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IMO: Ngor Okpala Bye-Election Consolidates Uzodimma’s Popularity And Acceptability Rating


IMO: Ngor Okpala Bye-Election Consolidates Uzodimma’s Popularity And Acceptability Rating

By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A

The very successful electoral exploration and exploits of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State in the State Assembly by-election in Ngor Okpala State Constituency on Saturday, February 26, 2022 will remain monumental in the political history of the State.

That’s because it has solidified and indeed consolidated the popularity and acceptability of APC and its indisputable Leader in Imo State and Leader in the Southeast geopolitical zone, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, the duly elected governor of Imo State.

Weeks before the election and in the days and hours before the by-election on Saturday, February 26, 2022, it was a common argument among reputable pundits that the by-election would be a popularity contest between Governor Uzodimma and Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. Two things were involved!

First was the incumbency factor of the governor, whose reputation, popularity and acceptability was on a real hot seat of political test. The opposition, led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, steadily taunts the governor as being unpopular and unacceptable to the people of Imo State.

Second was the ex-governor status of Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP, coupled with his CV as ex-House of Representatives man for Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency for three consecutive terms of twelve years. His name, image, credibility, reputation, popularity, and acceptability were also on hot test in the Ngor Okpala by-election.

After a restless and impatient wait for the date of the by-election, it eventually came. And usual election and electoral hostilities and brouhaha ensued within the INEC stipulated time for voting, etcetera. The main combatants were the APC and the PDP, with few other striving parties.

At the end of proceedings, with all the associated intriguing trades in tackles by all the contestants, INEC announced the results and declared the APC and their candidate, Hon. Okenze Sir Blyden Amajirionwu as winner.

To a large extent, that victory is physically spiritually, politically, socially and economically very significant and monumentally sacrosanct. It was a victory with very far-reaching significances and implications.

Yet, for sake of the theme of this short essay, it was a much needed victory for Governor Uzodimma. It was his very desired victory because, as stated earlier, pundits saw the by-election as a popularity contest and test between Uzodimma and Ihedioha. And Uzodimma won!

The immediate implication of the outcome of the Ngor Okpala by-election is that Governor Uzodimma is popular in Imo State just as he is acceptable and accepted. There’s no longer any controversy about that. What needs to be proved has been proved!

It may be recalled that in 2020, there was a by-election in Okigwe Zone to fill the vacant seat of Imo North (Okigwe Zone) Senatorial District created by painful demise of Senator Ben Uwajumogu.

That very crucial and critical by-election was conducted on December 5, 2020 in Okigwe Zone. The APC with their candidate, Hon. Frank Ibezim won. But many people saw it as a victory for Governor Uzodimma. PDP lost!

With the APC victory in the two consecutive by-elections held in Imo State under the watch of Governor Uzodimma so far, it’s not a hyperbole for anyone to say that the governor has been winning winner. He’s a serial winner!

He won the 2019 governorship election in Imo State, and by association Orlu Zone where he hails from. He won in Okigwe Zone via the Senatorial by-election. He has now won in Owerri Zone via the Ngor Okpala by-election.

Another major significance in all of that is that the victory of APC in the three elections has been cognate within just two years of Governor Uzodimma in Douglas House, the seat of power and authority of the Government of Imo State.

The borderline significance is that Governor Uzodimma has become the most popular and most acceptable political leader of Imo State at this point in time. Winning three elections at a row isn’t a small feat. Governor Uzodimma did it!

In the next few months and precisely in the first quarter of 2023, about twelve months hence, the general elections will be conducted by INEC in Nigeria. Imo State, under the care of Governor Uzodimma, will fully participate.

The elections will be in the presidential, national assembly and state assembly categories. And APC with Governor Uzodimma will feature prominently, with the view to winning all the available seats.

With the 3-0 record wins by APC and the governor in Imo State since 2019, all eyes will be keenly on the lookout to see whether or not the party and the governor will sustain their winning streaks of 2019, 2020 and 2022, in the forthcoming 2023 general elections. Time will tell!

We can only join well-meaning people to rejoice with APC and Governor Uzodimma on the victory in the Ngor Okpala by-election, which has unarguably earned them the title of serial election winners.

By God’s grace, Imo State is being rehabilitated, reconstructed and recovered by Governor Uzodimma!

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