2019 guber:Opinion poll favours Okey Ezeh …As Imo Diasporas bemoan imminent vote buying…Demand close election monitoring

The Governorship Candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Sir Okey Ezeh, has been declared winner of the Imo Governorship Opinion Poll conducted by the Association of Imo Professionals in America, AIPA.
In a press statement jointly signed by the President of AIPA, Dr. Desmond Anoruo and and the Secretary, Engr. Peter Obioha, which was made available to newsmen at the weekend, Ezeh won the poll after securing the highest percentages in the five criteria upon which the group had hinged in its assessment of the most credible candidate to govern Imo in the forthcoming coming governorship election in the State.
“Being aware of the tumultuous agitation in Imo State for good governance and disturbed by the laxity of the Imo statesmen and opinion leaders to rise above party identification, pecuniary interest and primordial considerations to assert themselves and direct the political process in the State so as to bring about the type of leadership which Imo people sorely lack and earnestly desire, we have, working in concert with the other groups of Imo indigenes in the Diaspora, taken up this onerous responsibility of leading the vanguard to usher in a better Imo State realized through good governance and accountable stewardship,” the release stated.
It continued, “In furtherance of this objective, we have drawn up certain modalities, fashioned in line with democratic ethos, to help ascertain the intentions of Imo people about the forthcoming governorship election in the State. It is our conviction that the good governance yearned for in Imo State can be achieved only if and when the genuine intentions and aspirations of the people are brought to the fore in the decision of whom governs the State. Consequently, we have set out to do this, mindful of the sincerity and dedication that the task requires, yet hopeful that the outcome will help to deepen democracy and open up a fresh vista and insight into the politics of our State.”
The statement also disclosed that, “The Imo Governorship Opinion Poll (IGOP), which was conducted between December 21, 2018 and January 17, 2019, using a simple random sampling method, covered the 305 INEC Wards in the State. Our choice of the period was motivated by the need to also get the inputs of Imo people who might be resident elsewhere, since the Christmas and New Year celebrations invariably bring most persons back home. The exercise was highly coordinated and was given zero publicity in order to insulate it from partisan interests and engender credibility both of the process and of its outcome.”
It also revealed that a total of one hundred thousand questionnaires were distributed across the 305 Wards. “Some Wards got 327 while Wards in more urbanized areas of the State got 328, given that by the nature of their residence they represent diversity and shades of opinions.”
“There were five questions which the respondents were requested to answer by ticking against the names of the appropriate Candidates. The questions were selected in a way that would ultimately reveal three things about the Candidates, namely: Public Perception, Leadership Credentials and Disposition to Democratic Rule.
“On the question of integrity, 62% of the respondents chose Sir OkeyEzeh of the SDP, 16% chose Senator IfeanyiAraraume of APGA, 12% chose Dr.IkediOhakim of Accord Party, 5% chose Chief UcheNwosu of AA, 3% choose RT. Hon. EmekaIhedioha of PDP and 2% chose Senator Hope Uzodinma.
“On the question of economic blueprint, 50% of the respondents preferred Sir OkeyEzeh of the SDP, 21% selected Dr.IkediOhakim of the Accord Party, 15% settled for Senator IfeanyiAraraume of APGA, 9% chose Senator Hope Uzodinma of APC, 4% voted RT. Hon EmekaIhedioha of PDP and 1% went for Chief UcheNwosu of AA.
“On the question of sincerity of desire to serve, Sir OkeyEzeh secured 58%, Dr.IkediOhakim got 23%, RT. Hon. EmekaIhedioha polled 11%, Senator Hope Uzodinma got 3%, Chief UcheNwosu got 3% and Senator IfeanyiAraraume got 2%.
“On the question of abhorrence of electoral fraud, Sir OkeyEzeh of the SDP got 61%, Dr.IkediOhakim of the Accord Party polled 14%, Chief UcheNwosu of the AA got 12%, RT. Hon. EmekaIhedioha of the PDP secured 9%, Senator IfeanyiAraraume of APGA got 3% and 1% settled for Senator Hope Uzodinma of the APC.
“Finally, on the question of absence of records of embezzlement of public funds, Sir OkeyEzeh of the SDP got 86%, Dr.IkediOhakim of the Accord Party got 5%, Senator IfeanyiAraraume of APGA secured 4%, Senator Hope Uzodinma of the APC got 3%, RT. Hon. EmekaIhedioha of the PDP got 1% and Chief UcheNwosu of the AA got 1%.”
The statement however regretted that there is a high level of cynical indifference among the Imo electorate, who feel that the electoral process in the State is flawed beyond redemption and seem to believe that their votes may either not be counted or that their votes may not count. “They also seem to fear that structural violence and overt use of state apparatus may prevent the expression of popular will during the governorship election. Regrettably, some respondents revealed that all they would need before voting was simply money.”
The statement concluded by recommending that there is need for the various civil society groups in the State, the mass media, faith-based organizations and the schools to carry out spirited enlightenment programs so as to educate the masses on the centrality of voting to their collective prosperity. “They should also be enlightened about the consequences of vote buying and the need to de-emphasize money politics. Also, there should be mass mobilization for election monitoring and mandate protection.

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