Imo Governor, Uzodinma Faces Legitimacy Test As Rerun Elections Hold Saturday
Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma will on Saturday January 25 face the first test of his popularity in the state when his party, the All Progressive Congress squares off with the Peoples Democratic Party and other opposition parties in a House of Representatives rerun election for the Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe federal constituency.
Princess Miriam Odinaka Onuoha, fondly called “Mama SURE-P” is the candidate of the APC and analysts believe the outcome of Saturday’s election would be a verdict on the electoral legitimacy of Uzodinma who was recently sworn in as governor of the state after the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha from the Government House.
Rerun elections will also hold in 18 polling units of Orlu/Orsu/Oru East federal constituency and 12 polling units of Njaba State constituencies in Imo, will also hold same day.
The rerun was scheduled after the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri on November 13, 2019 sacked Obinna Onwubuariri of the PDP as the member representing Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe federal constituency in the House of representatives.
The candidate of the APC in the election in the February 3, 2019 election, Onuoha, had petition the governorship tribunal in the state which earlier nullified Onwubariri’s election and ordered a fresh election.
Dissatisfied, Onwubuariri appealed the judgment, but the Court of Appeal agreed with the verdict of the lower tribunal and held that the election of the PDP candidate was marred by over voting, mutilation of figures and violence which marred the election.
The Chairman of the Panel, Justice R.N Pemu, who read the judgment, said the election that brought Onwubuariri of the PDP to power contravened the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and ordered a fresh election within 90 days.
The court also nullified the election of Uju Onwudiwe of the Action Alliance (AA) representing Njaba State Constituency and ordered fresh elections in 12 polling units.
Princess Onuoha is a known advocate of maternal and child health in Nigeria and has renown for her philanthropy towards women and children, especially widows and orphans
In several interviews, she had expressed displeasure in the quality of representation of her constituency in the house of representatives and said she was offering herself for service to the people.
Aside her popularity with the common folks, It is believed that most of the critical stakeholders in the Okigwe North are backing her candidacy and she would be looking to win the election.
Although Governor Uzodinma is from Orlu in Imo West senatorial district, it is expected that his influence would extend to other parts of the state to confirm his new status as the leader of the APC in Imo State.
Princess Miriam is a graduate of Estate Management from the University of Lagos and holds a master’s degree in environmental planning and Protection from the University of Abuja.
She had previously served as a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State on International Development Cooperation and worked with the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) of the Federal Government in 2012, among others.
A grassroot mobiliser, Onuoha has said during campaign that her mission is to rescue Okigwe North through effective representation and legislation in the house of representatives and to attract federal projects to her constituency.
Herr fate and the fate of Okigwe North will be decided by the people tomorrow Saturday. And has a chieftain of the APC in the state observed, “It is not only Princess Onuoha that is on the ballot for the APC tomorrow, but also that of Governor Uzodunma.