The much awaited governorship primary election of the People’s Democratic Party in Imo State is just days away. As a result, political aficionados and analysts are busy with calculations and permutations in attempts to ascertain where the pendulum will eventually swing. To this end, all eyes are on the delegates whose votes and voting pattern will surely determine the party’s governorship flag bearer for the 2019 polls.
With the expectations of Imo people high on PDP to provide the formidable force needed to halt a disastrous 8 years of APC administration in the state, the party’s delegates must play a crucial and smart role in order to advance the chances of the party to win a governorship election in the state for the first time since 2003.
Obviously, chief among other factors that had played against Imo PDP in the past is going to the battle field with candidates who did not command the vital mass appeal. In 2011 for instance, the incumbent governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, who joined the party from PPA, lost the grace of the Imo electorate. Though unjustly painted black, in him then, PDP had a candidate whom the masses weren’t at home with. I dare say that whoever crafted the propaganda that he beat up a Catholic Priest had his way. It was sadly the final nail in the coffin.
With a look into the voting pattern of the Imo electorate in 2011 and 2015, one would understand that the choice of candidates, not necessarily the political party, determined where their votes swung. I can categorically state that Imo PDP had lost on those two occasions because it presented candidates that were not in the good books of majority of the electorate and did not appeal to them.
As an opposition party angling to return to power, Imo PDP cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of 2007 and 2015 and the delegates will play a crucial role if the mistakes must be avoided.
What Imo PDP needs for 2019 is a candidate whom the Imo masses are willing to vote and members of the party at the grassroot are willing to support and work with.
Sen. Samuel Anyanwu (Samdaddy) perfectly fits that bill. It is a fact known to everyone that the Senator is loved by the majority of Imo electorate and can boast of their goodwill and support anytime. There is no village, community, clan, and local government where votes will not pour in for the handsome legislator. An incontrovertible truth is that he is in touch with the grassroot.
Interestingly, of all the governorship aspirants in the various political parties in Imo State, Samdaddy remains the only one who has been equipped with both legislative and administrative experience. The fact that he has been a local government chairman and presently a lawmaker means that he has acquired the much needed leadership experiences to steer the state to greater heights.
As a local government chairman during the governorship regime of Chief Achike Udenwa, the political scientist made his mark. Samdaddy ran a local government administration that was able to construct roads and install several other amenities for his people. Those who are conversant with the start up point of his so far glorious political career can attest that Samdaddy’s excellent performance as a local government council chairman laid a solid foundation for the political and leadership heights which he has today attained.
At the Imo State House of Assembly, where he represented his Ikeduru State Constituency between 2007 and 2015, Samdaddy brought honour and pride to his constituency and local government. He proved his mettle and was one of the key names who devoted themselves to checkmating certain anti-people policies of the present administration in the state.
At the Senate, Samdaddy has displayed the knack of a serial winner which he obviously is. Despite being a first time senator from the opposition party, it did not take him time to announce himself as a fire brand to Nigeria. It was on account of the enviable quality which he possesses that he was saddled with the responsibility of leading sensitive senate committees. He made history by becoming the first Senator from the opposition party to head a sensitive committee in his first tenure. Samdaddy is the Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions; Vice Chairman, Customs, Exercise and Tariff, as well as Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other financial institutions. It is on record that as of today, Samdaddy ranks among the top 10 most active senators in Nigeria. Notable among his legislative inputs is the sponsoring of a bill for an Act to Establish South East Development Commission (SEDC) which has passed second reading on the floor of the red chamber.
Back home, in just three years as a Senator, Samdaddy has proven to be what a true representative should be for the people of Owerri senatorial zone.
He has attracted and he is still attracting several developmental projects to his constituency, even at a time in the nation’s history when lawmakers in the opposition party can hardly boast of achievement to show.
In making their choice, Imo PDP delegates must consider the important factor that Samdaddy is a thoroughly bred politician, a ‘home boy’ who has been in Imo for a long time and understands what it will take to fix the state.
In Samdaddy, Imo PDP not only has a man who will make their passage to Douglas House easier, but also one who has garnered the requisite experience over the years, possesses the clout and connection, and is prepared to make a wonderful governor to their delight. For the delegates, it has to be time to end the gamble and return PDP back to winning ways in Imo State.
By Lancelot Obiaku
Imo Ga Adi Mma Ozo Ma Anyanwu Chaa