By Collins Ughalaa
Senator Ifeanyi Araraume has woken up from his six years slumber and he deserves a sincere good morning.
Beyond the realm of political affiliation, any genuine observer of political events in Imo State would know for sure that Senator Araraume's 10-point posers to Governor Rochas Okorocha are nothing but the truth. And for saying the truth the Senator deserves some commendation.
Araraume in his recent criticism of Governor Okorocha surmised that "What Imolites really want to know now is how far the Rescue Mission government has bettered the standard of living in the state to earn a third term for the devilish occultic impoverishment and manipulation of our people for 6 years and still going."
He reminded the Governor that "This is the time to render account", and I really agree on this one too.
However, for the purpose of emphasis, below are Araraume's questions to the Governor:
"(1) Where are all the huge funds allocated monthly to the 27 local Government areas in Imo State, and received for disbursement by Imo State Government since May 2011 till date that is well above N300 Billion? What has been done with these funds?
"(2a) Which of the roads, started and completed by this administration in any of the 27 Local
Government Areas or Hospital, Schools, bore holes for water or any rural electrifications etc
in any autonomous community in Imo State in over 6 years of the life of this administration? Not those built by unsuspecting contractors/individuals with their hard earned money that is now begging for regularization and payment.
"(2b) What project has been completed and commissioned?
"(3) Where is the N26.8 billion handed over to Owelle by Ohakim?
"(4) Where is the N13.3 billion bond proceeds for Oguta Wonder Lake?
"(5) What is the stage of work at the Oguta Blue Lake of Treasure as renamed? Now covered by grass.
"(6) What has happened to the Marine Police approved as a result of the Wonder Lake?
"(7) Who bought or leased Adalpam Nigeria Ltd?
"(8) Where are IROMA trucks and equipments? Valued at N12.5 Billion.
"(9) Where is the surpossed 3.5 billion proceeds from the sale/lease of Adalpam?
"(10) Who owns ROCHE?"
Whereas I do not dispute the facts of the posers, there is need to state that Araraume's posers to the Governor are not new. I and other concerned Imolites and other Nigerians have asked these questions severally. Of particular mention is that the former Governor, His Excellency Chief Dr Ikedi Ohakim has raised these issues in his interviews and well published letters to the Governor. But painfully, while we raised those questions Senator Araraume was enjoying his hobnobbing with the Governor and he looked the other way.
It is not far fetched that why Senator Araraume looked the way while Imo burnt was because he believed Governor Okorocha would keep his agreement to hand over the governorship ticket of the APC to him. And now that he believes the guber ticket is slipping from his hands to the hands of another stooge of the Governor, he has woken up and now crying blew murder.
It is very important for us to go beyond the facts of Araraume's posers and interrogate his real intentions. Though politicians like Araraume would think that Imo people are pawns on their chessboard and do not remember the past, there are actually many of us who cannot forget yesterday. It is therefore needful for us to bring the past to the present so as to enable us chart a clearer path for our collective future.
It is annoying that the Senator sounded as if he has not been around. But for the purpose of clarity, Imo people and Nigerians should consider the following issues and judge for themselves what Senator Ifeanyi Araraume has up his sleeves; whether he is trying to manipulate Imo people or not ahead of 2019.
(1) In case the Senator does not know, Imo people cannot forget easily what he has been doing since 2007 when he started chasing Imo State governorship. Araraume cannot remove himself from the Governor because they are in the same boat as friends, partners, associates and comrades in bringing Imo people to this horrible socio-economic condition.
(2) Whatever misgovernance Okorocha has wrought on Imo State, they did it together as partners. For example, in 2015, after Araraume chased the PDP guber ticket and failed, he joined forces with the Governor. They drove in the same car, campaigned against Capt Emma Iheanacho, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Dr Osmond Imo Ukanacho, Dr Ken Ojiri, etc.
(3) Again, and most regratably, Senator Araraume worked with Okorocha hand in glove against Senator Athan Achonu for Okigwe Senate and Hon Lady Joy for Isiala Mbano House of Assembly in 2016. He did all these because he was chasing APC guber ticket. Then Governor Okorocha was a good Governor, or Araraume wanted him to hand over to him, whether he is a good Governor or not.
(4) In 2015, after Okorocha's four years in office, and after the issues raised by Senator Araraume were already frequently raised, he ignored everyone else and pitched tent with Okorocha. Since the issues he raised now were already raised against Okorocha and Imo people were urged to reject Okorocha for second term, can Araraume offer some explanation to Imo people on why he chose to support the Governor in 2015, forcing him on them?
