Senator Chimaroke Nnamani supports All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer, Bola Tinubu, as a self-protection strategy, Enugu Metro learnt.

The Senator may be looking for an easy path to victory for himself and his protégée, Mr. Peter Mbah. A credible source at APC national secretariat said he was aware of the speculation.

“He hasn’t come to us yet, but he may have discussed with our flagbearer. Our best guess is that he is looking for protection against a potential Labour (Party) overrun,” the source said.

This “protection,” we learnt, includes using “federal machinery” to return PDP governorship candidate to power in Enugu State .

In return for the favour, the PDP will guarantee 25 percent of Enugu vote for Senator Tinubu, we also learnt. PDP hopes to harvest votes from Enugu East and West Districts, to give the Lagos strongman a safety net.

An APC source however doubted whether this strategy will work as “nobody actually knows how this election will turn out.”

“There are so many unknowns in this election, including whether the North will vote for Tinubu against an Atiku Abubakar. It is also not certain where the Christian vote in the North will go.

“This is what makes (Peter) Obi’s candidature very dangerous,” he said.

PDP Panics in Enugu

Enugu Metro findings suggest that there are two strategic reasons why the Nnamani Group is in a state of panic.

The first challenge for the Group is the successful re-entry of Mr. Chijioke Edeoga as a party governorship candidate. The odds favoured the Isi-Uzo born politician to win PDP governorship primary, until Ugwuanyi withdrew support at the last minute. Labour stakeholders claim that the PDP has been “conspiring” with unnamed others to prevent Edeoga from emerging as candidate. This is because Enugu North District allegedly supports his candidacy. The District has hitherto outperformed Enugu East and West in recent vote counts.

The governor’s alleged attempts to stop Edeoga angered political stakeholders of Enugu North District, we learnt. Many of them had publicly pushed for an Isi Uzo candidate who they said will govern as a surrogate for the Nsukka cultural zone to continue in power.

Edeoga’s re-entry, despite alleged best efforts to stop him, re-energized North District stakeholders, we learnt. If true, this threatens the efforts of State PDP to retain power.

The Group’s second challenge is their lack of trust for the Governor. Enugu Metro learnt that Nkanu stakeholders asked the Governor to prove his good faith by ensuring that no Isi-Uzo person emerges as governorship candidate. Leaders of the zone said they are not sure that the Governor will not back Edeoga to save his own political future.

“He is no longer sure of winning the Senatorial election that he covets” she said.

In the upcoming race, Gov. Ugwuanyi faces a formidable rival in Barr. Okey Ezea, the Labour Party candidate. Mr. Ezea, an old political warhorse, comes from Igboeze South, the constituency that Ugwuanyi passed over to pick his PDP Senatorial ticket. Based on existing micro-zoning arrangement in the District, the slot should have gone to Nsukka/Igboeze South federal constituency where Ezea comes from.

The Governor may therefore lose the election if his people decide to follow their established zoning arrangement.

“We fear that he may yet strike a deal to save his own election, using the state machinery to back Edeoga in order to appease his people,” an Nkanu stakeholder said.

“You can’t rule out this possibility.”

Ebeano PDP strategizes against Labour

Enugu PDP face the prospects of a heavy defeat in the elections, the major reason why Gov. Chimaroke Nnamani supports Tinubu. Gov. Tinubu is Chimaroke’s peer; they both governed their states between 1999 and 2007.

The fear of defeat in the forthcoming elections motivates party strategists to adopt and finetune several strategies to retain power.

Apart from sucking up to APC, another strategy being finetuned is to encourage youths to vote Labour during the Presidential elections but turn to vote PDP in all others.

Anglican cleric, Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, a known PDP sympathizer, flew this kite recently. It is also quietly sold among grassroots voters.

The strategists are also promoting Mr. Edeoga as “an unserious candidate” with neither vision nor plan for the State. They point out that the State Labour Party has no platform. Neither has the candidate announced a strategic plan to transform a state where two-thirds live in abject poverty, they said.

To date, Senator Ike Ekweremadu remains the only aspirant to publish a comprehensive manifesto. He however dropped out of the primaries and subsequently declared support for Mr. Peter Mbah, the eventual winner.

Mr Mbah told newsmen, at the event where he introduced his deputy, that he will integrate the Ekweremadu plan to his.