Governor Hope Odidika Uzodinma has announced a change in his deputy ahead of the upcoming governorship election in Imo State. Prof Placid Njoku has been replaced by Mrs. Ekemaru Chinyere Ihuoma, a female candidate.
News About Nigeria understands that the decision was reflected in the list released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In addition to the deputy swap, the list also revealed that Samuel Anyanwu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, has chosen Jones Onyeriri, a former House of Representatives member, as his deputy. Senator Athan Achonu, the candidate for the Labour Party, has Tony Nwulu, another former Reps member, as his deputy.
Political analysts have suggested that the choice of a female deputy by the All Progressives Congress (APC), represented by Governor Uzodimma, is a strategic move to appeal to the female electorate in the state.
They also argue that selecting Ekemaru, who hails from the same Mbaike block as the PDP candidate, is an attempt to counter the growing influence of the main opposition party in the November election.
Furthermore, the decision to appoint Ekemaru as deputy is seen as a gesture of compensation to the people of Ikeduru, as she belongs to the same political block as Placid Njoku, the outgoing deputy governor.