(5) Then, rather than backing the people Araraume chose to spite them and pitched tent with the Governor. Today he needs the same people he betrayed in 2015. He was singing the praises of Governor Okorocha immediately he jumped out of PDP when the guber ticket eluded him, after only 3 months of his stay in PDP from ACN. Sending shockwaves down the spine of the people when he took on the Okorocha project with pomp and pageantry and worked day and night against the wishes of Ndimo to return Okorocha to power, what was his motive?
(6) When many leaders and right thinking people were shouting that Imo would get worse under Okorocha, and that it would eventually rob off on him, did Araraume listen? Can he tell Imo people why he did not listen?
(7) Not many Imo people forget that between 2007 and 2011 Senator Araraume instituted 19 court cases against his brother, Ikedi Ohakim, some of them in courts outside the Southeast. Araraume did all this because he was chasing the governorship seat.
(8) In 2010/2011 when the false allegation that Ikedi Ohakim assaulted a Reveeend Father came out, many wondered who were behind it. When fiery Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka released his caustic music lampooning Ohakim ignorantly for beating up a Reverend Father, many were miffed at how far some people could go in chasing the governorship of Imo State. Today, not only do Imo people know who sponsored the Rev Father/Mbaka tape and printed over 1m copies and distributed them across the entire Eastern Nigeria, they also know now that about N4M exchanged hands. That satirical song eventually damaged a focused government and brought reproach to Ndimo.
(9) For those who do not know, in 2011 there was a tripartite agreement to install Okorocha of APGA, even when Araraume and his collaborators where in ACN. This unfortunate power show led to the disappearance of one Mr. Ngozi of ALVAN, who was then INEC Returning Officer, with 28,000 PDP votes from Ohaji/Egbema LGA. Had the 28,000 votes from Ohaji/Egbema LGA been counted for PDP, there would not have been any supplementary election, not to talk of Okorocha being Governor. Imo would not have been in this quagmire, and Araraume wouldn't have been complaining.
People who knew Okorocha warned about his antecedents and what Imo State would witness under him. But did Araraume listen?
(10) Senator Araraume would want Imo people believe that Okorocha's misgovernance started today. But the truth is that Okorocha's misgovernance did not start today. In case Araraume did not know, Okorocha started misgovernance of Imo over 6 years ago, demolishing all democratic governance institutions and sacking more than 60,000 workers, including Ohakim's 10,000 graduate workers, IROMA staff, councilors, LGA chairmen, development centre co-ordinators, all women sweepers, etc. Since then has Araraume been on the side of the people or the side of Governor Okorocha? Did Araraume wake up from a bad dream only now?
(11) Imo people should never forget that Araraume's fight with Okorocha is because he knows he will not support him to be Governor in 2019. In fact, it was because of Araraume that Okorocha declared his age limit for Imo State would be governor in 2019. But let us pause and ponder: if Governor Okorocha had promised him ticket and kept to his promise would Araraume have been asking what Okorocha has achieved for six years?
(12) Was it not Araraume who mounted the podium and joined Governor Okorocha in deceiving Imo people to believe the job, job, job empty mantra of the Governor?
(13) Have Ndimo not had enough of self-serving, egocentric, me-only and edifice infected politicians?
(14) Does it mean that Senator Araraume who has been chasing Imo guber ticket since 2007 thinks that what he did yesterday or what he does today cannot be remembered? Is it not clear that Araraume's quarrel today with the Governor is as a result of who takes turn to continue the plundering of Imo, especially looking at 2019?
(15) While Araraume raised genuine concerns, can he remove himself from sharing the blame of Okorocha's failure? Didn't Araraume support him up to yesterday? What was the reason for supporting him up to yesterday only to turn around now and condemn him? Is it because the APC guber ticket seems to be slipping away from his hands to Okorocha surrogate?
(16) Even if Araraume grabs the APC ticket from Okorocha, will it stop Ndimo from asking questions about their working as a team, leading to Araraume's son becoming Okorocha's Commissioner?
(17). Is ticket chasing the only way to get power? Should Okorocha negotiate with Araraume today as they did in 2015, would Araraume's language not change?
However, the consensus among Imo people today is that Araraume asked the right questions and Imo people welcomed his interrogation of Okorocha, but with regrets and a pinch of salt.
Imo people are also happy that finally Senator Araraume has vindicated Ohakim and has helped put to rest Okorocha's constant false claim that Ohakim achieved nothing. It has also further confirmed that the disclosure that Ohakim handed over billions of Naira to Okorocha is nothing but the truth. It has also further proved as truth that Ohakim had in place the best program in Oguta LGA of Imo State, which would have turned around the economy of the entire Southeast. But painfully, Araraume joined Okorocha to deny Imo people the opportunity of seeing those fine policies come to fruition. Today, he is asking questions about the same policies he joined to truncate.
But Imo people must watch it: Okorocha must never succeed himself either by use of a surrogate or Araraume. Any politician's past and antecedents shall be used either in favor or against him.