Senator Ifeanyi Araraume is a political enigma. Ignore him, you do so at your own peril. This is why he has remained a recurring decimal in the politics of Imo State. Since the return of democracy in 1999, Araraume has participated actively in every political dispensation in the State. He went to the Senate for eight years where he gave Okigwe zone effective representation.His sagacity at the Red chambers also earned him the Chairmanship of the Southern Senators Forum.
His ambition to become Imo State Governor has remained consistent.This is a clear manifestation of his passion not only to govern the State but to salvage it from the rudderless leadership that has impoverished its populace.
Unveiling the capacity and capability of Senator Arararume to restore the years of the locust in the State is not the purpose of this piece but it is important to note that with an Araraume governorship in 2019, Imo State will certainly be in safe hands.Thrice, he has been on the political turf of the State.
Undaunted and unrelenting on his conviction, he has marched on courageously like a soldier with a fiery determination to lead the State. And this makes him the man to beat in the 2019 governorship elections. His latest ambition is the fourth attempt to be Imo State Governor and it is timelier now considering the misery and pain Imolites are undergoing under the present government of Rochas Okorocha.
Indeed, Araraume looks good to emerge the governorship flagbearer of the All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State judging from his political antecedents. He has also shown a strong determination to succeed because he posses a huge dose of experience in intra- party politics that makes him a strong contender when the time is ripe for the party Primary. Governor Rochas Okorocha who is bent on installing his son in law Uche Nwosu as his successor is not oblivious of the fact that Arararume posses a magic wand that makes him win party primaries.
And Okorocha has every reason to worry and fidget over Araraume over the APC governorship ticket. Before now, the Governor had raised an alarm on how 16 Local Government Chairmen of the party had switched their allegiance to the Senator. Aside this fact, many top chieftains and members of the party in recognition of Araraume’s genuine rescue of the APC in Imo State dumped the Rescue Mission camp of the Governor. This may have necessitated Governor Rochas Okorocha’s attempt to circumvent the laid rules and regulations in the party constitution as it affects holding party Primaries.
Okorocha had suggested a “Mock Primary” which is completely alien to the Constitution of the APC. This reflects a panicky measure on the part of the Governor who seems to be enveloped in the fear of losing the party’s governorship ticket to Araraume who has demonstrated a canny ability and mastery in the art of winning governorship primaries.
Indeed, Okorocha needs to loose sleep over Araraume. The PDP governorship Primary of 2006 and 2015 should serve as a case-study for the Governor on Araraume when it comes to party primaries.
In 2006, despite the huge political presence and clout of the then incumbent Governor Achike Udenwa in addition to the array of political giants in the PDP who were vying for the party’s governorship primary such as Dr. Kema Chikwe, Chief Tony Ezenna, Chief Festus Odumegwu, Araraume sailed through by picking the party’s governorship ticket. But in very controversial circumstances and in a clear exhibition of injustice, he was denied the ticket by then President Olusegun Obasanjo. The rest is history.
Indeed, Araraume has demonstrated an inelastic ability to wage relentless political battles and this indeed explain the panic and desperate call for a “mock Primary” by Okorocha which he believes may short- circuit the senator from pulling another shocker at the governorship Primary of the APC thus quashing his plans to produce a successor.
Again, Araraume had demonstrated rare political mastery when he also won the 2015 Imo PDP governorship primary dusting the likes of Former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and a former Governor of the State, Ikedi Ohakim and other contestants.
In a brazen display of political theft, Ihedioha was declared winner of the primary with fictitious results that gave him victory. The consequences of such bare faced political robbery led to the collapse of the PDP in the 2015 governorship election after Arararume had dumped the party and aligned with Rochas Okorocha of the APC. It is on record that Okorocha’s reach out to Araraume before the 2015 governorship election paved the way for the Governor to win the election and return to office for the second time.
This is why it is not surprising that Okorocha wants to avoid a normal regular governorship Primary as enshrined in the Constitution of the All Progressive Congress. APC.He is indeed scared stiff of Araraume’s mastery in the art of winning governorship Primary.
Okorocha has never taken part in any primary of any political party except the APC presidential primary where he was dusted by other serious contestants by placing a distant fourth position and losing to Muhammadu Buhari. His emergence as APGA governorship candidate in 2011 never underwent the rigours of a party primary but rather was a “consensus” arrangement by leaders of APGA.
In 2015, he toyed with the idea of handing over the APC governorship ticket to his son in law and Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu and went for the APC Presidential Primary in Lagos where he lost, returned home and collected the ticket back from his son-in law on his retun from his failed political misadventure in Lagos. What a comic show!
Certainly 2019 will be a different ball game because there will be a serious contest in the APC for the governorship ticket. And it is only those whose mastery in winning party primaries and possses deft political touches that will emerge winners.