By Maazi Obinna Akuwudike
With the current political climate in Imo State, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, may just be the best option for former Govenror Rochas Okorocha and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, if they hope to survive politically.
Senator Hope Uzodinma, who is of the All Progressives Congress APC, with them, seems very intent on extinguishing whatever political clough and relevance, both men have in the state.
With Okorocha, the battle over who is in charge of Imo APC, have raged for so many months, with the Okorocha backed Daniel Nwafor faction claiming to be the authentic leadership of the party, while the Uzodinma backed Marcon Nlemigbo faction seems to be getting the nod from Abuja at the moment.
The Nwafor faction, have petitioned the National Leadership of the party, pointing out that a court ruling, have rectified their leadership of the party in the state.
In that front, the battle rages on, and no side seems ready to shift grounds for the other.
Araraume is also having a very raw deal with Hope Uzodinma, despite giving Uzodinma the support that helped him remove Ihedioha from office.
Uzodinma have moved against Araraume’s Senate bid, and even brought a featherweight candidate, in the person of Frank Ibezim, in other to stop Araraume.
As it stands, the APC risks losing out at the Okigwe Senate Bye-election, as both Ibezim and Araraume were barred from the election, on the eve of the election. This is a very valid argument, which the PDP and APGA, are making sure isn’t swept under the rug.
There is fears amongst Okorocha’s supporters, that Uzodinma may stop Okorocha from returning to the Senate in 2023, and already, some potential candidates have started throwing their names and weight around Orlu Zone, in preparation of the final nod from Uzodinma.
If Uzodinma remains in control of the party, Okorocha and Araraume will lose out in the party.
This is why both men may have to pay special attention to the Philip Umeadi suit. This is a time they may have to close ranks with Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, for their political survival in Imo State.
In the few months Ihedioha held sway in Imo State, he did not go after anyone, neither was he interested in extinguishing anybody’s political relevance.
A few aides became overzealous with Okorocha, but Ihedioha never condoned their actions.
He didn’t even use his position to try and sway the Orlu Zone election to his fellow party man. Ihedioha let’s things work the way they should. Probably, his trust and belief in the system, believing that the judicial system was incorruptible, like the play of the incorruptible judge by D. Olu Olagoke, led to his removal by the Supreme Court.
No wonder a lawyer, Tony Ebubedike was ashamed of being a Lawyer in his reaction on a post on Opera News, concerning the Umeadi case.
Clearly, Araraume and Okorocha backed the wrong horse, and fought the right one.
Ihedioha would not have tried to influence Okigwe elections in any way. Nobody would have known that somebody like Frank Ibezim existed.
If Okewulonu could win on his own, Ihedioha would give him all the legal support he required, but Ihedioha would not rig the elections. So if Araraume won the elections, as he believes he did, with Ihedioha in office, he would have been in the Senate by now, sworn in with the others, with Ihedioha being the first to congratulate him.
Alas, sometimes, we pick the wrong battles, only to end up regretting them later.
Okorocha and Araraume probably panicked. They heard Ihedioha was vindictive and unforgiving like they were, and decided to join forces against him. Unfortunately, they gave power to somebody who is exactly like them. Vindictive and unforgiving.
As the Philip Umeadi case draws closer, it is no secret, that a lot of money play is being made. The delay to hear this case, is believed by the common man, to have a monetary motivation. The outcome, many believe could be the reason pensioners are being owed, while civil servants are shortchanged in Imo. That’s the street belief. If could be real.
Political watchers and analysts, believe that it would be in Okorocha and Araraume’s best interest, to cast their support for an Ihedioha return, than an Uzodinma win.
Ihedioha is a man of agreement. Reach a reasonable agreement with him, and he stands with you. Unfortunately, some politicians make outrageous and ridiculous demands and agreements, which is why those they install turn against them later.
The best demand Okorocha can make, might be to avoid further probes, which Ihedioha wasn’t very keen about, as he was more interested in rebuilding Imo, than chasing shadows.
Araraume can get a deal of non interference in Okigwe matters from Ihedioha, and it would have been honored.
With Ihedioha, Araraume could still go to the Senate, and maybe, in 2023, he could still try his last luck at the Govenroship seat, as the APC candidate.
By the 11th of this month, Uzodinma’s fate as Govenror of Imo State will be discussed. The outcome of that judgement, whether in favour of Uzodinma or not, has a lot of effect on Ihedioha, Uzodinma and Araraume. It is time they come down from their high horses, and talk to me to tell them what to do, to preserve their political survival.