At last, the much awaited, contentious, tension-soaked and keenly contested Imo North Senatorial Election has come to be.
The day is tomorrow, Saturday, December 5, 2020, as the electorate troop out to cast their ballots for their preferred candidate.
Already, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has put every measure in place to have a free and fair election, including moving the Collation Centre of the election to Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Speaking to Journalists, Festus Okoye, the INEC Commissioner for Information said that INEC will not afford any other cancellation on the Okigwe zone election, as the electoral Body is poised to make sure that in the end, Okigwe zone gets a Senator.
For over two years now, the people of Okigwe Senatorial zone (Imo North) have no Senator at the National Assembly.
All efforts to conduct election in Imo North have failed, as either the election came inconclusive or the candidates failed to accept the released result, which ended up in endless litigations.
However, the latest election in Okigwe is majorly caused by the death of the former occupant of the position, Senator Benji Uwajumogu.
After his death, the seat became vacant, warranting INEC to now conduct a bye election to fill the vacant position.
Earlier date for the election was deferred due to ENDSARS Demonstration which rocked the entire Nigerian Federation.
Therefore, it is now clear that in the end, the Imo North Senatorial election will hold tomorrow.
All the political parties involved in the exercise have been canvassing for votes, and the campaigns will end 48 hours before the election.
The major parties in the race are All Progressive Congress, APC which has Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has Chief Emmanuel Okewulonu, All Progressive Grand Alliance parades Chief Charles Onyirimba, ACCORD has Hon Patrick Ndubueze with other political parties.
Information available to Trumpeta has it that the people of Okigwe Zone are tired of the lingering Senate election and are ready to cast their votes in their numbers.
But the question is if the exercise will be conducive enough to give the electorate the freedom to perform their civic duties?
However, Festus Okoye, the INEC Information Officer had assured Security for voting materials, INEC workers, and Electorate and guaranteed based on the measures put in place.
He made it clear that it was to protect the results that the Collation Centre was shifted from Okigwe zone to INEC State Office in Owerri.
Meanwhile, indications are that if the election is free and fair the result will shock most people, as Okigwe voters have resolved to express themselves based on the situation on ground, and productivity of each political party, and the conduct of the candidates.
“This may not be business as usually, Okigwe electorate are determined to see to the end of this lingering election, and pray that their will should prevail in the end.
We also pray that the relocation of the Collation Centre to the State Capital is to conduct a free and fair election, or otherwise the ugly situation will reoccur” Dr Julius Onyeforo told Trumpeta.
Chief Desmond Nnorom charged INEC to be neutral, since it is not enough to preach one thing and do another.
“Let INEC be free observer in this election and allow the voters to say their minds through their votes” Nnorom told Trumpeta.
However, stories emanating from the camps of all the candidates indicate that each is optimistic to carry the day.
So, what do the Okigwe people expect after the election? Shall this be the conclusion of the endless Senatorial war in Imo North Senatorial Constituency? Saturday will provide the Answer.