By Maazi Obinna Akuwudike
There is Igbo adage that says when a person sold a dog and bought a monkey, is when a person throws away the better option for the bad one.
Is this the case of Senators Rochas Okorocha and Ifeanyi Araraume?
It started with an unholy union, a hastily formed political unity of Senators Hope Uzodinma, Rochas Okorocha and Ifeanyi Araraume.
It was a union I knew from the first day, would crumble like a pack of cards. It was just a matter of time.
The time came quicker than expected. Within months, they were daggers drawn, aiming at each other’s throats.
Yes their mission went hitch free. Rob the people of Imo State their voice, by removing Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, who was duly voted for, and elected by the people of Imo State, and install a man, who Rochas Okorocha would later confess that he has never won an election in his life, as governor.
Yes the plan went smoothly. Their celebration lasted very short.
I stumbled upon a picture which I shared online, and in my other posts, showing the day i knew Araraume was in trouble with Hope Uzodinma.
I worked briefly for Araraume, and I remember one of those early days of their “victory”, he was invited to Douglas House, just to be humiliated at the gate.
With all his convoy, Araraume was kept at the gate of Douglas House for almost 30 minutes, before only his personal car was allowed in, while his convoy was stepped down.
Warning bells rang in my head. This was barely two months into office, and Hope Uzodinma was already giving them signs.
We left few minutes later, and Araraume headed to Okorocha’s house, where after taking us around the massive estate, both men had private discussion; one which would certainly contain what happened at Douglas House gate.
That was when I knew that Okorocha and Araraume rere nkita zuru enwe (sold a dog and bought a monkey).
Another indication came, when Araraume went to meet the Imo APC leaders, of the Nlemigbo faction, and I remember what the woman leader, called Madam Social said. She warned him to stay away from Okorocha.
Now I know this lady Madam Social, and anything she tells you, can as well be coming from Uzodinma. That warning to Araraume was probably message given to her, by Uzodinma to deliver to Araraume.
That day I confirmed that there was battle ahead for Araraume.
And the battle came, not just for Araraume, but for Rochas Okorocha as well.
For Araraume, they probably remembered 2007, when he came from the Senate, and hijacked the party from Chief Achike Udenwa, and won the election, even though he was later denied by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It wasn’t an easy battle for Obasanjo and Buhari won’t be on seat, when Hope Uzodinma may be seeking re-election, if he survives the Philip Umeadi suit.
Araraume tried to tell them that he was not interested in Uzodinma’s job, but that probably fell on deaf ears. They still came for him, and the mission was to make sure he didn’t return to the Senate, from where he could once again become a bigger problem.
Today, his journey to the Senate gets more uncertain by the day, as his political might in Okigwe is gradually whittled by Uzodinma, in the hands of a political kindergarten, Frank Ibezim.
For Rochas Okorocha, the battle has moved from just fighting for party structure, to becoming very personal, leading to Okorocha’s arrest, and injury to his family member.
What if that gun had fired above the leg?
If jail term should come for Okorocha after all the probes and reports against him, Uzodinma would most willingly pursue it.
Politically, he has already demolished Okorocha, who is presently confused politically, as he seems to be tilting between APC and PDP.
With Uzodinma, Okorocha may probably never return to power, if he loses his presidential bid. Uzodinma is already raising people for Orlu Senate, and the old Okorocha trick of using Uche Nwosu to hold tickets for him won’t work this time.
But it wouldn’t have been so under Ihedioha. Araraume would have experienced a hitch free Senate Bye-Election, and may have been sitting in the Red Chamber right now, instead of being dragged from one court to the other, with no certain end in sight.
Okorocha’s concern with Ihedioha, would have been to lose everything he looted from Imo, without the political retirement and even jail term he now risks with Uzodinma.
Sometimes its best to politicians to consult people like us, we see more clearly before they jump into political marriages doomed to fail, than consulting their fellow “big men” who don’t see beyond what is entering their bank account.
For Okorocha and Araraume, odeberele!