I must begin this presentation with a deep sense of respect to Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Distinguished senator who had represented Imo North constituency in the senate for glorious eight years. Honestly, I recall that Sen. Araraume entered the senate along with the late Sen. Evan Enwerem and Arthur Nzeribe three of them representing Imo State as the three Senators in 1999.
Owing to the complexities of national geo-politics, Chief Enwerem emerged as the Senate President. Indeed, his emergence sparked off a lot of ripples in the Senate because Obasanjo needed a Senate President who could work with the Executives. However, many Senators preferred Senator Chuba Okadigbo, a very unpredictable Senator from Anambra State who radiated a lot of Senatorial Charisma but controversial.
In spite of all the intrigues, Senator Evan Enwerem became the Senate President on indeed a hot seat. Owing to twists and turns of Senate politics, Late Evan Enwerem did not last on that seat hence he was replaced by a more preferred person, Chuba Okadigbo. Interestingly, the other two Senators from Imo State Arthur Nzeribe and Araraume had a rosy tenure and completed the two terms of Eight years.
Unfortunately, Okigwe zone has had a chequered Senatorial representation. No senator except Sen. Godwin Ifeanyi Araraume made it for two terms. Amb. Sen. Nwagwu, Sylvester Anyanwu all served for one term each. Unfortunately, Uwajumogu did not even complete one term.
Since the death of Uwajumogu, the worse type of political intrigue has emerged on Okigwe politics. Now with the death of Uwajumogu every manner of person wants to go to the Senate to represent Okigwe. A viral input was injected in the process by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume showing his interest to go and represent Okigwe in the Senate again.
This move has sparked off a lot of misgivings among the people of Okigwe zone. This is because the query the rationale for a man who had represented Okigwe zone for eight good years who many thought would have retired from politics by now.
From all intents and purposes, the role which Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume has played and continues to play leaves much to be desired. For example, it was on record that it was Araraume who prevented Engr. Charles Ugwu from becoming the Governor of Imo State.
Those who know the history knew that between Douglas House and Charles Ugwu was Senator Ifeanyi Araraume. The development was that the PDP skewed its member’s votes to Ikedi Ohakim of PPA and made it possible for Ikedi to be Governor in 2007. Many believed including me that if Engr. Charles Ugwu had ruled Imo State, we would not be suffering some problems in governance.
For one thing, Engr. Charles Ugwu is a very honest person with unimaginable level of integrity. Unfortunately, since then, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume has not given Okigwe politics nay Imo a breathing space or peace of mind. Since 2007 till date, he is the most known political heavy weight that has been in several parties allegedly to destabilize.
I personally know Senator Ifeanyi Araraume very well. He is noble at heart with an elastic liberal mind. He is always willing to help and support people in need hence he enjoys reasonable popularity. Now, he has contested election to the Senate under APC. Many people point at him as one of those (there are some others) who continue to manipulate the Judiciary.
Currently, he is locked up in election dispute with Hon. Frank Ibezim whom many believed should have been declared the winner of the election instead of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) playing politics of naivety. Who in the history of politics in Nigeria has seen or heard Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring a political party winner of an election without mentioning the name of the party candidate?
This was caused by a viral intervention in giving the hoodwinking of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who has failed to show demonstration of its authority. Professor Eleonu, the resident electoral commissioner in Imo State is a highly refined public officer who cannot be influenced by any mundane decision.
But many wonder why he did not show his style in this Okigwe election rather shirking the responsibility to the Judiciary. We all know that it is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that conducts elections, counts the votes and announces the candidate. Why the difference this time?
A high Court in Abuja disqualified Frank Ibezim from the race but before the pronouncement was made, an Appeal Court of higher jurisdiction cleared him as an authentic candidate of the APC. And since APC had the highest number of votes cast, why was Ibezim not returned as elected?
In the alternative, if Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was naively confused. Why was Okewulonu who had the second highest votes not declared? The situation which Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) left the Okigwe Senatorial Zone is too naïve and too perplexing.
If Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wants the judiciary to do its job, which goes to the Judiciary, is it Frank Ibezim who had the highest votes cast or Araraume who does not have local standing according to the Appeal Court.
The point that is being made here is to my mind that Distinguish Senator Ifeanyi Ararume a contemporary of Sen. Arthur Nzeribe should have known that it is time for him to quit politics instead of rattling the political scene each time there is election. Therefore if I were him, this is the best time to call it a quit with due respect.
By Comr. Alex Nzirim Okezuo