BY COMRADE FRED NWAOZOR
Who is yet to hear or come across the name ‘Senator Hope Uzodinma’ in the Nigeria’s political terrain? If I’m to answer the question, I would boldly say; nobody or only a dummy. The name could be said to be synonymous with Prince Eze Madumere.
The said names have in recent times abruptly become household names across the Nigerian State, particularly Imo – the Eastern Heartland – where the bearers hail from. And till date, a discerning political analyst in the aforementioned clime cannot do without the names or forget them in haste.
Though he’s currently serving his second term in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly (NASS) as he represents the Imo-West Senatorial District, Sen. Uzodinma apparently became more relevant to the people of Imo the very moment he succeeded in acquiring the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to vie for the governorship position in the state amidst all odds.
It’s noteworthy that after all intrigues and intricacies that consequently surrounded the outcome of the Imo guber primaries of the APC, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole eventually confirmed Sen. Uzodinma as the authentic and suitable candidate for the gubernatorial race come March 2, 2019.
It’s not anymore news that the lawmaker’s emergence as the Imo guber flag-bearer of the APC was against the wish of the sitting governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha who made frantic effort to ensure that his ‘anointed’ son-in-law Mr. Uche Nwosu clinched the gubernatorial ticket.
Owing to the grievances that ensued afterwards, Mr. Nwosu was reportedly instructed by his godfather, Chief Okorocha to defect to another political party for continuity’s sake, not minding the fact that he (Okorocha) is a senatorial candidate of the APC. This implies that the latter is hell bent to make the former his successor come May 29, 2019.
The amazing part of the overall melodrama thus far is that Sen. Uzodinma, who is conspicuously working hand-in-hand with the famous Imo Deputy Governor Prince Madumere, has never been deterred by the distractions emanating from the sitting governor’s camp. Rather, he has gone extra mile to showcase to his teeming allies that he possesses all it takes to be the next Executive Governor of the revered Imo.
By so doing, the federal legislator has ostensibly succeeded in gaining more momentum or popularity in the state compared to his rivals, particularly those holding the tickets of the major political parties for the awaited race.
This could be attested to penultimate week, precisely on Sunday, 27th January 2019, when the leadership of the new People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) in the state proudly collapsed its structure into the camp of the Chief Marcellinus Nlemigbo – led APC in their bid to throw unalloyed support for the Imo-West Senator.
The nPDP led by Dr. Fabian Ihekweme publicly disclosed that their decision was rightly informed by the conviction that Sen. Uzodinma was the right man for the governorship seat, as he further strongly asserted that the lawmaker who he described as ‘pleasant’ would emerge convincingly victorious at the polls because “he has the majority behind him”.
It would be recalled that the nPDP’s emergence sometimes in November last year being 2018 was as a result of the differences that ensued between the two main guber aspirants Sen. Samuel Anyanwu and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha in the Imo PDP after the party held her governorship primary in Owerri, the state’s capital in which the latter secured the party’s ticket.
Sen. Anyanwu who is presently representing the Imo-East Senatorial District in the Senate alleged that the primary, which produced the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Chief Ihedioha as the Imo PDP’s flag-bearer, was marred by irregularities, hence headed for the court to seek for justice. It was amid this trending that the nPDP, which was in support of the aggrieved candidate, emerged.
Aside the nPDP’s unannounced support for Sen. Uzodinma’s guber aspiration, penultimate Tuesday being 29th January 2019 when the APC held her Presidential rally in the state – precisely Owerri – which saw the presence of the presidential candidate of the party, Muhammadu Buhari, a bigwig of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and a national leader of the party, Chief Martin Agbaso alongside his teeming followers was in attendance to equally throw his support behind the senator’s aspiration.
It’s worthy of note that the APGA is currently having Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume, who had twice represented the Imo-North Senatorial District in the Upper Chamber of the NASS and has hitherto relentlessly been in the race, as its guber flag-bearer in the Eastern Heartland.
This intriguing gesture of Chief Agbaso who had once been the guber flag-bearer of the APGA, might perhaps not be unconnected with the controversial way the Imo-North senator clinched the ticket of the party. The rest is history.
As Sen. Uzodinma publicly romances with the nPDP and other political gladiators, many onlookers in various quarters have opined that the Oru-East born dogged politician, who refused to throw in the towel even when all hopes seemed to have been lost, is far closer to the state’s Douglas House than his fellow contenders.
So, as Imolites watch the drama and impatiently wait to see the D-day, could it be that the APC’s guber flag-bearer – who obviously acquired the party’s ticket with the keen support of Prince Madumere – is already calling himself Chief Okorocha’s successor? Think about it!