By Nnamdi Ojiego
The race for 2015 Imo State governorship election has begun, and no political party in the state is leaving anything to chance towards occupying the Government House.
The battle for now, is mainly between the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, which is part of the yet to be registered All Progressives Congress, APC, and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The PDP, still not happy over its defeat in the 2011 gubernatorial election, has vowed to regain the state in the 2015 governorship election, even as it is claiming that its legacies in the state have been sabotaged by incumbent governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha who the opposition party claims lacks focus.
Opposition politics calls for everything – Duruiheoma
Although, PDP says it’s playing a very reasonable and vibrant opposition in the state, from all indications, it is not comfortable playing that role, a fact, the state chairman of the party, Chief Eze Duruiheoma, SAN, confessed to recently.
“Opposition politics calls for everything you can muster, it calls for creativity, pro-activeness and alertness of the mind. It demands too much from you so that you are on top of every situation. I can tell you it has not been a pleasant experience,” he noted.
Repositioning the party ahead 2015
Worried by the loss of gubernatorial seat to the opposition, the party leadership has begun moves to reposition the party in order to reclaim the state come 2015. Confirming this, Duruiheoma said, ‘’we are focusing on 2015. Our emphasis, our focus now is on 2015.
What has gone has gone. Whatever may have led to what happened is now history. However, we have learnt our lessons but it is not something we can share. It is something we have internalized, something we have since understood and I can tell you that it is helping us in our present efforts to reposition the party for 2015. I can tell you that we are working so hard now to regain the confidence of every member of this party.”
PDP in a hurry to reclaim Imo – Hope Uzodimma
Reflective of its determination to win back the state in 2015 polls, the PDP recently raised over N20m for its state chapter at a fund raising dinner.
Chairman of the occasion, Senator Hope Uzodimma disclosed that the party was in a hurry to reclaim the state. According to him, the party was consolidating and re-strategising to take back the seat of power, noting that to achieve this, funds and other resources were needed.
Those at the event included: Chairman of the party in the state, Duruiheoma (SAN); Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha; PDP National Women Leader, Dr. Kema Chikwe; Chief Tony Ezenna; two former speakers of the Imo State House of Assembly, Kelechi Nwagwu and Goodluck Opiah; Speaker, African Parliament, Bethel Amadi; and the erstwhile Director-General, National Sports Commission (NSC), Patrick Ekeji among other top party members.
Reaching out to aggrieved members
In view of the battle ahead, PDP is also working round the clock to bring aggrieved members back under the umbrella. “We are also doing everything possible to ensure that members who left the party for one reason or the other return to the party before the next election. The PDP which I head stands for justice, peace and everything good,” Duruiheoma added.
He further said, “The gospel we are preaching now is that those who will fly our banner in the next election must be ready to serve the people. They must be service-oriented people who are ready to serve the people. In the past, the issue of money used to cause a lot of problems.
On the issue of zoning, Duruiheoma said it can not be wished away in Imo politics. “Yes. The party believes in zoning as a tool for equity. Having made this statement that the party believes in zoning, the issue of which zone will take advantage of the zoning policy is a matter the PDP as a party and not me as the chairman, will make pronouncement upon at the appropriate time. At the appropriate time, the party will say or do something about it”.
Okorocha’s alleged plan to return to the PDP settled
On rumours that Okorocha would soon be absorbed into the PDP to seek re-election, Duruiheoma described the story as total falsehood, adding that with the current extent of bad governance, Okorocha has no space in Imo PDP.
“We don’t have to cross any bridge until we get to that bridge. So I don’t want to do with this speculation about ‘if the governor comes. If he decides to join PDP tomorrow, he knows what to do. He will join in his ward and they will spell out the guidelines and the constitution of the party for him”.
Although, Gov Okorocha’s joining of APC seemed to have put to rest, speculations that he would be rejoining the PDP, however, in politics, anything is possible.