IMO LGA Polls: A Lifeline to Imo Opposition Parties

IMO LGA Polls: A Lifeline to Imo Opposition Parties

By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones

Yesterday, the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission organised a Stakeholders forum where it briefed political Parties and major stakeholders on its preparedness for the forthcoming Local Government election.

The Chairman of the Commission, Chief Charles Ejiogu left no one in doubt about his concern for the preservation of his personal integrity and his willingness to play by the rules by delivering what could go into history books as one of the freest and fairest elections held in Nigeria since the advent of the Fourth Republic.

A major reason for the stakeholders engagement is to bolster the confidence of the Imo electorate by allowing equal access to information and any other logistics that might be required by political Parties for the smooth conduct of the election.

 Knowing that election is a process rather than a one-off event, any objective observer would be convinced about Imo ISIEC’s readiness to conduct a transparent election with the preparations already set in motion for the LGA election.

Anyone who is a keen observer of politics and electioneering processes would admit that elections at the grassroots are the most difficult to manipulate or rig, because it will be difficult for anyone to intimidate or harass his kith and kin in the villages in order to impose unpopular candidates. LGA elections are also very good opportunities to test the popularity and acceptability of political Parties, outside their social media activities.

Elections are not wars but a democratic activity aimed at giving the people power to choose their leaders. In this case, Imo people are being provided an opportunity, for the first time in a long while, to determine who their local leaders are. The reality is that only individuals who are trusted by a majority of their people will be able to win elections in their localities.

Every political Party in Imo State has equal opportunity to sway the people to their side, by presenting popular, untainted and acceptable candidates for this election. Any political party that fails to participate in the election would have confirmed that they are unpopular and unprepared for an electoral contest.

 While the State government has a responsibility to provide the ISIEC with all the resources she requires to conduct a free and fair election, the government has a responsibility to support the Party that brought it to power without interfering with the preparations of the other political Parties.

It is obvious that instead of preparing for the upcoming election, some unpopular political Parties whose only existence is on the pages of newspapers and across soft selling social media handles, would rather invest in efforts to discredit the election, because they are convinced that they have lost the confidence of the people and would not be able to secure any victory in a free and fair election.

The predominant opinion among observers of Imo politics is that the opposition in the State have been crippled by the marvelous performance of the 3R revolution in the State, and the dearth of credibility among key figures in the opposition ranks.

The upcoming local government election provides a grand opportunity for them to prove this opinion wrong or prove them right, hence, consigning themselves to a mushroom political identity.


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