The governorship aspiration of former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) may have been given a boost following a sweeping victory of his loyalists at the just concluded adhoc delegate congresses of the party.
In the race for Imo’s Douglas House, a serving senator, Sam Anyanwu and Ihedioha are leading the contenders.
Other governorship aspirants of the PDP include former Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof Jude Njoku, , Senator Athan Achonu and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru.
The congress was held after initial delays and disagreement, occasioned by contending interests.
Our correspondent gathered at the PDP secretariat that the congress, which has the former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka as Chairman of the Committee, witnessed an impressive turn out of PDP faithful across the state.
The congress appeared to be a testing ground for the primary election due to be held in few weeks.
The loyalists of the former deputy speaker, swept the polls in about 24 Local Government Area. These include Mbaitoli, Obowo, Owerri Municipal, Nkwerre, Owerri North, Ezinihitte, Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu, Oguta, Ihitte Uboma, Okigwe, Ohaji Egbema, Owerri West, Oru West, Oru East among other local government areas.
In some cases, there was understanding among the stakeholders and delegate aspirants, giving rise to harmonization and affirmation in those areas. The adhoc delegates will alongside the statutory delegates elect various party’s candidates for the 2019 general elections.
A PDP leader in Obowo Council Area, Nze Aloysious Anoruo, explained that the emergence of Ihedioha’s core loyalists in Obowo and other areas wasn’t a surprise to them.
According to him, “Ihedioha has earned the support and reward of the party in Imo. For example, while other aspirants visited only a section of the party’s membership during their consultations, Ihedioha carried everybody along by painstakingly touring all the wards in the 27 LGAs to market his candidature and programmes”.
He said that Ihedioha’s structures were also active in all the wards and most of his ardent supporters in the last election emerged delegates.