Harvest on Tuesday


Araraume’s Dangerous Moves And Okorocha’s Sharp Stunts  

By Innocent Onyeukwu


email: innoceaser2@yahoo.com


I respect Senator Ifeanyi Araraume so much. And I do so for many reasons. But most importantly, I admire his inelastic ability to wage relentless political battles. I observed that he is among the few politicians in the State that has the nerve, determination, perseverance and doggedness to pursue any political mission to a logical conclusion.

His political antecedents are proof to my above postulations. When he vied for Imo Governorship contest in 2006, he never hid his desire to realize his ambition. And he went berserk about it. He put in all he had to realize his ambition- time, energy and resources.   In the long run, his ambition was a mirage- a dream cut short by his political foes.


It took the State and Federal might to crush his aspiration. It took the then President of the World’s most populous black nation, Aremu Okikiola Matthew Olusegun Obasanjo-  an impromptu visit to Owerri, Imo State capital to crush Araraume’s desire to govern Imo State. The events which shaped that political dispensation inImoStateis better left for posterity to judge than explained in this piece. Recounting them here will distort the crux of the matter.


Last month, Senator Araraume was in the news again, either for the good or wrong reasons. It was reported that he has proceed to the law Courts to challenge the validity of the  May 6, 2011 Supplementary election, an election which conveyed Owelle Rochas Okorocha of APGA  to Government House, Owerri as Governor.


With this singular action, Araraume has again set the political landscape ofImoStateon fire like he did during Ohakim’s four year reign as governor. In what appears his usual trademark, Araraume has gone to the temple of justice again. During his legal war against Ohakim, he spared no effort to reclaim what he felt belonged to him.  He went to several law courts in the land- all in a bid to remove Ohakim from office on the basis that he  (Ohakim) came through the backdoor to become Governor of Imo State.


Though he did not succeed, his actions were a thorn in the flesh of the then government. Those close to the Ohakim Administration will readily attest to the fact that Araraume was Ohakim’s tormentor in chief, to the extent that Ohakim’s radar lost sight of Rochas Okorocha’s governorship ambition and directed his compass on Araraume who was seen as a potential threat to his (Ohakim’s) re election.  Strangely, the duos today, are political Romeo and Juliet!


However, in his usual character to dare where the lions fear, Araraume has again chosen to put another serving governor on his toes.  Okorocha cannot say he is not losing sleep over the recent legal onslaught launched by the distinguished senator against his election.  He has to because it is coming from a man who is battle ready to pursue any matter to a logical conclusion- a man whose political sagacity and determination is unprecedented.


For those who tell Okorocha what he loves to hear, thus either pretend to forget or refuse to tell him some hard truth, they should note that Araraume’s recent legal move is dangerous, politically.  And no Government that wants to survive the web of conspiracies spawn by its political opponents can afford to ignore such dangerous moves coming from a political General in Araraume’s mould.


This call for tactical approach and caution on the part of the Government- If the present APGA led government is still jubilating over its victory at the Supreme Court which flung away the petitions filed by the PDP against Okorocha, this is the time to settle down and watch the snaky moves of the Isiebu born senator.  If Okorocha treated Ohakim’s case with kid gloves or levity on the basis that the latter had no case in the first place, that of Arararume should no be treated as such . I say so because Araraume’s legal war on INEC touches on the life of Okorocha’s government.    That he wants the courts to ascertain the validity of a Supplementary election is a serious matter, considering the fact that the word ‘supplementary’ is alien to the Electoral Act.


Let me stress here that one should not loose sight of the fact it is the right of every citizen of the country to seek legal answers and interpretations to certain actions of our democratic institutions. And because some of these institutions are yet to assimilate the full components that nourish our brand of democracy, such institutions are bound to make mistakes in shaping our democratic process.


And for little minds who pour venoms on those who resort to legal actions against constituted authorities, they should have a rethink. It is a display of ignorance and an exhibition of crass irresponsibility on the part of those who cast aspersions on law abiding citizens who go to the courts to seek legal address against constituted authorities. The courts are the temple of justice. It is the last hope not just for the common man, but for the aggrieved and deprived. If Araraume feels short-changed at the elections and does not understand what the word ‘supplementary is, he has the right to seek legal interpretations.


It is commendable that these illustrious sons of the State are embracing the temple of justice to ventilate their political desperations, rather than turn to all sorts of political gimmicks to cause disharmony in the State. This is where Okorocha should take a cue.  His Administration should always seek legal interpretations of its actions before implementing them. The groundswell of opposition to his government is coming from those who are disenchanted over some of its actions considered to be not just against the grain of commonsense, but against the laws of the land.


Illegality bequeaths illegality.   It is surprising to see a legitimate government elected by the good people ofImoStateto give undue credence to acts of illegality. We have seen concerted efforts by Okorocha to placeImoStateon the path of economic transformation, it is pertinent that actions that will portray him as one that does have regards for the laws of the land should be resisted. Much as I know that our dear governor is in a hurry to fulfil his campaign promises to Imolites, it is proper the process of fulfilling such promises does not contradict or offend the laws of the land.


Also, the inability of Okorocha Administration to open its arms to the elite class- including political foes in the State is also a contributing factor to the distraction he is getting from a section of the political class. Much as this government believes that it cruised to power on the support of the people, every society and its government appreciates the intellect of its leaders, elites or those who constitute the political and economic class.


No matter the stand or stance of our political leaders prior to Okorocha’s election, it is important that a reach out mechanism is put in place by officials of his government to “accommodate” leaders and elites of the State in plans to advance the State. This is imperative as it will reduce to the barest minimum whatever grievances these leaders might hold against the Government. I rest my case.