The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and governorship flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is seeking with gusto the reins of power in Imo with a view to repositioning the State for greatness.
Following his formal presentation as the standard bearer by the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu and President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday, 17th January, 2015 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, Ihedioha has left no one in doubt about his determination to dislodge the rudderless and deceitful administration in Imo State headed by Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
Three days after, and precisely on Tuesday, 20th January, he flagged off his meet-the-peoples` tour to all the 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the State with visitations to Oru East and Oru West LGAs respectively. The Kick-off of the campaign in Oru East was significant. Firstly, Oru East is the home LGA of a major power broker in the State, Senator Hope Uzodimma who represents Orlu Zone in the Senate. Secondly this zone is the largest of the three zones in the State. The others are Okigwe and Owerri.
By commencing his campaigns in Orlu zone, Ihedioha has clearly given a clear intention to accord Orlu a pride of place in his administration, consistent with the political status of the zone in the scheme of things in Imo State.
The outing to Oru East and Oru West was immediately followed the next day by visitations to Okigwe and Onuimo LGAs. As at press time, the campaign train of Ihedioha has moved to Owerri North and Owerri West LGAs.
Everywhere Ihedioha visited; he was received by a tumultuous and enthusiastic crowd of supporters who expressed genuine desire and determination to ensure that he is elected as the next governor of Imo State come February 28, 2015.
From the large throng of people who attend his campaign rallies and the sincere assurances of support given to him, it seems obvious to every discerning mind that the Imo people have made a clear and unambiguous choice in the person of Ihedioha as the man to dislodge the current corrupt, lawless and visionless administration in Imo State led by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Ihedioha`s candidature in this election is quite exciting to all segments of Imo people including the traditional rulers, women, and youth. A globally renowned footballer and former captain of the Super Eagles, Nwankwo Kanu who is very prominent in the campaign is the rallying point for Imo youth. It is also important to note that all the key political leaders of the State are also united behind Ihedioha`s aspiration.
The leaders include elder statesman Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; former governor, Chief Achike Udenwa; former deputy governors, Dr. Douglas Acholonu, Lady Ada Okwuonu and Engr. Ebere Udeagu; PDP woman leader and former Minister of Aviation, Dr. Kema Chikwe; Minister of State for Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri; former Vice Chairman of PDP in the South East, Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu; all serving PDP members in the National and State Assemblies and Chairman of PDP in Imo State, Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie who is leading the campaign.
These leaders who enjoy wide following in the State have continued to boost Ihedioha`s campaign with their presence and support in all the locations that have been visited so far. This unity of purpose has lifted the morale of PDP members across the State and re-energized them to work for the party`s victory in the coming elections.
This has sent a very strong signal to the opposition camp that change is imminent and certainly inevitable in the elections.
There is palpable fear of uncertainty within the Okorocha`s camp hence the State-controlled media organs have resorted to a vicious but futile campaign of falsehood bordering on desperation against the person and candidature of Ihedioha.
The PDP flag bearer has however remained undaunted and focused. He is not deterred. Rather he has continued to demonstrate steely resolve and resoluteness to make the desired difference in governance as he takes his message of liberation and restoration to all the nooks and crannies of Imo State.
Ihedioha is appalled by the level of decay and desecration of time honoured values for which Imo is known under the watch of Governor Okorocha. For instance, he observed that the so-called free education policy Okorocha claimed he was offering in the State was purely deceitful, explaining that basic free education which covers primary and junior secondary schools was constitutionally guaranteed and was being funded by the Federal Government through Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) contrary to the false claims by Okorocha.
He also observed that the free education which Okorocha claimed he is giving to Imo students in tertiary institutions does not go beyond a handful of the indigenes studying only at Imo State University.The so-called free tertiary education does not cover Imo students in any other institutions either in the State like Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) and Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri or elsewhere in the country. Meanwhile Governor Okorocha has been deceiving Imo people by claiming that he was giving free education to all Imo students at primary and tertiary levels. Ihedioha has therefore promised not only to make education free but also qualitative.
From the feelers being received from the field, every indication points to the emergence of Emeka Ihedioha as the next governor of Imo State. For a man who has become the point of convergence for all shades of opinion and interest groups in Imo State, Ihedioha is the candidate to beat in the election. It is the belief of many that he is the man whose time has come. He is a political hurricane that is unstoppable.
Nwosu writes from Owerri, Imo State