As far as today’s Imo PDP is concerned, two names that easily come to mind when the race for the party’s 2019 Imo guber ticket is discussed are, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha and Sen Samuel Anyanwu (Samdaddy), with the latter having thrown his hat into the ring just last week. Over the years, the two political gladiators have made name for themselves both at the state and national levels, hence, no one can doubt that the two giants from Owerri Zone are qualified and ripe to govern Imo State. While Ihedioha had risen to the height of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and was the flag bearer of his party for the 2015 governorship polls in the State, Samdaddy on his own is currently a ranking Senator in the 8th Assembly, while representing Imo East Senatorial District as well as occupying a sensitive position as Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges.
Apparently, before the entrance of the Ikeduru born Senator into the guber race, it had appeared that, all things being equal, Hon. Ihedioha will have a smooth ride when the opposition party holds her governorship primary election later this year. But with the current turn of events, this might not be the case any longer. In Samdaddy, Ihedioha is probably sure of a strong competitor in the race for the party’s ticket. Aside being a Senator who is sure to have assess to the powers that be within the party both at the state and national levels, Samdaddy’s political bond with Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BOT) and one of the most influential persons in Imo politically, makes him a solid force.
But just as the handsome man from Ikeduru, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha indisputably boasts national connection within and outside the party. In fact, he is believed to have played a major role in the emergence of Uche Secondus as national Chairman of the PDP, a feat that has given the party some level of stability. Back home, the former lawmaker is also thought to be in control of Imo PDP structure. He is credited with shouldering responsibilities within the party and providing it with the much needed spine at the time when the party was immersed in intractable leadership crisis. Smart enough, Ihedioha knew that the then Markafi faction was the real face of PDP, hence he stood by it. While others pledged allegiances with the Sheriff faction or where it is not so, sat on the fence (including Samdaddy), Ihedioha is one of the leaders in Imo PDP who believed that the Markafi faction is the right one. He is one of the stalwarts who saw to the success of their State Congress in 2016, where the leadership of the party from the ward to the State level was decided.
To this end, with Ihedioha’s seemingly better placement, it remains to be seen how Samdaddy will waggle his way to the party ticket later this year, but as far as Imo PDP is concerned, his declaration of interest alone has some positive significance. Imo PDP will no longer be seen as one man’s project where Emeka Ihedioha alone is the alfa and omega. This notion to the best of my knowledge had caused individuals who were ready to identify with the party and invest in it to distance themselves from it, but expectedly, the entrance of Samdaddy into the race will extend the much needed sense of belonging and responsibility to more lovers, supporters and stakeholders of the party who had felt that the door was shot at them. It gives more people the confidence to come closer to the party, which is healthy for democracy. Again, as Samdaddy sets up his structures across the State in readiness for the battle ahead, Imo PDP will undoubtedly have more people working underground for its interest, this surely will boost the party in the State.
Admittedly, it has been rumoured and speculated in some quarter that the governorship interest nursed by Samdaddy is somewhat motivated by Emeka Ihedioha’s alleged preference of Hon. Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi for the Senatorial seat of Owerri zone. However, while the above might not be politically correct and whatever the case may be, Samdaddy’s coming into the contest gives room for a healthy competition in Imo PDP as it reassumes the position of wielding an umbrella large enough to accommodate as many people as possible.
Truth is Life!