As the 2023 General Elections draws closer, powerful political gladiators in the state have started strategizing and re-strategizing on the best political tactics and alliance that can guarantee them victory in their various aspirations.

The Owerri Zone and Okigwe Zone Senate seats are not left out, with the Okigwe seat once again about to be open for contestation in 2023, barely two years after it was filled by Sir Frank Ibezim, who replaced late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu.

Uwajumogu died barely a year after taking winning the senate seat, and it took almost another year due to the COVID-19 Lockdown, before a by-election could be conducted in the zone.

As 2023 draws closer, it becomes clearer that Ibezim may not be seeking re-election, as more stronger political force would be needed, other than a push-and-start greenhorn, if the All Progressives Congress APC, hopes to retain that Senate seat.

Top on the list of likely gladiators that may be getting into the ring for the position in the APC, are former governor of Imo State, Dr Ikedi Ohakim, and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume.

Both Isiala Mbano born political heavyweights, have nursed one of the longest and costliest political rivalry in the history of the state.

It was a rivalry that had cost Okigwe zone greatly, as Araraume had undermined Ohakim’s tenure in office as governor, costing Okigwe zone the number one seat in the state, all for his personal ambition of becoming governor, a position that now looks like a pipe-dream.

With the current political climate in the state, it becomes clearer to Araraume that he may never become govenror of the state, which remains a seat Ohakim has sat on that he (Araraume) would probably never sit on, and the only other choice open to him is to return to the Senate.

However, with his defeat at the hands of Sir Frank Ibezim at the by-election, it becomes clearer to political observers, that Araraume may no longer be as powerful as he once used to be in Okigwe, while Ohakim has become even more powerful in the zone and may once again deprive Araraume of yet another political seat he craves for, as he displaced him in 2007.

Ohakim has yet to make known his future political plans, but analysts have tipped him to have higher chances of becoming Okigwe’s next Senator, if he decides to contest for the seat.

“Ohakim will do justice to the position,” a party chieftain from the zone said. “Okigwe and by extension the whole of Igbo land need voices. Ohakim is that man right from time is known for speaking his mind over things. Yes, it may have gotten him into bad light with some people, but for him, the truth must always be said. He has remained a strong advocate for Ndi Igbo and who better to send to the Senate than a man who will fight for his people and not those interested in their pockets or causing trouble in the state.”

The All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA, may still present their Okigwe Senate by-election candidate, Attorney Charles Onyirimba, while it seems unlikely that Okewulonu will be given another shot by the PDP.

In Owerri Zone, Prince Alex Mbata seems to be taking centre stage in the APC, as he is vigorously warming his name into the hearts and minds of the people.

His empowerment programmes have shamed those done even by those holding public funds, and he has shown commitment to move the zone to higher levels.

With an underperforming Ezenwa Onyewuchi to contend with from the PDP, Mbata seems more likely to be returned as the new Senator for Owerri zone, if he manages to get the party’s ticket come 2023.

Orlu zone Senate seat at the moment seem unclear, but one fact in Orlu is that former governor Rochas Okorocha would not be returning to the Senate to represent the people.

By Maazi

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