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Imo: Those warming to slug it out with Okorocha

Since the release of the 2015 election timetable, many aspirants in the state have declared their ambition to contest against Okorocha and almost all of…

Since the release of the 2015 election timetable, many aspirants in the state have declared their ambition to contest against Okorocha and almost all of them have commenced what political analysts describe as underground consultations to fashion out strategies on how to outdo one another.
As the tenure of the present administration winds up in May 2015, aspirants under different political parties have continued to dust their files to fashion out strategies to wrestle power from the APC led government in the state. Close observation of the guber aspirants shows that all of them are seasoned and strong politicians in their various constituencies in the state and are ready for business.
Though the state governor, Rochas Okorocha, has not publicly declared his intention to contest as he has for some time been toying with the idea of going for the presidency, there are strong indications that he may re-contest for another four year term.
As an incumbent with all the machinery of government, it is believed that when Okorocha eventually decides to contest, he would spare no effort to ensure he wins as the stake for him this time are more than when he contested in 2011.
His major problem analysts say would be the effort the PDP led federal government would put in to make sure he is dislodged from office given his no love lost relationship with presidency on account of his being a strong member of the opposition APC.
Those believed to be oiling their machinery to throw their hats into the ring with Okorocha include deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, former minister Emmanuel Iheanacho, Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume, Bethel Amadi, Humphrey Anumudu, Jerry Chukwueke and others.
Emeka Ihedioha
Among those seriously angling to chase Okorocha out of the Imo Government House is the deputy speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha. He is seen as top on the list of hot contenders for the number one seat of Imo State. Representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Opkala federal constituency, he was elected into the House of Representative on the platform of the PDP) for three consecutives times.
He is seen as very serious with the project and has commenced consulting widely with different stakeholders both in the state and at the national level especially in the PDP. The Mbaise born politician is not living any stone unturned as far as the governorship contest in Imo is concerned and that is why many believe he is reaching out to every class of people in the state including the youths, students, women and men through his empowerment and skill acquisition programs. He is also seen as having effectively used his position to attract projects for the people of the state and his constituency.
Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho
This is another strong contender as far as the governorship race for Imo State is concerned. He was one time minister for interior but was later dropped from the cabinet given the politics that played out during the administration of former Governor Ikedi Ohakim. His tenure as minister was heavily characterized by criticisms and blackmail especially from the then government in the state. He dumped the PDP and joined the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) recently to improve his chances of securing a platform. He is one those from the zone who strongly believe that the next governor of the state should come from Owerri rather than Okigwe and Orlu zones. Though it would be his first attempt, it is obvious he is not leaving any stone unturned in ensuring that he reaches out to all parts of the state to ask for support to elect him as governor come 2015.  
Ifeanyi Araraume
Senator Ifeanyi Araraume represented Okigwe senatorial zone in the Senate for two consecutive terms after which he contested for the governorship position of Imo in 2007. He lost the race and the circumstances leading to the attempt to frustrate him brought in former Governor Ikedi Ohakim from Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) to win the seat.
Because of the perceived injustice meted to Senator Araraume in the PDP, he pulled out with all his loyalists to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) where he re-contested but equally lost the governorship seat in 2011 to Okorocha.
He returned to the  PDP in December where he is expected to revive his ambition.
Bethel Amadi
As long as the governorship election in Imo State is concerned, Bethel Amadi remains a new face in the race. The member of the House of Representatives for Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency seems set to make a go at the governorship seat rather than re-contest for the Reps. He is one of those who strongly believe that it is the turn of Owerri zone to produce next governor of the state.
Humphrey Anumudu
He was among the hot contenders during the 1998 governorship race in Imo State alongside former governor Achike Udenwa, Chief Greg Mbadiwe, Governor Rochas Okorocha but the party leaders and stakeholders asked every contestant including Anumudu who by all indication appeared to be winning the primaries to step down for  Udenwa because of the zoning arrangement. Since he lost out in that contest, he withdrew from all political contests until this time around.
Chief Jery Chukwueke
The foreign based business mogul is going to be in the governorship race for the second time. His first appearance was in 2011 but he lost out during the PDP primary election.
Emma Ojinere
Engr. Emma Ojinere has been an old timer in the race but has never made any serious impact as he usually agrees to  withdraw for other persons whenever asked to do so.
Prof. Jude Njoku
The former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), though this would be his first appearance, has a name that rings a bell. He served as commissioner for education and lands survey and urban planning during the Chief Ohakim led government. He is currently said to be touring every nook and cranny of the state to better his chances.
Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe
Ajumbe is another man who has being regular in the governorship contest of Imo State. He has before now contested for the number one seat under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) but lost. This would be the second time he is featuring in the hot race to government house. He was the chairman of the party under which he contested in 2011 governorship election but lost the opportunity. Prior to the merger that gave rise to the APC, he resigned his chairmanship position and joined the PPA where he wishes to contest as governor in 2015.
The remaining governorship aspirants include Chris Brown from the oil rich Ohaji/Egbema, Chuka Odum, the former minister of state for Federal Capital Territory, Dr.Julious Kpaduwa and Chief Bettle Nzimako.

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