The Owerri Zone Senatorial hopeful, Dr. Kemdi Opara has continued to hinge on destiny that his aspiration to represent his people at the Red Chambers come 2023 general election will soon be a reality, in spite of several daunting challenges being faced at the moment.
Though the primary election for the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senatorial ticket for Owerri Zone was adjudged as most controversial primaries as three contenders including Dr. Opara, Mrs Betty Akeredolu and Chief Alex Mbata were favourites but Opara was clearly outstanding and a popular choice of the electorate.
The trio have their different peculiarities. While Opara, a US based entrepreneur and philanthropist was clearly the choice of most party leaders and the electorate in the Owerri Zone; Mbata has had a long standing political relationship with the powers that be; and Mrs Akeredolu, the wife of Ondo State governor, though, a determined and distinguished personality, had hardly connected with her constituents.
Though, INEC is yet to make public the candidate for the APC it has accepted but Dr. Opara is optimistic about his chances of not just leading the party to the February 2023 senatorial election but also winning the election.
Opara’s optimism stems from the fact that the election Commission was an eyewitness to the brigandage that ensued during the primaries and was also aware of the sponsors of the irregularities. The electoral officers, according to sources also documented the thrilling movie and had made their submission to the authorities.
It is believed that anything aside the recognition of Opara as the senatorial candidate for Owerri zone, may further jeopardise the chances of the APC in future elections in the zone. Opara, because of his pedigree and grassroots appeal, remains the only true opportunity for the party to relaunch itself in Owerri Zone.
If politics is therefore a game of number, the APC Owerri zone must be aware that in a popularity contest, Kemdi Opara stands shoulder taller than most other of his political colleagues and must be given the support to navigate the ship of the zone in senatorial contest.
His popularity is a product of his over 20 years of consistency in the politics of the zone having ran for the Mbaike Federal Constituency before now, which he won but robbed. Though the culprits have confessed and apologised, Kemdi, being a man who plays politics without bitterness moved on; his eyes still on the ball.
Why declaring his aspiration to run for the Senate earlier in the year, the founder of Kemdi Chino Opara Foundation (KCOF), said that his decision to contest for the senatorial seat is not for personal or selfish interest but to provide purposeful leadership for the people of Owerri zone.
He revealed that his aspiration has been a long one and based on his experience, he wrote a book about the National Assembly with the title ‘The National Assembly Federal Republic of Nigeria, What you should know and Why you should know that’, because he realized that many people do not understand who they are voting for and why they are voting for them, adding that the National Assembly is the heart of the nation; if anything is wrong there, it will be wrong in the whole nation.
“My aspiration for this senatorial race of Imo East didn’t start today, because your plights have been in my mind. I’m very passionate to see that smile on your face and that is why I am struggling and until that smile is on your face, I will never give up because of you and that leads me to say I have come to become your senator. You must walk this journey with me because this journey is not all about me; it’s about you and I am willing to work with our governor and other leaders in every community to bring infrastructure development to our people.”
“Have you seen the Imo airport? Under my watch and working with the governor, I will make sure that we are given a befitting international airport. I will be the first senator in the history of Owerri zone and the whole nation to build a befitting constituency office with all the nine local government areas represented in this constituency office. You see in the South East today, we only have five States; I’m going there to help and lobby to make sure we have one more state.
“Talking about insecurity in Imo, I will work with the governor to make it a thing of the past. Do you know that oil was discovered as far back as 1937 in five locations totally unharnessed in Ikeduru? I’m here to make sure that these areas are included in oil producing areas,” he said.
Born in 1960 in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, Opara has two masters degree in business administration (MBA); one in Finance and the other in Marketing research as well as a Doctorate in Education and Social Policy from Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland.
He also worked for several years with the office of ‘Mental Health’ in the State of New York where he assumed several top level executive management positions. He retired after 21 years from active service in the United States government to join politics in Nigeria.
His supporters have called on him to also take a shot at the governorship of the state but Opara said that his only desire in life for now is to continue to serve and give back to humanity.