BY TONY NWAKA
Ika federal constituency: Victor Nwokolo (PDP) v Sabastian Okoh (APC)
Sometimes social media permutations can defy reason. This is one of such cases. I mean, it appears ridiculous to ever imagine that the federal constituency of a sitting governor who is seeking reelection would fall to an opposition party. And to even note that the governor in question is Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, a master political tactician and quintessential election strategist. Oops! How could anyone ever hope to beat Ekwueme himself in his own backyard.
Yes, Hon. Victor Nwokolo, the PDP candidate, is a fine gentleman, kindhearted and one of the very few political office holders that have not been carried away by the trappings of his office. But the truth is, the battle is not his. The capacity of the governor’s political machine will always find its most efficient execution in Ika federal constituency, his homestead.
This appears in bold relief when you recall that such field marshals as Ex-Governor Sam Obi, Ex-Chief of Staff Festus Okunbor, commissioner emeritus and business mogul Lawrence Osiegbu, current commissioner for economic planning Kingsley Emu, State Director of Protocol Ifeanyi Eboigbe and the “Awolo” himself Hilary Ibegbulem, the principal secretary to the governor, are all from the same Ika constituency. Do you honestly believe Sebastian Okoh possesses such arsenal as could neutralize the combined firepower of these gladiators? Honestly, I don’t share the same confidence. Indeed, Hon. Victor Nwokolo and Tony Elekokuri are clearly the luckiest among the people going for election in Delta State this year.
In any case, the social media projections seem to suggest that we should not entirely dismiss the prospects of Sabastian Okoh, the APC candidate. I must confess that I do not know much about him. But if what we see and read about him are anything to go by, then he sure has a huge mass followership. In truth, the political arena could sometimes be inhospitable to conventional beliefs. It’s quite amazing, or should I say troubling, that Sebastian is able to attract such enthusiastic crowd in the governor’s own territory. This development, no doubt, would call for critical post-election analyses.
In all, in the light of social media frenzy over the Nwokolo-Sebastian clash, political observers would be watching with keen interest to see how far Sebastian can go against the tested and well oiled political machine of the governor.
Oshimili South House of Assembly Constituency: Shedrack Rapu (PDP) v Isioma Theodora Ndah (APC)
This contest is peculiar. None of the two contenders has held a notable public office, or should I say government office. So, their candidacy provides a refreshing option for those who are desirous of a significant departure from the status quo ante bellum. Shedrack and Isioma are two well known figures within the Asaba social circles. They bear popular Asaba family names: Rapu and Ndah. I have closely interacted with both candidates over the years and I can safely say that they are very personable characters.
Ordinarily, one should give this to Shedrack. But I can understand the heightened interest the social media seems to have taken over this contest. Beyond the allure of her feminine beauty, Isioma Ndah is a profoundly sociable lady. Some community services she initiated among the quarters in Asaba for some time now have clearly endeared her to many people in the capital city.
But more fascinating is the voting pattern of Asaba electorate. While the city has remained predominantly a PDP territory, it has a way of voting against any PDP candidate that falls short of its esteem. I may not understand the criteria that drive the people’s disdain for certain candidates of the ruling PDP, but it clearly played out in the repeated inability of Ex-Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to win the Asaba vote in the heat of the Ogboru pineapple revolution of 2011. It really would be instructive to see in which direction the Asaba vote will swing in the coming battle between Shedrack Rapu of the PDP and Isioma Theodora Ndah of APC.
Aniocha South House of Assembly Constituency: Austin Chikezie (PDP), Angela Nwaka (APGA) and Rister Izedunor (APC)
Wow! This is my constituency. How do I objectively judge a case in which I am involved? What should be done when the job of a dutiful historian clashes with the partisan loyalty expected of a politician? But it’s okay. Experiences of mortal man must be chronicled for the benefit of posterity. So, let’s see how steadily I can walk the middle road of neutrality.
Unlike the majorly two-way races across the state that we have narrated so far, the situation in Aniocha South is truly unique. It is a three-pronged battle involving Austin Chikezie of PDP, Angela Nwaka of APGA and Rister Izedunor of APC. Although there are fringe challenges from the SDP and Accord parties, the substantial contest involves the aforementioned three candidates.
All things being equal, Austin Chikezie should sweep to victory, without much effort. But all things are hardly equal in politics. There are strong primordial sentiments that are evidently propelling the aspirations of the two foremost candidates from Ogwashi-Uku, Angela and Rister. They are fiercely counting on the huge Ogwashi votes for victory. (Ogwashi alone has about half the number of registered voters in the LGA).
Now, that could also be the undoing of both candidates (Rister and Angela). Yes, Ogwashi has the bulk of votes in the LGA but both candidates are likely to split those votes between themselves, the relatively unknown Accord candidate, who also happens to come from Ogwashi-Uku and the efforts that would equally be mustered by the PDP big boys from the town.
This is the reason many pundits believe Chikezie, the PDP candidate, still holds the trump card. All he needs do is hold firm the votes from his Nsukwa clan and dig deep in Ubulu clan. At any rate, just as the social media has projected, the three-way Aniocha South House of Assembly race will definitely be an interesting case study.