If Senator Hope Uzodinma, manages to jump through all the political and legal hurdles and hoops littered around him, such as the Philip Umeadi move to unseat him amongst others, getting re-elected in 2023 may yet not be an easy ride.
The major opponent Uzodinma may be facing from the opposition, if he is not sacked before then, and if he manages to get his party’s ticket, as it would not be an easy ride getting it, would be former Govenror, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
There is every likeliness, that Ihedioha will be clenching the PDP Governorship ticket in 2023, despite some quarters still rooting for the former senator that represented Owerri Zone, Senator Samuel Anyanwu Samdaddy. Ihedioha, who seems to have the party structure, may most likely get the ticket.
This would put Ihedioha as Uzodinma’s major opponent, if he manages to get his party’s nomination, or if he doesn’t jump to another party to contest from before then.
Ihedioha, widely believed to be the real winner of the 2019 General Elections, despite the Supreme Court ruling to Hope Uzodinma’s favour, still enjoys the mass support of the people of Imo State. The injury he suffered at the Supreme Court, has even won him more love amongst the people of the State.
Civil servants and pensioners, a party of the Imo economy, that almost every family has one or two of, are also rooting strongly for him, as he never owed them and didn’t cut their entitlements, unlike Uzodinma who is owing months of pensions and slashing workers salaries. Uzodinma will certainly not find any safe haven from that part of the aisle, and they can cause great injury to his bid for re-election.
Uzodinma have been trying to win over the people with some road projects, but analysts insist that building roads without paying pensions and salaries is worthless, as roads require living human beings to ply them.
The quality of his roads, have also been put in comparison to the ones Ihedioha did, and Ihedioha have been rated higher in quality than Uzodinma.
Within his party, Uzodinma’s biggest threat, remains Senator Ifeanyi Araraume.
The Isiebu born politician, is presently fighting to return to the Senate, and Uzodinma is doing everything possible to frustrate it.
Uzodinma realizes, that is Araraume goes to the Senate, taking away the ticket from him in 2023, becomes even easier, as he has the backing of another APC Senator and former Govenror, Rochas Okorocha.
However, without the Senate seat to back him up, Araraume still remains a Very dangerous rival. He once told the Marcon Nlemigbo leadership of the APC, that he has all it takes to carry out another run for the governorship seat, even if he decides to stay idle in his house till 2023.
Those who know him, believe he wasn’t exaggerating. Araraume is a billionaire, and have been able to pull many upsets in Imo’s political history, since 1999. In fact, almost every governorship run in the state, since 2007 till date, was somehow or the other, shaped by Araraume.
Araraume’s battle with former president Olusegun Obasanjo, produced Dr. Ikedi Ohakim. His fight against Ohakim paved way for Okorocha. His support for Okorocha in 2015 against Ihedioha, ensured Okorocha’s return to power. His actions on the 2019 General Elections and it’s aftermath, saw Hope Uzodinma into the seat of power.
He would not be an opponent that should be taken lightly.
There is still the option of spite, where Araraume can decide to scuttle Uzodinma’s chances as payback for what Uzodinma is doing to him at the moment. Araraume could get into an alliance with Ihedioha and with the backing of Okorocha, Uzodinma’s political survival diminishes even further.
Other parties like APGA, as usual are expected to present candidates, who will more or less be attention and clout seekers, or people hoping to cash in on opportunities like in 2007, but Hope Uzodinma’s real test lies against Ihedioha and Araraume, and with President Buhari stepping down in 2023 before the Imo election, the next president, can go a long way to determine Hope Uzodinma’s fate in 2023, if he gets to it as Govenror.