Imo 2023: Opposition Must Unite To Defeat Uzodinma – Chukwu

Imo 2023 Opposition Must Unite To Defeat Uzodinma - Chukwu
Hon. Athan Chukwu

Following the conclusion of the primary elections for various parties ahead of the November gubernatorial elections in Imo State, political gladiators have once again returned to the drawing table to develop strategies on how to either wrestle power away from or help Governor Hope Uzodinma to retain his position in Douglas House. One of these politicians who will play a major role in making that decision is Hon. Athan Chukwu. 

Hon Chukwu was a councilor during the military regime of IBB and has been in active politics for over three decades. He is a political leader in Emekuku Ward 2 and a renowned stakeholder in Owerri North. He is an opinion molder as far as Imo politics is concerned and is surely a stakeholder as far as the upcoming elections are concerned.

In this interview with Africa Digital News, New York, he shares his thoughts on the upcoming elections, zoning, and the future of Ndigbo in Nigeria. He equally shared his thoughts on what opposition politicians must do if they are desirous of making an impact in November.


ADN, New York: We’re elated to have you speak to us again. What’s your general assessment of the political situation in Imo State at the moment ahead of the November gubernatorial election?

Hon. Chukwu: Thank you for having me again. Well, the case of the Imo State now can be likened to that of the Israelites in Egypt. I mean, Imolites need a leader that will lead them to the promised land. The political situation in Imo State is nothing too different from what it used to be because all Nigerian politicians have the same ideology, only changing political parties makes them different just like changing your clothes or cars doesn’t change the you in you. It is just a method of implementing your policy.

Read Also: Africa Needs To Return Fully To Her Rich Cultural Heritage

ADN, New York: Senator Athan Achonu emerged as the Governorship candidate of the Labour Party in a keenly contested Primary, did this surprise you?

Hon. Chukwu: Well the emergence of Senator Athan did not surprise me because he was one of the two aspirants I tipped before their primaries, due to his antecedents and capacity, hence it will take a man with a big heart and experience to wrestle power from the incumbent who is a lion.

ADN, New York: Chief Martin Agbaso is a household name in Imo politics, surprisingly, he lost in the primary election which many had tipped him to win, what factors do you think contributed to his loss?

Hon. Chukwu: Chief Martin Agbaso not clinching the ticket of Labour Party is one of the greatest losers or surprises to Imo people. I am saying this because he will have been the best candidate for the Labour Party considering his experience, reach, capacity and political sagacity having run for Imo Guber and won before. I think Nigerian political ‘Abrakadabra’ denied him the chance of becoming Governor of the state. To be clear, I think Chief Agbaso failed to clinch the ticket simply because he was observing the ‘Obident’ cashless or ‘Shishiless’ brand of politics of the new Nigeria. He was thinking that others will observe the policy as introduced by Peter Obi in the Presidential election.

ADN, New York: As it stands, Chief Samuel Anyawu will fly PDP’s flag in the Guber elections, as the only mainstream candidate from Owerri this time, do you think he stands a chance?

Hon. Chukwu: Not much to say about Chief Samuel Anyawu and the PDP and their chances because a house that clashes against itself may find it difficult to stand against something that ruined the party’s chances of winning the Presidential election and losing some of their strongholds.

ADN, New York: Talking about PDP, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was one name people expected to see on the ballot in November, surprisingly, he withdrew from the primary election exercise barely days before the primary, do you think that was a wise decision? What political future do you envisage for him going forward?

Hon. Chukwu: Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is highly experienced and knows what is good for himself thus I salute his decision because it is always better to quit when the ovation is loudest. Also, a hero is that guy that fights, runs away, and restrategises to fight again. He has the political contact and connection to link to the political mainstream in Nigeria anytime any day.

ADN, New York: What’s your general assessment of the just concluded National and state elections in Imo State?

Hon. Chukwu: My assessment of the just concluded National and State elections not just in Imo State but in Nigeria in general is that the election was a sham and nothing to write home about that does not worth remembering. I will rather not talk about it.

ADN, New York: As predicted by many, Uzodinma will be flying the flag of the APC in the November elections, could you give us an honest assessment of his chances? What are the permutations?

Hon. Chukwu: Nothing is impossible with God. The Governor can be defeated if the election is allowed to go free and fair which I doubt. I have not seen him doing things worst than what others did except in the area of security which I don’t see him tackling because it’s favouring his government. Again, you know that poverty has been weaponised in Nigeria and Imo State in particular. Voters now go for the highest bidders during elections, If this was not the case, Labour Party will definitely win but protecting the results will be the problem.  Uzodinma will do everything humanly possible to retain power just like every other person coupled with the massive road works to his credit because people may be appreciative of the roads and forget the issue of insecurity.

ADN, New York: Do you think the Opposition has what it takes to unseat Uzodinma? What advice do you have for them?

Hon. Chukwu: The opposition must realise that none of the parties challenging him can win if they go solo. Some of them may manage to win, but they don’t have what it takes to protect the votes. Labour Party can win but they do not have what it takes to defend the votes while PDP has the capacity to defend the votes but has a lower chance of winning. Opposition parties must understand that winning and defending the votes are both important in the scheme of things. They must understand that they will need to work together to achieve the result they need which is removing an incumbent which is an uphill task. They will also need to preach the zoning issue to every Imolite.

ADN, New York: Against the backdrop of the 2023 elections, quite a number of the candidates who lost are presently in court challenging the outcomes, why is this so? Was INEC awful or were politicians too desperate?

Hon. Chukwu: Failure of the electoral umpire to meet the expectations of Nigerians and the world generally was a result of corruption. This corruption was a result of greed and the quest for money by officials of the electoral body and of course you will blame desperate politicians as well who wanted to win by all means.

ADN, New York: The last time you spoke to us, you talked briefly about the fate of the Igbo man in Nigeria. As it stands, the South East once again looks set to be playing the role of spectators in the Nigerian political dynamic, what is the way forward for Ndigbo?

Hon. Chukwu: The position of the South East remains the same and will remain so until the last of the old breed of corrupt politicians are retired which has just started with the 2023 elections. In summary, I implore everyone not to give up but to continue to battle until a better Nigeria is achieved. I am also calling on our state and federal legislators to rise up to the occasion by playing key roles in checking executive rascality at all levels of government. Our judiciary also must be mindful of the fact that they are the last hope of the common man toward achieving a better Nigeria. May God bless Nigeria.

ADN, New York: Thank you so much for your time.

Hon. Chukwu: The pleasure is mine.

Africa Digital News, New York