OWERRI, Nigeria – Governor Hope Uzodimma has dropped his deputy, Placid Njoku, in favour of a female deputy governorship candidate, Ekemaru Chinyere Ihuoma.
The candidate list released on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, confirmed the change.
The list also includes the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Samuel Anyanwu, who selected former House of Representatives member, Jones Onyeriri, as his running mate.
Representing the Labour Party in the governorship race is Senator Athan Achonu, with former Reps member, Tony Nwulu, as his deputy.
Political analysts have suggested that the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Uzodimma, selected a female deputy in an attempt to secure the votes of the state’s female population.
Furthermore, the choice of Ekemaru, who hails from the same Mbaike block as the PDP candidate, may be a strategic move to counter the growing influence of the opposition party in the upcoming election.
The selection of Ekemaru also seems to serve as a form of compensation for the people of Ikeduru, as she originates from the same political block as the displaced Deputy Governor, Placid Njoku.
With the Imo state political landscape heating up as the November elections draw near, the decision by Uzodimma to change his running mate is set to add an intriguing twist to an already fiercely contested gubernatorial race.