked hard to take advantage of this lofty development would determine whether he would benefit from it or not. l know that he has been working hard . He is not taking the situation for granted . He also has PDP, APC, APGA and Labour Party members to contend with. He should also be taken note or cognisance of. In this election we are talking about, it is difficult to predict what the outcome would be or look like.
To all intents and purposes, Owerri Zone has five serious contenders for its 2023 Senate seat. They are all determined, from all indications, to win. Out of the five, one of them would emerge triumphant at the end.
Our own is to pray that God, in his infinite mercy and wisdom, would give Owerri Zone the Senator after his heart. From the Pool of five serious candidates. Whoever among them God gives the people of the zone, they would take, since the gift of God does not add sorrow. All would end in praise, while we continue to clap for Jesus#