Generally, ex-Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume is categorized more and better as an Okigwe politician than an Imo politician by pundits. That conclusion has been arrived at because of verifiable statistics of his political reach and fortune this past 22 years.
Besides the six local government areas of Okigwe, Onuimo, Ihitte Uboma, Obowo, Ehime Mbano, and Isiala Mbano, the make up Okigwe Zone or Imo North Senatorial District, Araraume hasn’t any serious political stake in Imo State, that’s talking about Orlu and Owerri zones.
With his victory in the Senatorial elections in 1999 to represent Okigwe Zone, he won a second term in 2003 and stepped out in 2007. And thereby the Lion marked and took control of the zone as his “no go territory” for other major politicians.
In the 2019 general elections, though Araraume was defeated in the gubers, where he tried his luck for the fourth time, having been in the race directly or indirectly in 2007, 2011, 2011 and 2019, he succeeded to sustain his hold on the Okigwe Zone politics, winning five out of the zone’s six State Assembly seats in the Imo State House of Assembly. The sixth seat was won by APC, the then party in power. The PDP didn’t win any seat in the zone in 2019.
There’s every reason to concede that Araraume’s political turf is his native Okigwe Zone. When he was in PDP, he won the zone. When he was in ACN he won the zone. When he was in APGA he won the Zone. However, when he gatecrashed into APC in 2020, he lost the zone! Why? We feel it’s simply a case of power pass power!
The clear round and square defeat of Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume in the December 5, 2020 by-election to fill the vacant Imo North Senatorial District (Okigwe Zone) seat in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria makes questionable and much doubtful the narratives about his political power and prowess.
It’s noted that right through the stages before, during and after the 2020 Okigwe Senatorial by-election, Araraume was steadily trailing behind the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), then Hon. Frank Ibezim, who went on to win the by-election and is now Distinguished Senator Frank Ibezim, APC, representing Imo North Senatorial District in the Senate.
Araraume’s vice grip on Okigwe politics was wrestled from him by superior, greater forces that were clearly beyond his imagination and control. The Lion was practically clean-shaved right in its den and kingdom in Ishiebu, Isiala Mbano and entire Okigwe Zone ! Indeed, there’s power and there’s power. But power pass power!
As Ndigbo say: “Whatever bites stronger, deeper and better than the dog is indeed strong”! Therefore, whoever captured the Lion of Ishiebu, disarmed him and caged him must be an indisputable “great ogbuagu” lion killer!
Instructively, all of that happened despite the supposed association Araraume had with the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which Araraume’s alleluia choir has unnecessarily been singing loud and clear.
For the avoidance of doubts, in December 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari had completed his fifth year in office. Of course, he’s Araraume’s friend. No doubt about that. But except there’s propaganda and blackmail of Mr. President, Araraume was shamefully and disgracefully defeated in the aforementioned by-election in the very presence of the President, his friend!
What that Okigwe 2020 holistic retirement defeat of Araraume portended was that our incorruptible President Buhari won’t involve himself in unbefitting and unpresidential acts and actions like electoral manipulations, irregularities and malpractices for supposed friends in politics.
That could be corroborated further with the woeful defeat of the same Araraume in the 2019 governorship election in Imo State, when President Buhari was still the Nigerian Leader.
If being friendly with the president is all it takes to win critical elections, then it’s clear Araraume isn’t a friend of President Buhari’s. Else, Araraume should be Imo governor today, or at least the Senator representing Okigwe Zone in the senate. But politics things don’t work in such crooked and warped thoughts and thinking.
It beats understanding, therefore, why some people are celebrating profusely the handing over to Araraume by President Buhari of a federal appointment allocated to Imo State after the successful hosting of the President in Imo State by His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma on Thursday, September 9, 2021.
The interest of this short essay was attracted when some of Araraume’s sycophants started unearthing photographs of President Buhari and Senator Araraume in friendly moods to prove that they are friends. That made sense, but yet it hadn’t any correlation with the failure of Araraume in Imo 2019 and Okigwe 2020.
Did it require personal photograph of friendships with Mr. President to appoint Nwajiuba, Murako and Nwoha into federal positions and offices? No! There’s a force that made their appointments possible! God isn’t an author of confusion!
If things work that way, then Araraume’s third term bid to return to the senate wouldn’t have ended in a disaster that pundits argued put paid to his elective politics career. The pundits meant that Araraume’s defeat in Okigwe 2020 was a sad timely retirement gift for the great Lion of Ishiebu!
As we had argued in an earlier short essay, Araraume is Araraume. His generation of politicians are steadily happily declaring their glorious retirement from active politics. They’ve by that recused, excused and excluded themselves from elective politics. Whither Araraume?
Cashing in on a federal appointment benefit of Imo State that was handed to him by President Buhari, after he honoured the invitation by Governor Uzodimma and after the presidential promises to shift federal attention to Imo State, smacks of gold-digging is a mere exercise in razzmatazz and paparazzi!
For us, there’s nothing wrong whatsoever in Mr. President appointing Senator Araraume as the Board Chairman of NNPC Limited. But we feel there’s everything wrong with blackmailing Mr. President with the propaganda of denying his good friend the last chance of becoming a Senator.
That’s because if Mr. President’s appointment could be so unnecessarily celebrated, then obviously the failure of the former Senator must have been blamed on the president his friend; albeit discretely in private. That’s a very unacceptable stance! The president knows the capacity of his friends and he supports them to ascend thrones of responsibility that fits them.
After all, Araraume was around when Buhari appointed Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba as a minister of the Federal Republic. Araraume was there when Hon. Murako was appointed a Federal Commissioner. Araraume was there when Rt. Hon. Amaechi Nwoha was honoured with a federal appointment. Was there any noise about those? Aren’t they also federal appointments? The president also appointed Senator Okadigbo as Member of the NNPC Limited Board.
So, kini big deal with Araraume’s appointment, beyond the generosity and magnanimity shown Imo State by President Buhari? Who amongst other members of the NNPC Limited Board is being celebrated the way Araraume’s sycophants are celebrating the common day appointment?
Now, that it has pleased Mr. President to offer Araraume a federal appointment, why the hullabaloo? What’s the big deal? Why the excessive jubilation? Is there more to it than an appointment? Did Araraume win any election last week? What’s being celebrated?
To that extent, therefore, when Araraume’s over-bloated capacity and capability is juxtaposed with his failure in the Okigwe 2020 senatorial by-election vis-a-vis his recent Board appointment, it may be agreed that indeed there’s nothing to celebrate beyond the ordinary.
We’ll pause it at this juncture and by God’s grace return soon with another dish of our short essay menu. Thanks for reading. The world is watching!
By God’s grace, Imo State must be rehabilitated, reconstructed and recovered!!