OPINION: UZODINMA, ARARAUME, OKOROCHA: BEFORE THE LAST SUPPER GOES SOUR

Hope Uzodinma

Governor Hope Uzodinma is walking on a sinking sand. That type of sand you step on and you never come out it. He is wining and dining with his erstwhile political foes.This should be of worry to any close observer of the political dynamics in the State.

Politics may be all about no permanent foe, but permanent interest, but when foes known for their foxy nature and character come together then there is cause for worry. Like chameleons, they can change colour anytime.

The new found political alliance between Governor Hope Uzodinma, Senator Rochas Okorocha, and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume is the convergence of three brothers from the same mother but of different paternity. The alliance is filled with uncertainties and landmines. Already there is so much suspicion in the air. It’s like a time bomb ticking to explode. An anaconda does not parley with the python despite the fact they belong to the snake family. They live in different habitats and operate in separate ways. What they have in common is, they do bite with different venoms.

This is the first time we have seen major political gladiators in the State come together. When gangsters gather it becomes a gangsters paradise.The fact is, they were united by a common purpose which is to kick Emeka Ihedioha out as Governor. With the deed done, what is the next binding factor? It is to share the spoils of office.That may be the beginning of the end of the honeymoon between the trio, a recipe for chaos.

I tell anyone who cares to listen that Emeka Ihedioha made himself a target for political humiliation by the trio. We need to see beyond the Supreme Court Judgement that removed him from office. The political urography conceived and nurtured by the trio was the bullet that brought him down from power.

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Ihedioha is the reason why we are seeing for the first time an alliance that looks so unholy, so strange taking place in the State. And I blame his advisers who failed to tell him to reach out to those he triumphed over at the governorship election, at the Election Petition Tribunal and at the Appeal Court. If not all of them, may be
one of them. No kingpin who wields power leaves the opposition united and formidable.

Ihedioha provided his political foes the ammunition they used to shoot him down from power. He allowed his political traducers to swallow their pride, come together and went for his jugular. He gave his political adversaries the platform to become friends. He failed to thrive on their differences, their division and weaknesses. In politics, you do not play solo. Ihedioha went solo politically and this gave those aggrieved with him the platform to come together to axe him.

Senator Ifeanyi Araraume is known to wage relentless political battles. That is his trademark. Those who have monitored his political trajectory would agree that he is a political character that fights to the end. And he fights with all the adrenaline in him. In the end, he is satisfied with the partial or little success he achieves in the battle.

I do not want to say he has an unforgiven spirit but he knows when to hit the right buttons.All his political battles have the same colouration. He does not pause, he does not ponder. He never gives up. He did it in 2006 when he took on the entire PDP behemoth in a bid to grab the governorship ticket of the party. It took Obasanjo’s presidential might to stop him.

Araraume had a score to settle with Ihedioha. Many will remember the 2006 Imo PDP governorship primary which Ihedioha won. Araraume alleged foul play in that exercise. And despite his plea for the injustice meted to him to be corrected, none came his way. I remember when he lamented that the party hierarchy in Abuja never gave him a listening ear on the grounds that the man he was challenging, was Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, the number seven man in the country at that time.

Ihedioha and Uzodinma were not the best of friends either after the Makarfi/Sherrif battle ended in the PDP. Ihedioha backed Markafi while Uzodinma supported Sherrif. In the end, Makarfi triumphed, with Ihedioha fully in charge of Imo PDP.

Uzodinma we were told wanted the PDP ticket for Orlu senatorial zone but Ihedioha, the conqueror at that time, will hear none of that. Rather he wanted his ally, Hon.Jones Onyeriri to hold forte at Orlu senatorial zone and Ezenwa Onyewuchi, then in the House of Representatives to take charge of Owerri zone as Senator. Ihedioha wanted a political empire with his loyalists anchoring the zones while he holds forte as Governor.

Uzodinma eventually left the PDP for the APC where he joined the race to run for governorship of the State. And like a merry go round, or would I say diminishing returns, Uzodinma has now displaced Ihedioha to become Imo State Governor.

Rochas Okorocha and Ihedioha are perennial political foes.The altercations between the duo were public knowledge and even degenerated to a frightening dimension when the latter was Governor. Ihedioha wanted Okorocha nailed for his eight years misrule as Governor of Imo State. And the latter had to seek an alliance to save his head from Ihedioha’s stones.

The above narration captures the genesis of Ihedioha’s political battle with the trio which has come to haunt him lately. With a common enemy (Ihedioha) out of the way, suspicion and mistrust will now reign supreme among the triumvirate.When one conspiracy succeeds, there is a tendency that another will come up. The success of one conspiracy is the recipe for another.This is the gathering of the last supper which may go sour.

*** Chiedu Uzodinma writes from Owerri, Imo State.

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