Since 1999, Nigeria has been conducting elections into various offices – executive and legislative, in keeping with the tenets of democracy.
For a plural state of her kind, the emergence of candidates for these offices in Nigeria has been so built in such a way as to represent the divergence of opinions, and the diversity of tribal/ethnic, religious, state, LGA, clan and Community affiliations.
That ensured the preservation of the hard-won democracy in the country, despite all the associated problems that have cropped on the way.
The election season is here with us again. Specifically, in early 2023, Nigerians will troop out again to elect their leaders, who would be given a four-year mandate to superintend over the affairs of this country.
As is expected, the political parties have concluded their Primary Elections across the country, and have therefore, chosen the people whom they want the electorates to vote for in the coming Election calendar year.
They are all anxiously waiting for the INEC to declare the race open for the real business of politics to begin in earnest.
While this is the case in every part of Nigeria, the main focus of this material, is the Orlu State Constituency Election of Imo State.
Any one with the faintest knowledge of the political underpinnings of the Orlu LGA of Imo State, would know that the LGA is basically divided into two broad politico-linguisitic clans – Orsu and Isu.
This is the template with which whatever political offices that are due to the LGA are shared.
It is appears that there is a written agreement that whenever an Isu person is heading the Local Government Council, the position of the House Member for the Orlu State Constituency at the Imo House of Assembly will automatically be reserved for the Orsu clan, and vice versa.
Then the Commissioners, the SAs, and other such positions are also allocated with the hallowed Principle of Enye ndị ebea, enye ndị ebea, in Mind.
Though some Governors have not strictly adhered to this inter-clan rule that has made for peace in the LGA, it is still a matter that is etched deeply in the mind of every person with regard to political offices.
And the few times this Principle was violated at the instance of a Governor, had seen pockets of discontent, and murmurings among the active political players.
In the 2023 Election, Orlu LGA has three candidates, Hon. Paschal Okolie (PDP, and the incumbent House Member), Barr. Ikenna Ihezuo (APC), and Comrade Precious Nwadike (Labour Party), as the frontline contenders.
In trying to x-ray the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, it becomes very clear that Comrade Precious Nwadike of the Labour Party is the man to beat in that Election.
For whatever reason(s) known to them, Orlu people have not found the need to re-elect any House Member since the new dawn of democracy in 1999.
That was how Hon. Steve Orji (Ihioma), gave way to Hon. Dr. Peter Ukaigwe (Umuna), who created the space for Hon. Onuora Olumba (Amaifeke), who had to step aside for Hon. Barr. Mike Ndubuaku (Ogberuru), who paved the way for Hon. Marcel Odunze (Eziachi), after whom the incumbent, Hon. Paschal Okolie (Okporo), took over.
So in essence, Orlu has presented a new face in each of the Houses of the Imo Assembly since 1999. And the trend has a very high probability of being continued, and sustained in 2023.
Again given the dismal performance of Hon. Paschal Okolie in the present House, it is a given that he is already out of the race even before the first ballot is cast.
Hon Ikenna Ihezuo, from Eziachi is from the Isu clan, is heavily bogged down by a twin political yoke of no mean weight.
Chief Ihezuo is likely to work harder than the mythical Sisiphus in order to convince any patriotic Orlu person to vote his party, the APC, in the coming election, and the obvious fact that he comes from the same Eziachi Community with Hon. Max Odunze, the last occupant of that position before now, means that his present political adventure is as good as dead before the whistle is blown.
So from every indication, the 2023 Orlu State Constituency Election is Precious Nwadike’s, (the Candidate of Equity, whose Orlu Gedegwum Community has not occupied neither the Commissioner position nor the House seat since 1999), to lose.
Orlu is highly Obidient.
And Dattis a Fact.
UgoGold N. Ọfọnedu
Head, Media and Strategic Communication, Orlu Restoration Movement