Why Ihedioha Deserves the PDP Ticket for Imo Governorship

By The Citizen

By Kissinger Ikeokwu

It is no longer an issue for debate that Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is set to clinch the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP nomination to fly the party's flag in the 2015 gubernatorial election. Hon Ihedioha has beaten off all opposition through hard work to win the confidence of the party as the candidate with the greatest prospect to lead PDP back to winning ways in Imo State. To achieve this, the man Ihedioha faced serious hurdles but he dismantled them because he has a champion spirit. Surely no one can emerge a champion without encountering and defeating championship characters. His opponents wrote him off and always gossiped having the strongest connection to the President and the national leadership of the party. Hon Ihedioha remained humble and continued to build structures across the state. The many gossips and campaigns of calumny did not deter him. Today his hard work is finally paying off.

Since the PDP delegate congress in Imo State reactions have been trailing the congress list which the National leadership of the party has ratified and sealed. Recently, sets of PDP aspirants have been demonstrating against the outcome of the delegate list and calling for its cancellation. Some have also canvassed that the delegate list be ignored and that the party should chose its flag-bear by consensus rather than primaries as stipulated by the party's constitution and the Electoral Act. Shamefully, many have threatened the party with defection and threat of anti-party disposition during the elections if the list is not reversed to favour them. Suffice it to say that both the petitioners and the victors are all PDP members. There is therefore no reason why people should fight or rock the boat. It is deducible from recent trends that majority of the complaints by other aspirants have been directed against Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. People should not be desperate for power. The party's interest must be paramount and should supersede the personal interest of one or few party members.

Those who defected to the party from other parties must realize that choosing a party's flag bearer is not a do or die affair. If the party believes you are their brightest chance to clinch victory, they will go out of their way to pick you. In this case however, PDP is confident that Hon Ihedioha presents them with the brightest chance of victory in Imo in 2015, therefore others should respect the party's disposition. Nobody emerges the party's flag bearer if the party does not want him. Whether by congress, consensus or primaries, a party presents a candidate who presents them the brightest chance for victory at the polls. Ironically all the aspirants who are now protesting have been praying for a stalemate that would help them emerge as a consensus candidate to clinch the party's ticket. Their hope of emerging the party's flag bearer was hinged upon the top-runners losing out to them.

Surprisingly, before the congress many had predicted doom for Hon Ihedioha. In different fora many paraded themselves as possessing intelligence from Aso Rock that Hon Ihedioha would never emerge the party's flagbearer. Some used the propaganda that Emeka Ihedioha was on his way to APC. Some said they have the endorsement and words of the wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan. To some, Ihedioha would not come even a distant fourth at the primaries. While all these ranting continued, the man Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha remained focused on his onerous task of steering the PDP caucus at the House of Reps in a time when the PDP was facing its biggest opposition in the Green Chambers since return to democracy in 1999. While the prophets of doom continued to pray for him to slip, Hon. Ihedioha continued to grow in strength and in might. He commenced and pursued his consultation tour of all party formations in the 27 Local Government Areas of the State. Through the tour he built formidable structures across the 27 LGA of Imo State. It is not a surprise however, that he is the topic of discussion in any political gathering in Imo today. When he was busy sponsoring the party in the past three years, no one protested. Hon. Ihedioha worked hard to maintain and nurture the party structure from the confusion occasioned by the loss of power in 2011. The PDP could not afford to deny him the reward for his consistency, loyalty and support to the party.

It is easy to see other aspirants call Emeka Ihedioha names, but the truth remains that the man has evolved as an enigma in Imo politics in the run up to the 2015 elections. What people call luck most times is a product of years of hard work, sacrifice, tenacity and adequate planning. What many detractors have failed to realize is that Hon. Ihedioha prepared himself for the job of governance years before 2015 was declared. He started greasing and oiling the party machineries long before others woke up from their slumber. Emeka Ihedioha and few others sustained the party and held it up after it lost power in Imo State during the 2011 elections. They kept the party going before defectors from other political parties found the party a fertile ground for the realization of their political ambitions. It would be wrong to deny people their due because 'we don't like his face.' Hard work must be rewarded and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha deserves to be the Imo PDP flag bearer come 2015.

May it be said here that during the last PDP congress, the State secretariat of the party witnessed a beehive of activities. Many aspirants in their desperation besieged the party secretariat, using their weight or political influence to achieve advantage over others at the congress. Some went ahead compromising party officials by buying result sheets meant for the congress and diverting them to hotel rooms where they cooked up the results to foist themselves on the party. Some went physical, all in the desperation to gain power. In all the excitement and fighting, one man stayed aloof. He is Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. While many were reportedly buying party executives to get result sheets for the congress results, Hon. Ihedioha sat back to allow the system play out. At a time, his supporters became discontent and questioned why he wouldn't intervene to do what others are doing, but he implored them to return to their various wards and engage in the exercise like others were doing.

Hon Ihedioha believed sincerely in his heart that he had worked hard enough to emerge the party's flag bearer, therefore did not need to involve in malpractices to gain that which he could achieve with his goodwill and solid support to the party. As predicted, Hon Ihedioha's efforts in building structures across the state paid off. His supporters worked hard to garner the majority delegates as returned from the majority local governments of Imo State. As expected his detractors are crying foul. The man who they predicted would not win has now led them in the delegates haul. But the question I have for these hypocrites are; where were they when the man was busy mobilizing supporters across the state? Were they not busy predicting doom to befall the man Emeka Ihedioha?

I will urge other PDP guber aspirants to sheathe their sword and support Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha if their interest for the party is genuine. Hon Ihedioha is the brightest prospect to bringing PDP back to power in Imo State, therefore the party cannot gamble its chances at this time. The many hurdles placed along his way have made him stronger rather than weaker. To face an incumbent requires a solid candidate who has what it takes to match the incumbent convincingly. This requirement Hon. Ihedioha has proven to possess especially by the way he has weathered the storm on his road towards emerging the PDP Imo guber flag bearer.

We must all support this man who God has brought to restore a new order in the governance of our dear State. There is no reason why people should be threatening their own party because they could not have it their way during the party congress. It is time for PDP to start putting its house in order. Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is better prepared to lead the party back to winning ways. Let us all join our hands together and make history. Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Omenkeahurnanya: The time is now.

Ikeokwu writes from Owerri, Imo State