Surely, there is vacancy in Douglas House Owerri! The Imo State seat of power and current home of the Okorochas from Ogboko in Ideato L.G.A. will soon be vacant and ready to welcome a new tenant for the next four years
But it is not just a tenant that Douglas House is looking for. First, the House is looking for a man or woman of integrity, a seasoned administrator who will be accountable to the people to govern Imo State with the fear of God. Second, Imo people are looking for a man who will feel their heart beat. They have had a tough time.
Members of the State Assembly will also be elected on the same day – March 9th 2019. Imo people hope that they would not be pocketed anymore.
Sixty five persons from Imo State’s 27 Local Government Areas (LGA) are vying for Governor. That translates to two governors per LGA, the highest number of governorship aspirants in the country. Some of the candidates, top contenders and would-be governors are: Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Hope Uzodinma, All Progressives Party (APC), Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) , Tony Nwulu, United Progressive Party (UPP), Social Democratic Party’s, (SDP), Casmir Anyanwu/Okey Eze and Governor Okorocha’s son in-law and heir Uche Nwosu of the Action Allianchce (AA).
Undoubtedly, Imo people are politically savvy. But whether or not the large number of governorship candidates is a plus or minus to Imo’s political endeavour is left for analysts to decide. However, the race is on. Imolites would vote, whatever the numbers. They would go out and cast their votes as they did during the Presidential and National Assembly Elections. The people would cast their votes hoping and praying that their votes would count, as promised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
There is so much anxiety in the State, as would be expected. The state has become a major spotlight in the country because of the intensity of the contest, which has generated enormous attention and controversy. Political parties and their candidates are preparing themselves in readiness for victory or defeat. The election has dominated public discourse. The social Media is abuzz with information and predictions, verified and unverified. People cannot wait to go to the polls. They are eager not only to vote but more so to see the results and their preferred candidates win.
It is left to be seen who the winner would be. As the voting, counting and announcement of results go on, prominent people in the society have warmed against any acts of violence.
Soon after the February 23 elections, the Catholic church issued a press release calling for a free, fair and credible election, as well as condemning various forms of violence, voter intimidation and rigging which occurred in the last election.
The release signed by the Archbishop His Grace J.V.Obinna urged Imolites to come out and vote on Saturday despite the bad experiences. His Grace also noted with dismay the case of the FUTO Professor who was served as a collation officer for the Orlu Senatorial election and who confessed to have announced the results “under duress”.
He challenged voters to elect people who will serve the State with a sense of fairness, equity, peace and joy.
“We discourage the intimidatory and despotic tendencies that bring disaster to the political process,” the Archbishop said, urging everyone, including INEC to do their best to prevent further disaster.