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Can PDP Win Imo State Again

Source: CHIEDU UZODINMA K.
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The above topic is expected to attract diverse reactions particularly from those Imo PDP members who refuse to see and say the truth about their party.

Admittedly, the PDP in Imo state was once a vibrant political party. When it was formed in 1998, the party in the state could boast of a good number of quality members.This is not the case now. Rather it has become a playground for mischievous persons who say they are politicians. This has led to endless internal strife, bickering and several other factors that divide than unite its members. These are some of the many seen and unseen factors that have made the party a shadow of itself in Imo State.

It produced Achike Udenwa as Imo State governor in 1999 because then the party had sane and selfless political leaders who understood the mission and vision of the party. Udenwa did not become governor of the State on the Imo PDP platform on a platter of gold. He also encountered challenges within the party but the men and women of calibre in Imo PDP at that time were driven by the burning passion for the good of the party.

For those selfless leaders, the party's goal was ultimate. They knew the only way it could govern the state was to make it attractive and acceptable to the people. This worked for the party in 1999 as it won the governorship contest and many seats in the State House of Assembly. We had an Imo PDP where personal interests no matter how ordinate were subsumed for the overall good of party members. Party leaders pursued a higher ideal which was to ensure victory at the polls at that time. From 1999-2003, there was sanity in the party in the state.

The ideals of the founding fathers of the PDP in Imo State were manifest. The party had men of conscience. It was not compromised for a few wads of naria as such ideals prevailed at all times. These were some of the factors that guided and took Imo PDP to the seat of power in the state.

After the 2003 governorship election which gave Udenwa a second term, the party by omission or commission, opened its gate to a multitude of political jobbers, 419ners and men of questionable character that had no business in politics in the first place. The party became a playground for persons, men and women of queer characters who never understood the principles, ideals and vision of the PDP.

These elements fueled the 2006 political crisis in the party. They aided and abated such confusion because they were political aliens who strolled into the party. Propelled by an inordinate ambitions anchored on deceit, they nurtured and created factions never known in the life of the party.

They fueled and created two factions-the ononogono group and the Abuja faction- which invariably fueled a fierce turbulence, a burning fire that roasted the party almost to death.

The party went ablaze as political undertakers in a desperate bid to achieve their ambitions tore the party to shreds. They gambled with the ideals of the party, they engaged in acrimonious acts never seen anywhere not even in the land of the monkeys! The party never recovered from that sad and painful episode. In fact that era marked the beginning of Imo PDP's journey to perdition which is haunting it till this day.

The aftermath of 2006 crisis in the party made it to continue to wallow in self delusion. This culminated in its inability to produce another state governor in 2007. It had to take the path never known in political science by adopting a candidate, Ikedi Ohakim of the little known Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA governorship as its candidate.

Through the highest form of electoral abracadabra, it elevated Ohakim as governor of the state. Before then, it had thrown one of its mottos to the trash-bin. A party of justice promoted injustice unceasingly by unjustly denying Ifeanyi Araraume as its candidate for Government House,Owerri after the latter won the governorship Primary.

Araraume became a plaything in the hands of purveyors of falsehood in the party as he was denied the ticket in a hi- wire political conspiracy orchestrated by some political hawks in the party in the State with the aid of then President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The absence of internal democracy, craze for money by party leaders who were ready to trade even their mothers for a fee, political gluttony among several other factors, became entrenched in the party thereafter. The PDP in the state became a theatre of the absurd- where right became wrong, truth became a scarce commodity and injustice was elevated to an art.

During the reign of Ikedi Ohakim as governor, political trickery was invented and it found a taproot in the party. Public office seekers became victims of exploitation, leaders arrogated to themselves the power of make or mar, impunity became their hobby and internal mechanisms to address the grievances of the aggrieved was destroyed.

Falsehood, blackmail, 419 became the code of conduct of the party in the state as so called political leaders exhibited treachery, and relied on the rigging power of the party at the centre with the strong acquiescence of its leaders at the top to win elections in Imo State.

This pattern continued uninhibited. It became a culture, a way of life and members were hopelessly co opted into this trend as they were contaminated until 2011 when it was swept out of power in the state.

Since then, the party unable to purge itself of such retrogressive tendencies had continued on the path of folly hoping to dethrone the APC through the instrumentality of federal power. This failed in the 2015 general elections.

Before its rejection at the polls, it had launched an uncoordinated political offensive which did not signal its readiness to come back to power but rather revealed its desperation to return to old ways of mindless looting and shabby governance.

Due to lack of a coherent mechanism to capture power, it threw into the governorship race more than 25 governorship aspirants and in the end it was a failed political adventure for the party. Again, Imo PDP went on a usual path of not doing things right as it organized a flawed governorship primary that was marred with fraud and highest level of political manipulation.

The virus of discord that has already infested the party at the national level easily trickled down to the state chapter because Imo PDP was already a beehive of crisis.

This has culminated in the present chaos in the party.There are five factions in the party in the state at the moment looking confused and hopeless, like children without parents, yet they aim to recapture political power in Imo State.

Can a confused and clueless political party, enmeshed in crisis provide leadership and responsible governance? Has Imo PDP purged itself of those tendencies that has made it look like bunch of confused lot? I do not think so.