By Collins Chibueze Ughalaa
"But God said to me: 'You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood," - 1 Chronicles 28:3. Continuing in verse 6, we read: "'Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father."
The reference to blood in the above bible passage has nothing to do with the personality of Senator Ifeanyi Arararume as known to me. Therefore it does not in any way suggest or illustrate that he has spilled blood.
But as we approach 2019 governorship election in Imo State, no one can deny the level of tension that has begun to pervade the polity. This is understandable to most people. Imo people are growingly impatient with the clueless Rochas government. At least if we did not know for sure that Okorocha was all the while clueless, we have heard it from Chief Femi Fani Kayode, that what we have been punished with for over six years is an inept leadership that keeps experimenting and destroying.
We cannot wait to look behind and say bye-bye to the Egyptians we saw yesterday, because we have been guaranteed that in 2019 the Egyptians we see today we shall see them no more. And while we would be enjoying our feast of Passover our God of overdo would visit them with the ten plagues for dealing unjustly with God's own children. Yes. We are God's own children and all the pits they dug for us they shall fall into them while we dance *azonto*. This is our inheritance as the children of God.
This is why I beckon on the two-term Senator, Chief Ifeanyi Araraume, not to allow the prayers of Imo sons and daughters go in vain before God. He should not allow Imo people to wail and gnash their teeth for nothing. Good leaders are selfless. Araraume is a statesman and he should not give anyone any reason whatsoever to think otherwise, that the only person he cares about is himaelf. A selfless leader would not allow his own interest override the overbearing interest of the people, whose pain and anguish he should want ended.
It is in the best interest of the people of Imo State that Senator Araraume takes very good advantage of the recent meeting with his brother and smoothen out whatever political differences they may have harboured all this years. Recall that recently the media went ablaze with pictures of Senator Araraume and his brother and former Governor, Chief Dr. Ikedi Ohakim. The tete-atete and conviviality exposed by the celebrated photographs should not be allowed to die. That incident or meeting, to me, was not a chance meeting. It was ordained by God The Most High, who rules in the affairs of men. When God says 'Yes' no man can say 'No'.
Senator Araraume should never forget that the ways of God is not same with men. While men propose, God disposes. And, of course, it is settled that with God all things are possible, and, our God is the God of all flesh. There is nothing difficult for him to do. Therefore, the assurance and covenant we have with God is that whatever we ask of Him we get.
It is God that orders the footsteps of men and He can turn and overturn until His will is done. Make no mistake: God is not man, and nothing happens without his knowing. And as Omnipotent and Omniscient God, He can use anything as instrument to achieve His purposes. He used the staff of Moses to make powerful snake before Pharaoh. When Abraham did not expect it He provided a lamb for sacrifice and freed Isaac. He used water to make wine. He fed thousands with five loaves of bread and two fishes. He said 'Let there be light, and there was light'. He used the staff of Moses to divide the Red Sea and His children passed on to dry land. With the same staff he closed up the Red Sea and the enemies of God's children drowned. That is the God of all flesh and nothing is difficult for him. That is why God can use anyone or anything as instrument. In fact, Jesus Christ well illustrated this when he said God could make stones to praise him if men whom he created in His own image fail to praise and worship him; that is, if they fail to yield themselves to the accomplishment of His purposes.
The Igbo traditional society recognises that God can use anyone as instrument. That is why fathers pray for their children to be better. This is why no matter the height an Igbo archives in life he prepares his children to take over from him and do more. This philosophy is so embedded in Igbo subconsciousness that ones a man ages he takes the back seat and supports the younger ones. This is also reinforced by the philosophy of igwebuike.
There is no doubt that the Senator has shown a burning desire to become the Governor of Imo State, and he has left no one in doubt that he can fight for what he believes in. From 2007 when he left the Red Chambers to contest the governorship of Imo State amidst a strong and vocal opposition from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led chiefly by President Olusegun Obasanjo himself, Senator Araraume would do what The Great Zik of Africa would do, by going to court to grab governorship ticket from the jaws of the powerful presidency, the PDP and INEC just by approaching the courts of law. Though he lost the election to his brother, Ikedi Ohakim, of the newly formed Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Araraume would go on to institute the longest legal battle in the political history of Imo State.
All this is history. But Araraume did not think it was time to give up. In 2011 he left the PDP and picked the ticket of newly formed Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), to square off with Governor Ikedi Ohakim of the PDP, Rochas Okorocha of APGA, in a triple-threat match. This too is history.
In 2015 Araraume would stage a comeback to the PDP and almost grabbed the governorship ticket. But just almost.
Senator Araraume should therefore take a deep breath and do what elders do when the going is rougher: they pull back. It is not good that one of the irokos of Okigwe Zone is continually put on the touch-line and finished off. Okigwe Zone should learn how to spare and preserve their elephants, and one of ways to achieve this is for the Senator to pull back and rest. He has several other roles to play, such as that of a statesman.
The former Governor and the Senator should take their airport meeting one notch higher by going into a closed-door session where terms would be reached and Araraume would pull back and support Ohakim's second term bid.
Since after three attempts it was not done, it is possible that it is not Araraume's star to be Governor. He should, therefore, not overreach himself because what he did not achieve, his son can.
Araraume's son has joined politics and has served as commissioner. It's wiser for him to begin now to plan his exit from the field and allow his son shine. He should not dim his son's stars by obstructing his political chances. Doing so is against the Igbo philosophy.
Senator Araraume should not drag the spotlight with his son. That would amount to wrestling with him. He should allow his son the political space to game his way to the position of Secretary to the Government of Imo State. He should give him both the space and blessing to try his luck at the Red and Green chambers. He might be Senate President. And the best way to see to this is that the Senator now takes a backseat and throws his support for his brother, Ikedi Ohakim. If this is done no force put forward by Gov Okorocha would stop them.
The need for Araraume to support Ohakim is reinforced by the fact that Imo people would prefer a guaranteed one term from Okigwe Zone than a gamble, which any other Okigwe candidate would pose. Such gambling is quite expensive for Imo State that is impatiently in search of freedom.
The Senator should stop pandering to voices that mislead him to run. As an elder he should count his teeth with his tongue and see what is in the pocket by merely looking at the pocket.
If the Senator is yet to see the larger picture in 2019, it would then fall on the laps of the leaders of Okigwe to convene an emergency meeting of the zone and get the Senator to save the Zone by pulling back and support the one more term movement for Ikedi Ohakim. This is better for him than facing any sort of humiliation in 2019.
Imagine that he was shortchanged in 2015 in the PDP! Warriors are sometimes protected from themselves. This is what I want Okigwe Zone leaders to do: save their warrior from self destruction and preserve him for greater days ahead.