The All Progressive Congress, APC, in Imo State rather than savour its victory at Okigwe senate bye election held on Saturday, December 5, 2020, has continued to sink deeper into further crisis.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had declared the APC winner of the election, but did return any candidate as winner of the polls.
This has set the stage for renewed fierce, deadly and intense hostilities between Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, one of the candidates of the APac INEC did not return as winner of the election, members of Imo State House of Assembly and the State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.
Araraume is up against Frank Ibezim, the preferred choice of Governor Uzodinma, for Okigwe senate.
The two time senator, Sunday, lambasted Governor Uzodinma, accusing him of working for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP during the election.
Ararume claimed that the Imo governor instructed APC members at the eve of the election held last Saturday, to vote for opposition PDP because the APC and a competent court confirmed him as the right candidate.
In a swift response, Uzodinmma, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachuku, on Monday said Araraume has gone into political oblivion
The statement reads
“Our attention has been drawn to a recent pitiable interview on AIT where Senator Godwin Ifeanyi Araraume attempted, but woefully failed to blame Governor Hope Uzodimma for the political oblivion he has recently found himself.
“ The interview which Araraume granted the television station with the intention of burnishing his image has ended up exposing the old habit many people thought the former lawmaker had done away with; which is to assassinate the character of his political opponents with the aim of holding his people hostage.
“ Governor Uzodimma’s sin is that he supported Frank Ibezim, who Okigwe people in the All Progressive Congress (APC) overwhelmingly voted for as their candidate both at the primaries and bye-election, but who Araraume has sworn to stop by all means.
“Having lost the battle to compel Okigwe people to remain perpetually subservient to his political quest as well as to stop Ibezim, Araraume decided to extend his grievance to Governor Uzodimma, even when he knows the governor has zero tolerance for enmity and mischief making.
“We are not surprised that Araraume was talking of anti-party activities because Governor Uzodimma worked hard to deliver Ibezim as the preferred candidate of the APC. In the contrary, Araraume’s action from the time the APC chose Ibezim to the time of electioneering, deploying all distractive tendencies from the court, suggested he didn’t want the APC to win the election. He is rather surprised the Party won.
“Rather than waste his precious time fighting and distracting Governor Uzodimma, Araraume should go into introspection to find out why the Okigwe people have decided to pitch their tent with a younger Ibezim, going forward.
“We are less bothered about Araraume and his ilk who are blind about what Governor Uzodimma has done since coming to office. They are wired not to see anything good done by any other person, not to talk about their political opponents and that can be nauseating. Okigwe people know what Governor Uzodimma has done for them and they are very grateful.
“They have also decided to support his government overwhelmingly, meaning there is not much Araraume can do to change the situation, not even the media blackmail he has resorted to.
“While Governor Uzodimma makes concerted efforts to unite the APC, the likes of Araraume continue to fan the embers of disunity, all in an attempt to get at him. But they will continue to fail.
“Governor Uzodimma is not in popularity contest with acclaimed political leaders in Imo State who delight in doing the wrong thing, pretending to be saints and the saviour of the people when they are not.
“At the appropriate time, the story of who did what in the interest of Imo people will be told and we are not under any illusion that history will be kind to Governor Uzodimma’s administration.
It does not matter how much energy the Araraume’s of the world deploy to instigate protests from association of pensioners, doctors, teachers and other bodies. That is immaterial.
“What is important is that the government of Governor Hope Uzodimma which is anchored on 3R mantra – reconstruction, reconciliation and recovery will not be distracted by political opponents who see everything wrong in what Governor Uzodimma’s administration does.
“Truth is that Araraume has been retired from politics by his people of Okigwe and there is no need of blaming Governor Uzodimma for it.
The Imo State House of Assembly, APC caucus, also called for the suspension of the Senator from the party.
The lawmakers also recommended the immediate expulsion of Senator Ararume as a member of APC, saying: ‘We have noted with confirmation that he is a troublemaker and not the breed we want in the party and also for the growth and progress of APC in Imo State.
The communique partly reads:
‘Also we consider the action of Sen. Araraume as one that has necessitated sanction from the party, as Imo APC does not need an unstable character and a serial liar who would continue to thwart efforts to move the party forward in the State.
‘Even as we debunk Sen. Araraume’s claims, we have it on records that it was him (Sen. Araraume), who committed anti-party having directed his ‘boys’ to vote for PDP, to forestall the victory of APC in the poll.
‘For the record, if what Sen Araraume said is true, how come all lawmakers from Okigwe Zone and loyal party leaders all delivered their booths for APC during the election.
‘Also how come, most of Sen. Araraume’s boys lost to PDP in their respective booths, if not that they acted on his (Araraume) orders to vote for PDP to the detriment of APC in the election.
“We all know the political history of Sen. Araraume in this State. How he has been jumping from one party to another, from PDP to APGA to APC.
‘In all these periods, he was busy causing troubles and confusion for the parties. So we are not surprised that today he has taken to blackmails against Sen Hope Uzodinma.’
The lawmakers, further stated: ‘And we are also imagining how such a person who can tell such an unfortunate, unfounded, malicious and blatant lies against our Governor could represent as a Senator of any zone in a State.
‘This is because we all were at the campaign rally at Okigwe where the Governor Uzodinma marshalled directives to all party leaders, stakeholders, members and supporters of our party to massively vote for APC and its senatorial candidate, Hon. Frank Ibezim in the election. And we all complied accordingly.
‘So, we believe that such a person, who can cook up lies of such magnitude, should not actually be a stakeholder or even a member of APC in Imo State.’
It continued: ‘We, in Imo State House of Assembly, therefore have resolved to recommend that the National Working Committee of APC should without delay issue disciplinary action against Sen. Araraume.
‘We also recommend his expulsion as a member of APC because we have noted with confirmation that he is a troublemaker and not the breed we want in the party and also for the growth and progress of APC in Imo State.’