2011 ELECTIONS: THE VERDICT OF HISTORY
The campaigns for the April general elections in Imo have been one with a lot of interesting development and revelations so far. It has reveled the futile efforts of some of our politicians who could not learn anything from past experiences at elections. It has also further exposed the characters of some of our old war horses who basically have not changed as many of them have remained who they are.
I have come to the interesting verdict that not much has changed in Imo politics and this may be news to some new comers in the political chess game. I can reveal from my political crystal ball that there is going to be massive win for the PDP. All the new parties may make very little or no impact in the outcome of the fort coming elections. Let me explain some of the factors guiding my predictions.
Firstly, the political space in Imo has not changed. It is still essentially composed of the same old gladiators. Some persons may think that there are changes but it is only those with strong sense of political history that will agree with me that nothing has changed in the politics of Imo since 1999 to date. Rochas, Araraume, Ohakim, Ike Ibe, Kema, Hope, Mbadiwe, Marcon, Ezenna, name it are all PDP or APP as it then was. They are still the one and same persons today.
Taken further, in 1999, Rochas ran for Governorship and lost at primary level to Udenwa when it was the turn of Orlu zone. Rochas was then still is his present self, a helicopter candidate claiming victory before the main election. He was the preferred choice of Solomon Lar. He came to Imo and obtained a black market endorsement in the name of consensus candidate.
Those who could remember Rochas' politics between 1999 to date will agree with me that he has not changed a bit. He really does not play team politics because he can never discuss issues. Rather his selling point is himself alone. Today he has told Imo people that he is descending from presidency to rule Imo State people yet he was never a president or nearer that office. Not many people know that Rochas like he did in 1999 had indicated interest to run for senate in PDP as a deal. After failing Governorship elections in 1999, Rochas hijacked Orlu senate slot in PDP and also gave other tickets to Araraume and Chief Enwerem(late) who were chieftains of APP then. This was how no PDP member became senator in 1999 because Rochas lost to Senator Nzeribe while Araraume and Enwerem won.
Today Rochas has unleashed his helicopter brand of politics promising Imo people heaven on earth but alas! Imo people are reading in between the lines. Trouble started when Rochas insisted on taking all the appointments from Ideato South and North to himself and of course Gov Ohakim will never have that. Then Rochas realized that he will descend from Presidency to come and rescue Imo State as Governor. In 1999 he campaigned under the turn of Orlu zone and today he has launched a campaign to destroy zoning in Imo State because he wants to settle scores with Governor Ohakim.
Now to my friend Senator Arararume. He has become the Governor that Imo State will never have. He is very angry and of course will never forgive his man Friday whom he assisted and stood behind when it mattered most in 2003. Only Arararume and Udenwa knew what transpired between them and why Udenwa destroyed his political career in 2007. Of course Senator Araraume's politics ended in Imo State the day he left the PDP.
On Chief Achike Udenwa, he has continued to make avoidable political mistakes. His greatest blunder was in 2007 when he lost control. His current romance with Senator Araraume is to atone for the betrayal he meted to the senator. If I want to be corrected on my belief that the last person that Udenwa would want to be Governor of Imo State it is Senator Araraume.
Udenwa's venture into senatorial contest in Orlu zone will bring his political career to an end. The leaders, elites and stakeholders of Orlu zone have read in between the lines and it is payback time. The argument being buttressed here is that there is nothing on ground to suggest change in Imo State. The parting of ways by the former PDP big shots due to their selfish desires and their inability to deplete PDP fold is indicative of impending victory for the ruling party in the state.
Agukwe is the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Imo State.