The electoral history of Imo State, spanning from 1999 to 2019, has been marred by various irregularities and misconducts, with each administration leaving a stain on the democratic process. From Achike Udenwa’s tenure (1999-2007) to Chief Ikedi Ohakim’s term (2007-2011) and Chief Rochas Anayo Okorocha’s regime (2011-2019), electoral flaws were evident, but none could match the magnitude of the criminal electoral heist that unfolded on November 11th, 2023, orchestrated by Governor Hope Uzodinma.Hope Uzodinma literarily played ndị Imo to his own gain. 

The electoral landscape in Imo State witnessed small irregularities in the past, but the events of November 11th, 2023, surpassed all previous wrongdoings. The heist involved widespread vote buying, bullying, and thuggery, creating an atmosphere of chaos and fear. From purchasing candidates of both major parties to importing INEC returning officers from other states and co-opting INEC staff, Uzodinma’s tactics demonstrated a new low in electoral manipulation.

Security agents, instead of ensuring a fair process, played into Uzodinma’s hands, further compromising the integrity of the whole process . The gullibility of the masses became a tool for manipulation, as they fell victim to a well-orchestrated political gimmick.

It is crucial to note that Ikenga Johnjude Okere foresaw the impending disaster during the campaign, issuing warnings that unfortunately fell on deaf ears. The ACCORD governorship candidate highlighted the potential for electoral malpractice and urged the people of Imo to remain vigilant. However, the warning was overshadowed by gullibility, shear greed, and a lack of foresight, leading to the dire consequences witnessed on November 11th.

This electoral heist will undoubtedly go down as one of the most marred and electorally challenged elections not only in Imo State but also in Africa. The aftermath serves as a stark reminder of the importance of scrutinizing candidates and electoral processes. Ikenga Johnjude Okere stands as a shining example of leadership, as demonstrated in his campaign.

In the wake of this unprecedented electoral heist, it is imperative for the people of Imo and beyond to learn from the mistakes of the past. Quitting gullibility and prioritizing substance in leadership should be the collective resolution. The electoral process should be a platform for genuine representation, not a stage for criminal heists.