In a few days, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, among others, will be fighting the biggest battle of their political career: to succeed Muhammadu Buhari, whose second four-year presidential term ends this May 29.
Imo residents are not left out in the enthusiasm to choose a new leader for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It was correspondent in the state presents a picture of his findings on the position of the major candidates and their chances in the election.
Many Imo residents consider Abubakar, 76, and Tinubu, 70, to be career politicians who want to maintain the status quo.
Due to the strength of the incumbent government at the federal level and the backing of 22 governors who are members of the ruling party, Tinubu’s supporters are certain that he will be elected president on February 25.
The selection of Senator Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Borno State, as his running mate, has, however, sparked a range of opinions among the Imo political community.
The topic of Tinubu’s health is also being exploited against him both inside and outside the APC in the state.
APC is the ruling party in Imo and the state should ordinarily be a stronghold of the party.
However, the spate of insecurity in that state has enormously eroded the acceptability of the APC in Imo state. Coupled with the dwindling political popularity of President Buhari, many also think that the new monetary policy and hike in fuel price may work against the ruling APC in Imo State.
Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, ran under several political parties for the same office in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019.
The PDP is relying on what they see as the APC government’s appalling performance in the areas of insecurity and the economy to win back power after eight years in opposition. From 1999 until 2015, a period of 16 years, the party ruled the nation.
There are indications that the PDP may retain Owerri Senatorial District because of the influence of former Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, and the large chunk of votes in the three Local Government Areas in Mbaise and Owerri zone, but LP presidential candidate is certainly going to take the day based on its acceptability among the youths who are in the majority in the zone.
With people like former governor Emeka Ihedioha, Chief Achike Udenwa, and Greg Egu among his supporters, there is no doubt that Atiku has a very significant following in the state. Nonetheless, this could not result in Atiku Abubakar winning the Imo State election.
Since the start of the party’s campaign, the state chapter of the party has been working hard to support Atiku, but a conflict of interest and political ambition between Ihedioha and Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Samdaddy), the PDP’s national secretary, could have a significant negative impact on the PDP in Imo State.
What it means is that Atiku’s chances in Orlu Senatorial District and Okigwe Senatorial District could suffer a setback if the PDP fails to do something to its depleting ranks.
Obi, 62, served as the All Progressives Grand Alliance’s governor of Anambra State (APGA). His popularity has recently soared, especially among young people and angry PDP members who think Atiku’s election as the party’s candidate was done deliberately alienating the South-east of the nation.
It’s widely acknowledged in Imo that he is the most competent candidate, the reason a sizable portion of the populace has decided to support him.
Obi’s popularity spans Imo State’s 27 Local Government Areas, drowning out the efforts of parties like the APC and PDP.
Before now, APGA used to be the “third party.” But the Labour Party has seized control of that position. Also, the Labour Party in the State has been successful in luring some well-known politicians who had previously belonged to the PDP and the APC.
Some voters in Imo State have been given optimism by Obi’s candidacy, especially young people who make up the state’s largest population.
Several PDP and APC members in the state have been influenced by the propaganda that it’s the turn of the Southeast. They now openly advocate for their parties during the day but recite Labour and Obi during the evening when spending time with their families.
The state is already dominated by Obidients who have already taken a clear stand to be with Peter Obi of the Labour Party.