As the Imo State APGA Primaries draws near, a think thank, Future Perspectives Research has put together an objective comparison of all the candidates highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.
Whoever emerges as APGA’s anointed one on Friday, 5th of October will be pitted against forces like APC’s, no Okorocha’s boy-in-law and candidate, Mr Uche Nwosu and PDP’s Ihedioha.
With more than 20 candidates who are supposedly jostling for Imo’s plum job from the APGA party, we have limited this to the most notable 5 candidates namely: Okey Ezeh, Frank Nneji, Stanley Amuchie, Ifeanyi Ararume and Ikedi Ohakim.
We adopted a simple method for the verdict – every aspirant has a base score of 3, each strength adds 2 points and each weakness takes 2 points away.
Mr Okey Ezeh
Okey Ezeh is not a new face in APGA having been in the party for a while, staying through thick and thin. A former banker, he is also a seasoned business man who is well respected.
His dedication to the party is what mostly stands him out. In a world where politicians jump ship at the slightest opportunity when things don’t go their way, Okey Ezeh has shown himself to be different and remains a strong asset to the party.
Being a management consultant, he is seen as one of the brilliant candidates who can actually get stuff done.
Though a successful businessman, he is not considered to have the financial muscle to win the state elections; which is a key consideration as this election is APGA’s to lose. He will need to prove he can attract the needed financing to run the Imo gubernatorial race.
In 2014, Okey Ezeh lost the party primaries to Captain Iheanacho, he took the party to court and was subsequently suspended by the party. However people may have forgotten as he seemed to have redeemed himself over the years. Time will tell
Our Verdict: 5/10
Mr Frank Nneji
Like many other Imo gubernatorial candidates, Frank Nneji is a well known businessman and he is the founder, Chairman and CEO of ABC Transport
ABC Motors was/is a household name in transport, which gave Frank Nneji his wide spread popularity. He is a well regarded elder statesman in the state and has the respect of other contestants as well.
Though an experienced entrepreneur, he is relatively new to politics. Many believe he does not have the financial clout needed to win a state election and if he wins the primaries, this will mean doom for APGA in the elections except of course he is able to get the other well-endowed candidates like Amuchie, Ararume to support him.
Our Verdict: 3/10
Sir Stanley Amuchie
Stanley Amuchie is a financial expert, banker and chartered accountant who prior to announcing his candidacy, was the Chief Financial Officer of Zenith Bank.
Many have wondered why he made the call to leave such a plush position at the top of Nigeria’s most profitable bank to contest for Imo governorship.
He is considered a loyal and long term guy by his admirers looking at how he stayed loyal with Jim Ovia at Zenith Bank for more than 18 years, even amidst opportunities to jump ship or start his own bank.
It is said that he will bring the same loyalty mindset to APGA and currently appears to be the candidate least likely to jump ship before/after the elections.
As a result he is said to enjoy the financial and political support of Jim Ovia, billionaire banker; numerous governors and bankers from the South-East.
This is definitely a plus when you consider that Zenith Bank has produced 2 sitting governors and the Central Bank Governor.
He is believed to be the candidate with the most clean financial muscle, so its safe to say money will not be the reason for APGA not to win.
Considered to be a brilliant manager as well, he is also seen as one who will bring his finance and leadership experience to bear to make Imo work; one of few technocrats that have come to do exploits in their home states.
He has also been very vocal lately addressing the common folk as well as the press – which has helped him build a decent following and likability among politically active Imo indigenes and APGA party members.
He is new to contesting in politics and some consider this to be a big issue. Others think its a strength, as this means less baggage, less scandals and and might just make him a formidable opponent for whoever the Okorocha-Nwosu’s camp from APC is bringing on.
It’s also been rumoured that he is linked to Okorocha, an allegation he’s flatly denied stating clearly that Okorocha inadequacies and bad leadership prompted him to come in and help reposition Imo.
Dr. Ikedi Ohakim
Ikedi Ohakim needs no introduction. As a former governor of the state, His Excellency lost the throne to the incumbent Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
Being a former governor, he does not need to sell himself anymore as someone who can lead a state. He’s done it before and as such he’s a candidate you can’t ignore.
His biggest weakness is his amazing ability to change parties. He’s tasted food at too many parties such that some APGA loyalists detest him while some are afraid of what he will do if he gets the APGA ticket.
His defeat in the last series of elections also puts to question in his capability to put any party in the Imo Government House. This in our opinion, makes him a difficult one to bet on.
Senator Ifeanyi Ararume
Ifeanyi Ararume is a brilliant career politician who has been in the political major leagues since 1999.
He is rich, he has the financial muscle to compete. He is an experienced political stalwart.
Someone of Senator Ararume’s clout and precedence in politics cannot be trusted to be loyal to the party – in fact to expect such will be naive. Prior to his election as a senator in 1999, Ararume was the state chairman of the defunct All Peoples Party (APP).
A state chairman decamping! He decamped from the APP to PDP few days before PDP’s national assembly primaries where he won the ticket under very controversial circumstances.
He also decamped from APC now to APGA. By Friday, October 5, Senature Ararume will still be less than 1 month old in the party.
Most believe he will definitely go back to APC if APC wins national elections to avoid the EFCC looking into his personal affairs while been an NCC commissioner.
His history also makes it difficult for people to see him as an authentic leader – in fact it is being said that he can only win if he buys votes and through use of force.
While this is commonplace in today’s politics, people expect Ararume to overdo this, thus causing unneeded violence in Imo.