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Why Emeka Ihedioha Is The Most Popular Governor In Nigeria
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Why Emeka Ihedioha Is The Most Popular Governor In Nigeria
If you are familiar with news entities in Nigeria as things stand now, the name Emeka Ihedioha is a sure name for those who make a living in telling stories about happenings across the country.

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Rt. Hon Chief Sir Emeka Ihedioha was born on 24 March 1965
The name Emeka Ihedioha now drives all the traffic you need.

For the past two weeks or so, the name is to political/metro article authors as names like; Bobrrisky, Tonto Dike, Davido, etc are to the Linda Ikejis of this world.

Doubt me, take this article for instance.

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BabaJide Sanwolu is the current governor of Lagos
Upon inauguration on may 29, 2019, only Babajide Sanwo-Olu – with the obvious reason of being the governor of the state with the largest economy in Africa, Lagos – have proved a match in terms of popularity.

Anything Emeka Ihedioha is instant news these days.

But why is the new Imo State Governor this popular? Take this as a thesis and discuss; or sit back and let me have a crack at it.

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Ihedioha was a one timedeputy speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria
Very little was known about Rt. Hon Chief Sir Emeka Ihedioha prior to winning the popular vote in the 2019 Imo Guber; where he beat the anointed Candidate of the immediate past governor Rocha Okorocha, Uche Nwosu.

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Uche Nwosu (right) was projected by Rochas (Left) to succeed him as Imo governor
It’s almost unbelievable that a lot of people knew very little about him prior to now, considering he was a one-time deputy speaker of the house of representatives; he even had a stint as the House Speaker in 2015 following the defection to APC of the then Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.

Ihedioha who started his journey in 2003 at the lower chamber had also served as the Chief Whip of the house.

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Ihedioha also served a spell as the Speaker of the House of Representatives following the defection of Aminu Tambuwal to the APC
None of those mattered so much to the people. Now is his time to shine and he’s really shining. They say no publicity is bad publicity, whether negative or positive, the fact is, he’s just about the most talked about Governor in Nigeria – at least for the time being.

To understand this, you must pay attention to these two factors; how he emerged and the Rochas effect.

How Emeka Ihedioha emerged Imo Governor

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Ihedioha was the candidate of PDP in 2019 Imo Guber
Events that transpired in the lead up to the Imo Governorship election were so intriguing that they attracted a lot of interests; everyone looked forward and ears were pecked towards what the outcome may be.

Governors in the south-east were in the business of hand-picking their successors; Rochas wasn’t going to be an exception – more so he had hoped to become the Jagaban of Imo state, borrowing a leaf from his own party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu – he anointed his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu to succeed him.

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Rochas Okorocha
This decision did not bode well with to APC members in Imo State, including Senator Hope Uzordimma – who later stood and defeated Nwosu in the controversial party primary.

Ihedioha had emerged the candidate of the PDP seamlessly. He couldn’t be more optimistic as the event of the APC primary had thrown the state chapter of the ruling party into turmoil.

He knew perhaps his best chance of leading the state had emerged. Uche Nwosu was soon to float another party – Action Alliance, AA – Uzodimma bore the flag of the APC.

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Ihedioha had won in 11 of the 27 local government areas in Imo state
Polls were concluded and on March 12, 2019, INEC announced Ihedioha had won in 11 of the 27 local government area, polling a total 273,404 votes to defeat his closest contender, Mr Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA) who won in 10 LGAs and scored 190,364 votes.

It was a new dawn in Imo. Many described it as the end of tyranny in the state. there was a sense of renewed hope and Ihedioha became the star.

The Rochas Effect

To be fair to Rochas, he himself was a newsmaker, he still is. Imolites can’t deny many fond memories of him. From inventing strange words; Iberiberism and co, to building statues and monuments around the city of Owerri.

His tenure was widely regarded as a failure for his autocratic ways – he was accused of awarding contracts to himself – and lack of developmental strides, except of course you are talking statues and monuments.

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“My People My People” “My governor my governor” signature started fading when the people thought they were yet to see the dividends of democracy they bargained for.

He also incurred the wrath of Nnamdi Kanu and his group, the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) when he went against the group in the state.

Nnamdi Kanu would incite contempt towards the governor in his live broadcasts. he called him names like Okoro-Hausa and the hostility resonated around the state of many Biafra sympathizers.

Rochas was in his last term, many knew he was leaving but didn’t want his rule by proxy. That is why they rejected the idea of Uche Nowsu and as soon as Ihedioha emerged, the state felt like a messiah had come.

Taking over from Rochas was also always going to attract massive attention. Imolites could not wait to see the break of a new dawn. Emeka Ihedioha, like 2 Pac, has got every eye on him now – taking over from Rochas.

So in a massive way, Rochas has Influenced Ihedioha’s Popularity.

First Few Days In Office

As expected, every action of the new governor was going to be a subject of massive scrutiny. First news headline that emerged upon inauguration was “Ihedioha Demolishes Akachi Towers Barely 24 Hour After Hand Over.

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Though the Governor denied he had ordered so, as you could tell, the damage had already been done.

People were quick to believe the news because everybody expected a reaction to some of the Legacies of Rochas Okorocha by the new governor – of which the Akachi Towers was one of them.

Since then, it really has been a roller coaster of media frenzy for Ihedioha; from inspecting the level of damage done to the government house by his predecessor to reviewing some of his appointments, the name Emeka Ihedioha will be heard a lot more time in the years to come, I can guarantee you.

He can only hope he doesn’t end up on the bad side of history by this time in four or eight years’ time.

Share your thoughts on this story. Drop your comments below.

Proud to be a Figerian!
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